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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Catastrophes! Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes,
and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters

Donald R. Prothero

DEVASTATING NATURAL DISASTERS HAVE PROFOUNDLY SHAPED HUMAN HISTORY, leaving us with a respect for the mighty power of the earth — and a humbling view of our future. Paleontologist and geologist Donald R. Prothero tells the harrowing human stories behind these catastrophic events:

  • The New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes of 1811–1812 that caused
    church bells to ring in Boston
  • The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people
  • The massive volcanic eruptions of Krakatau, Mount Tambora, Mount Vesuvius, Mount St. Helens, and Nevado del Ruiz.

His clear explanations of the forces that caused these disasters accompany gut-wrenching accounts of terrifying human experiences and a staggering loss of life. Floods that wash out whole regions, earthquakes that level a single country, hurricanes that destroy everything in their path — all remind us of how little control we have over the natural world. Order the book on which this lecture is based from shop.skeptic.com.

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