Our final century by Martin Rees

Our final century by Martin Rees – A scientist’s warning how terror, error, and environmental disaster threaten humankind’s future in this century – on earth and beyond. I reserved this book from the library just before hearing about it in a talk at Davos in which Yuval Harari was involved.

The book was written almost 20 years ago and this makes it even more interesting, because he mentions things like the risks of echo chambers which could affect the views of the population two years before Facebook was founded.
Our final century is great. I enjoyed it and I would highly recommend it. In US the book has a different name, Our Final Hour.
The only thing I’m going to talk about from the book is small, just one of the multitude the things he mentions. But, for me it’s quite important to discuss.

Our final century by Martin J. Rees

I haven’t heard of the “Better red than dead” slogan before. I have no idea how it is to be dead, but, as someone born under the iron curtain, I can say that, for me, the alternative “better dead than red” is quite an understatement. I’m hardly the only one thinking this. The Romanian cemeteries dotted on the Serbian border attest to the extreme measures intellectuals (mainly, as this was the most oppressed segment of the population) felt forced to take. They tried to escape, swimming across the Danube at night, risking being shot dead by Romanian military border patrols. The lucky ones were helped by the Serbs, the unlucky ones were buried by the Serbs.

I agree it is MAD to spend all that money on nuclear weapons, but is even madder not to. Unfortunately this is the reality we live in. Rees mentions that with nuclear hundreds of thousands of people would be killed. Well, pretty much this is what would have happened under the communists. I reviewed 3 books which might be interesting if you want to know more about my views on this subject, here are the links: King Michael of Romania, Swimming Across, and Wild Swans.
The irony is that the ones challenging the government now would have been the first ones to go in an authoritarian regime. In Romania there were a few dozens force labour camps, filled with students and professors, intelectuals, and anybody who would not have been a “true believer” to the cause.

Our final century by Martin Rees

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes!
Published by: Heinemann
Year it was published: 2003
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Non-fiction. Science and IT.
Pages: 228

About the author: Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, was born in 1942 in York. He is an English cosmologist and astrophysicist. He studied at the University of Cambridge.
From 1992 to 2003 he was a Royal Society Research Professor, and then from 2004 to 2012, Master of Trinity College. In 2005 he was appointed to the House of Lords, and he was President of the Royal Society for the period 2005-10.
He also published On the Future: Prospects for Humanity; Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe; Our Cosmic Habitat.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “Our final century by Martin Rees”

  • This sounds good and I’m impressed that you didn’t find it dated, despite being twenty years old. Thanks for providing the links to your earlier posts. I enjoyed looked back.
    Kelly recently posted…The Cat PuzzleMy Profile

    • Some of the things he said did not happened and he did not talk enough about climate change, but those bits made it even more interesting, for me at least.

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