The Svalbard Seed Bank

Break the Bank: The Doomsday Vault Meets Global Warming

In order protect the seeds of Estonian onion potatoes, black-eyed peas, and Bambara groundnuts from global warming, Norway’s “Doomsday Vault” will need some expensive defensive improvements . . . against global warming.

Cape Town water warning

Cape Town Braces for Day Zero

Despite an exemplary record in local water conservation and water-table management, the city of Cape Town is scheduled to run out of water sometime this summer. The locals are calling it “Day Zero.”

Baker Shot

The Answer to Thermouclear Monarchy is Regicide

In the United States, the final and decisive authority to launch a nuclear strike falls to one person: the sitting President. This aspect of the American military system has been critically dubbed “thermonuclear monarchy.” 

Dark Kitchen of the Soul

Food is one of the first things that we think about in the morning. So, it’s a given that we’ll have strong feelings about our relationship to food during the collapse of human civilization.

Ten Billion And/Or Bust

What happens when the “population bomb” detonates in a land of middle-class suburbs? The jury is out in the ongoing debate between “wizards” and “prophets.”

"The Last Man" by John Martin, 1849

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Almost everyone dies in The Last Man, but it’s fair to say that in Mary Shelley’s 1826 novel the extinction of mankind is an afterthought.