Visions of the end of the world tend to extremes—the planet fatally fracked, flooded, hurricaned, nuke-cratered. No survivors, or maybe one or two survivors, dazed and dust-grimed, roaming a wasted landscape, eating canned beans, rotted squirrels, each other. But the truth is we might be in for a slow burn, apocalypse-wise. The “end of the world” entails not just the actual end, that last gasp of human breath, but all the agony leading up to it, too. How, though—without the fire-and-brimstone theatrics—will we know that the planet is truly terminal?