Thursday, 6 August 2015

Apocalypse in the land of Starbucks | Emma Brockes

Fears of a major earthquake in the Pacific north-west have thrown the region into panic, and put me off ever climbing Seattle’s Space Needle

For the last couple of weeks, a piece of apocalyptic journalism has been dominating the most read section of the New Yorker website, under the heading “The earthquake that will devastate Pacific Northwest”. It is by the excellent Kathryn Schulz, who, after garnering a huge and terrified response to her piece, was obliged to write a follow-up, calming readers’ fears and offering them some hints on how to survive.

There is a long tradition in journalism of whipping up the disaster-movie-type fear one gets from imagining the worst. In Britain we are accustomed to one newspaper or another (mainly one newspaper) speculating on the likelihood of the south-east disappearing as sea levels rise – “Terrifying new pictures reveal how Britain’s cities could be devastated by flood water” was the Daily Mail headline in 2011 – probably as a result of an illegal immigrant leaving the gate open.

Related: Is it finally possible to predict earthquakes?

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from Robotics News & Articles


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