"Because you can't hug a tree if you can't find one."

12/17/2007

The World Without Us

In The World Without Us, (St. Martin’s Press, 2007 ) Alan Weisman presents a perspective-expanding look at what would happen on earth if humans were no longer part of the equation. He doesn't go into what happens to all the people, because its really not all about us. Rather, based on his wide-ranging and thorough research, he details how endangered animal populations can recover, how new species may evolve to fill vacated niches, and the likely effects of the time bombs (like nuclear power plants and chemical refineries) we leave behind.
Far from being a work of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, the book actually presents a rather hopeful vision of the planet healing itself. It doesn't (quite) make you hope for our destruction, but gives a clear sense of the negative impact of our collective actions and policies, and hints at how we should be treating the biosphere - assuming we have the time to change our ways.

5 comments:

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

The awareness that live transcends us is one of the things in which I find solace.

Rejin L said...

Xris, I agree. It is comforting to know that its not all about us. It makes me feel that we should be more responsible about how we treat the planet, like if we are only here for a while we should leave it in good shape for the next tenants.
I like your blog, by the way.

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Thanks, Rejin. Stop by anytime!

Green Bean said...

I've really really been wanting to read this book. I even had it once from the library but had to return it (someone else put it on hold, which of course is a good thing that someone is interested). I'll have to add it back to my list.

Rejin L said...

Green Bean: Mine was a library copy too, and I finished it the day I had to return it. Couldn't renew it, it was in such demand. And here I thought I was so ahead of the curve!
It was definitely worth waiting my turn for it. I hope you'll let me know what you think after you read it.