The Encyclopedia of Doom
A Comprehensive Guide to the Wicked Problems of the Anthropocene
Author: Amy Brunvand
Expected: May 2020
In geological deep time, the Anthropocene is simply a sedimentary layer marked by plastic debris, but in human economic time those tiny particles are a symptom of global human activity that has become a geological force. The most wicked problem of the Anthropocene is how human impacts interact and intensify each other to reshape the world we inhabit. It is particularly urgent to understand the cumulative effects of these impacts, because many Earth systems have been pushed to the breaking point. This Encyclopedia enables the reader to climb up to an elevated vantage point and look out across the landscape of the Anthropocene in order to see its myriad problems all at once. This comprehensive view is made possible by librarian Amy Brunvand’s extensive knowledge of environmental science and her clear and lively prose. The resulting encyclopedia gives a quick overview of nearly 200 interconnected topics, fact-checked against scholarly articles, government statistics and grey literature reports. Each entry comes with its own readers’ advisory of suggested books, selected with general readership in mind, to generate an Anthopocene bibliography for those who would like to zoom in for a closer look. For more intrepid readers, there is also a reference list of selected scholarly sources that show the methodology behind the science. The goal of this book is to offer a quick pathway to expertise in order to make a super-wicked problem less confusing.
Author Amy Brunvand is an academic librarian and writer with a background in Earth Sciences. Since 2000 she has written a monthly environmental news digest for Catalyst, a non-profit community magazine in Salt Lake City, Utah.