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On Borrowed Time

On Borrowed Time

248 pages
Published:   September 28, 2021
Non-Fiction  /  Nature
Paperback:   9781773102061   $22.95

Finalist, 2021 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
The Big One and what we can do to get ready for it.


Mention the word earthquake and most people think of California. But while the Golden State shakes on a regular basis, Washington State, Oregon, and British Columbia are located in a zone that can produce the world’s biggest earthquakes and tsunamis. In the eastern part of the continent, small cities and large, from Ottawa to Montréal to New York City, sit in active earthquake zones. In fact, more than 100-million North Americans live in active seismic zones, many of whom do not realize the risk to their community.

For more than a decade, Gregor Craigie interviewed scientists, engineers, and emergency planners about earthquakes, disaster response, and resilience. He has also collected vivid first-hand accounts from people who have survived deadly earthquakes. His fascinating and deeply researched book dives headfirst into explaining the science behind The Big One — and asks what we can do now to prepare ourselves for events geologists say aren't a matter of if, but when.
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Author

Gregor Craigie has been a news producer, reporter, and on-air host. He is presently the host of CBC’s On the Island in Victoria, BC. He is a former reporter for CBS Radio and a former BBC journalist, who read the news to millions of American listeners of The World on Public Radio International.

Awards

Shortlisted: Balsillie Prize for Public Policy

Reviews

“Lucid and remorselessly researched, this book is both captivating and urgent. I am racing to geophysical maps to check the status of my local seismic zone, laying in emergency supplies, and warning loved ones to do the same.” — Alanna Mitchell, author of The Spinning Magnet

“A vivid evocation of previous catastrophes, a definitive rendering of what, when, where, and how they have happened, and a clarion call to get ready for more of the same. Gregor Craigie has produced a passionate tour de force, beautifully written and sturdily built on countless interviews, eyewitness accounts, newspaper articles, scientific studies, and Indigenous oral histories. This book dances with detail and rings with authority.” — Ken McGoogan, author of Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage

On Borrowed Time takes us on a tour of North American earthquakes, from the West Coast to the Atlantic Ocean. Gregor Craigie’s well-written and comprehensive jewel provides us with an accurate understanding of earthquake science, while exploring our fears and perceptions about future large quakes.” — John Clague, Emeritus Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University

On Borrowed Time is an impressive and timely reminder that large earthquakes can occur right across North America and that each passing day draws us closer to the inevitable next big one. But, as Craigie reminds us, earthquakes should not be anything to fear — providing we prepare properly.” — Edwin Nissen, Associate Professor/Canada Research Chair in Geophysics, University of Victoria

“Readers will be eagerly flipping through to see what we can learn and what to expect when the next Big One arrives.” — The Tyee