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Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Ecology > 0312347294
  1. The World Without Us
    The World Without Us
    The World Without Us
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. The World Without Us

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (470 reviews)
    Price R452.00

Additional Information

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.

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Alan Weisman
Thomas Dunne Books
Great product!
Thomas Dunne Books
Thomas Dunne Books
Thomas Dunne Books
Thomas Dunne Books
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I'm judging Weisman's work a little more harshly than most here because I feel it's too slim and simple on presenting its ideas. Everything from this book can be found in the readings for a single introductory college course on environmental ethics or resource management--all it adds is the context suggested by the book's gimmicky title.

That's not to say simple can't be excellent, but with how World... presents its info, it feels like Weisman did the bare minimum amount of research--as if his only source was a single introductory class or textbook filtered through a writer's whimsy. E.g., he shies away from referencing original research, and instead frequently mentions news articles inaccurately referencing original research as his sources. E.g., he references a number of outdated terms or ideas, such as continental drift or, positively, "The cure for pollution is dilution." (Ouch....)

World... is an alright book, but there are certainly better-written... Read more
The World Without Us
Book written by Alan Weisman
Essay written by Caleb Cushman 9th grade English.
Many people wonder, “how would the world react if humans were gone?” With this question comes the thought process of, “have we done enough for the world to even recognize humans as a species?” In the book, The World Without Us, Alan Weisman proposes to the readers how the world was, is, and will most likely become because of humans or the lack thereof.
Before humans came along, many species of animals existed. These fabled creatures were abundant and the kings of their time. The earth was seemingly perfect, flawless, a perfect gem in the middle of their universe. But our ancestor Humans would soon hunt species to extinction without realizing the inherent dangers of killing them off. With this activity would come the tyrannical, natural dictatorship of humans over all other animals, deciding what and why and which animals would... Read more
I give this book three stars for the amazing information that the author has accumulated all in one book. He begins by describing the earth as a mega- organism where in the soil, the atmosphere, the rivers, flora and fauna comprise the circulatory system. He describes this system as having a virus. And the virus is us. So one of the main themes relates to how we are going about destroying our earth. However, he has a number of themes and passes from one to the other. This poses a problem in that the narration seems disjointed. Most of the time, if you read each chapter as a single, it makes more sense.
This book was presented to our book club. Everyone read it. Some enjoyed it, some felt annoyed because they thought it was too wordy and disjointed. I agree, the book needs editing, but it is quite interesting and there is much to think about..
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