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The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
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The World Without Us

by Alan Weisman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1951421,190 (3.85)203
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» See also 203 mentions

English (133)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
My favorite summer reading of 2007--of course, I was pretty depressed that summer, but still--what would happen if people just were zapped off the face of the earth? Wild cats living in trees integrated in the structure of crumbling skyscrapers and never touching the ground again, that's what! But only a small part of the actual book is dedicated to this fact, which I found unfortunate. :) ( )
  AlisonLea | Jan 10, 2015 |
Questo saggio di molto interessante - che sembra lo screenplay di un documentario del National Geographic - è assai consolante. Dopo lo sconforto nel quale si può venire gettati dopo la lettura di 'Economia canaglia' della Napoleoni, questo testo conferma che il mondo, senza la razza umana, sarebbe un luogo decisamente migliore. Bello sapere che, senza di noi, la natura potrebbe riprendere il sopravvento, risistemando (in buona parte, non tutte) mutilazioni che stiamo perpetrando da migliaia di anni. Altro punto a favore è che l'unità di misura non è il giorno, o l'ora - come siamo solitamente abituati a vivere - ma i 10.000 anni. Questo aiuta a relativizzare assai alcuni dei problemi e delle ansie con le quali siamo costretti, volenti o nolenti, a convivere. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Cool book for anyone into anthropology, geology, philosophy, conservation or evolution. ( )
  brianinseattle | Oct 1, 2014 |
Really liked this book - but it can tough reading at times. Really made me think of water differently, and how damaging it can actually be and how it is always trying to get in, whereever that "in" may be. Weisman draws on a ton of different disciplines here and that's what draws me to this book. Rewarding read.
  zach_mosher | Aug 22, 2014 |
A nice, data-filled look at the ways humans do and do not have a lasting impact on the natural world. As someone trying to imagine what a pastoral future on an under-inhabited planet would look and feel like, I got a lot of compelling images from it.

The only thing missing here is the speculation--probably too abstract for a work like this--that it could indeed be indicative of a much larger system failure if we were not just this planet's, but this universe's only vehicle for self-consciousness and we blew it. Whether from our own actions or a passing asteroid--the phenomenon of something with such potential universal significance simply gone in a geological eye-blink would seem to indicate a much bigger FAIL.

Conscious beings somewhere else who already did know know how to live so harmoniously in their own environment that they could persist and evolve along with the universe could really take the pressure off us there. But until they are discovered, maybe it's worth discussing somewhere (else) what might be lost besides environmental degradation in the world without us. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (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
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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.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:28 -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

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