AGE OF CATACLYSM by Alfred L. & Phillip H. Liss Webre


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The authors -- one a psychologist the other an environmentalist -- predict a quarter century of severe seismic disturbance: earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, tornadoes, glaciation, draughts, famine. There are indications -- a recent upsurge in volcanic eruptions, rising land masses, ""tectonic plate"" shifts -- that the age is already upon us. Webre and Liss are careful to buttress their views with those of leading earth scientists (but references to the National Enquirer are annoying). Section II is devoted to documenting ""the evidence of precognition"" -- the Cayce prophesies of the emergence of Poseidia, the loss of California and New York, the shifting of the axis. Their words are carefully chosen: although they argue that skepticism is called for, some predictions seem to be plausible in light of scientific evidence. In any case, they insist, a rational approach to natural disaster is called for: preparation, prediction techniques, relocation, evaluation of seismic susceptibility. In light of the Managua devastation, evacuation and food distribution procedures must be established. Since the coming disruptions will probably affect about one-sixth of the world's population, we must also recognize the dangers of political feuding and war for the remaining resources. The authors' conclusion (a non-sequitur, to be sure) is that Americans should promote their Federalist Party and its quest for Constitutional reform -- the establishment of an elected, six-member oligarchy. This is a difficult book to evaluate: the authors offer some convincing evidence for an ""age of cataclysm,"" then undermine their credibility by extensively citing psychic predictions. They argue an undisputable need for planning to meet natural disaster, but then become distracted by their own political cause.

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 1974
Publisher: Berkley -- dist. by Putnam