HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Loading...

The World Without Us

by Alan Weisman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4381501,106 (3.83)212
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 212 mentions

English (141)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (148)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
A collection of chapters about what would happen to the life and non-life of planet Earth if we were gone. Fascinating tidbits, but Weisman doesn't sew them together. Definitely worth a read, though. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
What a fascinating and effective way to examine the effects of human activity on the environment. Well written; beautifully drawn speculation based on a wealth of research. Invites us in by removing us from the picture to face the hard facts...but allows us also, by exercising our imagination, to imagine the future of a world with us. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
This book makes me wish I could give half-star ratings. The book is described as a hypothetical romp through time based on the single question, What would the world be like without us? If we simply disappeared, how would Earth react? Weisman certainly has the mind to play with this theoretical model and his book is the result of playing in his sandbox.

I enjoyed immensely his simplest description of the world without us. He opens with a description, quite detailed, of what happens to the average home after years of neglect; and, having been in construction and repair for years, I found his thinking to be spot on. Weisman lost me when he decided to pursue the development of humans in the heart of Africa. I understood the why of it, as it tied into the model, but it wasn't enjoyable. Loads of anthropology vocabulary. His work on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was interesting. I ended up reading more on that topic as a result.

Bottom line: The book is clever and well thought out. But, it's depressing. Entropy is a reality, but I'm not sure I want to spend my time focused on it. Good book for a college classroom or even select excerpts in high school. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
I first read this three or four years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since. It looks at the changes humans have made to the world, and how long those changes would persist if we all vanished from the Earth. Our cities and most other man-made surface structures are surprisingly ephemeral, but our nuclear and chemical legacies will persist into geologic time. ( )
  SylviaC | Nov 24, 2015 |
Some books that you read make you question everything. Alan Weisman's The World Without Us is definitely one of those books. The book seeks to answer the question 'What would happen to the world if humans were to disappear?' I've read books that look at it from the flip side of the coin where humans have destroyed the planet to such a degree that humanity can no longer be sustained. It was interesting to look at the reverse. Weisman looked at the issue from a variety of viewpoints. He looked at the evolution of humans and their impact on the megafauna and megaflora of the planet. His point there was that although much of the animals and plants were eradicated by us, variations of these have survived into present day. Therefore, if humanity were to disappear nature would find a way to carry on and maybe another kind of humanity would take our place. He also looked at the damage we have done through chemical processes (I'm talking nuclear) and whether or not the planet's remaining inhabitants could survive. He went to a variety of places where it was as close to being primeval as possible (Kingman Reef) and also those places which were irrevocably changed by us (Chernobyl). He spoke to scientists of all disciplines (many of which sound like amazing careers that I need to look into immediately). It was a thoroughly researched and thought provoking read and I encourage anyone interested in conservancy and ecology to go and give this book a shot. ( )
  AliceaP | Oct 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
That said, the science and factual stuff is, almost invariably, mind-boggling. I did not know, for instance, that ships the length of three football pitches entering the locks of the Panama Canal have only two feet of clearance on each side; that there may well be at least one billion annual bird deaths from flying into glass in the United States alone; or that graphic designers have been called in to imagine what warnings against coming too close to nuclear waste containers will be comprehensible 10,000 or more years from now.
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Weismanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lempinen, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohinmaa, TiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of Sonia Marguerite with lasting love from a world without you
First words
One June morning in 2004, Ana Maria Santi sat against a post beneath a large palm-thatched canopy, frowning as she watched a gathering of her people in Mazaraka, their hamlet on the Rio Conambu, an Ecuadoran tributary of the upper Amazon.
Quotations
Quoting Les Knight " The last humans could enjoy their final sunsets peacefully, knowing they have returned the planet as close as possible to the Garden of Eden"

" He now fears that the planet is suffering a high fever, and that we are the virus."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312347294, Hardcover)

A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth
 
In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.
In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Journalist Weisman offers an original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders, and paleontologists, he illustrates what the planet might be like today if humans disappeared. He explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
612 wanted
6 pay8 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.83)
0.5 3
1 9
1.5 4
2 54
2.5 12
3 232
3.5 85
4 396
4.5 54
5 240

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,256,869 books! | Top bar: Always visible