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The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
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The World Without Us (edition 2007)

by Alan Weisman

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4,8391631,370 (3.83)234
Member:pbirch01
Title:The World Without Us
Authors:Alan Weisman
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2007), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

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» See also 234 mentions

English (154)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
I found this book fascinating. The author looked into many different parts of human civilization to see what would be going on if humans disappeared. Cities, subways, ancient ruins, nuclear power plants, coral reefs, Panama Canal... The list goes on and on. By looking at what could happen, I learned a lot about what has already happened. ( )
  shelbycassie | Aug 5, 2018 |
I love books that teach me stuff, but I really love books that make me think! This is a fascinating look at what would happen to our world if human being all disappeared at the same time. What would happen to our homes, subways, pets, the ocean, the nuclear waste sites, etc! To figure out what would happen in the future the author has to briefly take us back to the past; and he does so in an accessible and entertaining way. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Fascinating information, but very depressing... ( )
  jtdancer | Jun 30, 2018 |
This book answers the question: what would happen if all humans suddenly disappeared off the Earth? What will happen to dormant and forgotten nuclear warheads and all the plastic in the oceans? The answers are fascinating and often alarming.

This is a fantastic book and I love this genre, but this stuff can be heartbreaking to take in. Our species is seemingly at war with the very planet we depend on. ( )
  jasoncomely | Mar 29, 2018 |
An inspired and thoughtful premise ("What would happen to humankind's infrastructure and legacy if we were to all vanish tomorrow") makes for an inspired and well researched, if somewhat uneven, book. While occasionally heavy-handed, Alan Weisman's look at our toxic bequest has rightfully shamed me into a serious accounting of my own disposable-plastics use - not a bad accomplishment for a light summer read. ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (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 (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Weisman, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lempinen, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohinmaa, TiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of Sonia Marguerite with lasting love from a world without you
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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."
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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 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)

(summary from another edition)

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