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Book Review: by Lang Reid
How to Survive the End of the World as we know it
was only two days into 2010 and I wandered into Bookazine in the Royal
Garden Plaza to be met with a book called “How to Survive the End of the
World as we know it” (ISBN 978-0-141-04933-5, Penguin, 2009) written by
a gentleman called James Wesley, Rawles.
This rather strange way of writing one’s name as James Wesley comma Rawles
is not explained, but the back cover states that this book by this former US
Army Intelligence officer will tell me all about water, food storage, fuel
and home power, gardens, medical supplies and training, communications, home
security, when to leave town, investing and barter and something called
“much more”. The preface also states that James Wesley comma Rawles
preparedness consulting clients include Fortune 500 executives,
entrepreneurs, fund managers and (wait for it) “clergy”. Now if the clergy
has to call upon a mere mortal, even though that mortal is ex-military
intelligence, it sounds to me as if they are doubting their ability to call
on their God at their time of need. Now that’s a real worry.
Author comma Rawles begins by postulating what will happen with a lethal
influenza epidemic (as H1N1 was supposed to be) which kills more than half
the people infected. He then predicts that we will all stay at home in fear,
run out of food in a week and then begin looting for fuel and food. He then
states that with the information contained in the book “you can prepare
yourself to live independently for an extended period of time.”
He writes that there are many scenarios which can produce the breakdown of
society as we know it, including inflationary or deflationary depressions,
terrorist attacks, nuclear warfare, the Third World War, oil embargoes,
martial law, invasion, climate change, major earthquakes and being struck by
asteroids or comets, so we have more to worry about than just H1N1.
The reader is also advised to have a gun for protection - “at times there is
not a satisfactory substitute for well aimed lead going down range at high
velocity.” And you should stock up on “beans, bullets and Band-aids.” (Ah
yes, he is after all, ex-military and living in the USA.)
There are more necessities which the author will list for you as you get
into the book itself. Such items as a dosimeter and charger, hand-held
Geiger counter, and potassium iodate tablets to prevent thyroid damage.
Comma Rawles thinks of everything, including dental extraction tools and
Pakistani stainless steel surgical instruments. It doesn’t end there;
remember to stock a hoof rasp, hoof nippers and a hoof pick!
Obviously James Wesley comma Rawles knows something I don’t know, and has
prepared himself for the cataclysm. Somehow I don’t think I’ll bother,
despite the book being only B. 395. In the Publisher’s Note at the
beginning, Messrs Penguin state “The information contained in this guide
book cannot replace sound judgment and good decision making…” I’ll just go
to the movies, have an ice cream and some popcorn and sit quietly and wait.
That’s my decision.
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