The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

The World Without UsOpening Sentence: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 Ecuadorian tributary of the upper Amazon.
Synopsis:‘On the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house – or houses, that is. Cleans them right off the face of the earth. They all go.’

How would the world change if human beings vanished from the earth right now, for good? What would the planet be like in a day, a week, a month…a millennium? Would its climate ever recover from the effects of human activity? And what about our cities, buildings and great works of art? Will we have left any enduring mark on the universe; any sign that we were once here?

To discover the answers, Alan Weisman looks to areas of the world that are currently unoccupied and speaks to experts in fields ranging from nuclear physics to archaeology. He reveals how the natural world would respond to our disappearance, and uncovers just how long our greatest achievements and our biggest mistakes would last after we are gone. In doing so he wrestles with some of the key concerns of our time and offers an intriguing glimpse of what the real legacy of our time on the planet may be.
Comments:The World Without Us gives a bleak look at the future of the planet, but I would not recommend it unless you are extremely interested in the minutiae of the topic. This book started out entertaining and unique, making the first half difficult to put down. Unfortunately, it quickly became very repetitive and boring, and I was unable to get much past halfway. There are some interesting facts in here that are not well publicised and need to be said, but this book could have been halved without deleting any of the relevant content. Good concept, but way too long.

Categories: Impressions

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