Alan Weisman The World Without Us

ISBN 13: 9780753513576

The World Without Us

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9780753513576: The World Without Us

Discover the impact of the human footprint in The World Without Us. Take us off the Earth and what traces of us would linger? And which would disappear? Alan Weisman writes about which objects from today would vanish without us; how our pipes, wires, and cables would be pulverized into an unusual (but mere) line of red rock; why some museums and churches might be the last human creations standing; how rats and roaches would struggle without us; and how plastic, cast-iron, and radio waves may be our most lasting gifts to the planet.
            But The World Without Us is also about how parts of our world currently fare without a human presence (Chernobyl; a Polish old-growth forest, the Korean DMZ) and it looks at the human legacy on Earth, both fleeting and indelible. It's narrative nonfiction at its finest, taking an irresistible concept with gravity and a highly-readable touch.
            Some examples of what would happen:
·   One year: Several more billions birds will live when airplane warning lights cease blinking.
·   Twenty years: The water-soaked steel columns that support the street above New York's East Side would corrode and buckle. As Lexington Avenue caves in, it becomes a river.
·   100,000 years: CO2 will be back to pre-human levels (or it might take longer).
·   Forever: Our radio waves, fragmented as they may be, will still be going out.

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From the Inside Flap:

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.   "This is one of the grandest thought experiments of our time, a tremendous feat of imaginative reporting!"--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future   “The imaginative power of The World Without Us is compulsive and nearly hypnotic--make sure you have time to be kidnapped into Alan Weisman’s alternative world before you sit down with the book, because you won’t soon return. This is a text that has a chance to change people, and so make a real difference for the planet.”--Charles Wohlforth, author of L.A. Times Book Prize-winning The Whale and the Supercomputer
 
“Alan Weisman offers us a sketch of where we stand as a species that is both illuminating and terrifying. His tone is conversational and his affection for both Earth and humanity transparent.”--Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams
 
“An exacting account of the processes by which things fall apart. The scope is breathtaking...the clarity and lyricism of the writing itself left me with repeated gasps of recognition about the human condition. I believe it will be a classic.”--Dennis Covington, author of National Book Award finalist Salvation on Sand Mountain
 
“Fascinating, mordant, deeply intelligent, and beautifully written, The World Without Us depicts the spectacle of humanity’s impact on the planet Earth in tragically poignant terms that go far beyond the dry dictates of science. This is a very important book for a species playing games with its own destiny.”--James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

About the Author:

Alan Weisman is an award-winning journalist whose reports have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, Discover, on NPR, and more. He has been a contributing editor to The Los Angeles Times Magazine and is Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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? Just how long will our greatest achievements and our biggest mistakes last after we are gone? 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 react to our disappearance and wrestles with some of the key concerns of our time to offer an intriguing glimpse of the real legacy of our existence on the planet. Compelling.jammed packed with fascinating what if s - Guardian . The results of this huge thought-experiment are both fascinating and surprising - Daily Mail . Flesh-creepingly good fun.an expert-led fantasia of the post-human planet - Independent . A wonderful idea.This is a terrific book - Scotsman . Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780753513576

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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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? Just how long will our greatest achievements and our biggest mistakes last after we are gone? 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 react to our disappearance and wrestles with some of the key concerns of our time to offer an intriguing glimpse of the real legacy of our existence on the planet. Compelling.jammed packed with fascinating what if s - Guardian . The results of this huge thought-experiment are both fascinating and surprising - Daily Mail . Flesh-creepingly good fun.an expert-led fantasia of the post-human planet - Independent . A wonderful idea.This is a terrific book - Scotsman . Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780753513576

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Book Description Ebury Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The World without Us, Alan Weisman, 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? Just how long will our greatest achievements and our biggest mistakes last after we are gone? 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 react to our disappearance and wrestles with some of the key concerns of our time to offer an intriguing glimpse of the real legacy of our existence on the planet. 'Compelling.jammed packed with fascinating 'what if's" - "Guardian". 'The results of this huge thought-experiment are both fascinating and surprising' - "Daily Mail". 'Flesh-creepingly good fun.an expert-led fantasia of the post-human planet' - "Independent". 'A wonderful idea.This is a terrific book' - "Scotsman". Bookseller Inventory # B9780753513576

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