From five minutes to five billion years: an astonishing vision of Earth without humans. (Paperback)
Picture a world from which we all suddenly disappeared. Tomorrow. Noted journalist and professor Alan Weisman does just this in a book that is a tour de force of investigative writing and unputdownable reading.The World Without Us examines what would happen in both the immediate and distant future to the land, the animals (guess what? cockroaches would not survive for long), the oceans, our cities, our art and all manner of things we take for granted. Would the seas again teem with fish? Would our concrete jungles crumble into natural ones? How long, if ever, would it take for our collective footprint to fade away?
Examining the minute, fascinating details of how things deteriorate (or don’t), Alan Weisman describes how seemingly indestructible pipes will be pulverized into rock, why some of our churches may be the last buildings standing and how plastic may be one of our “gifts” that keeps on giving. Much more than a physical cataloguing, however,The World Without Us takes us into places we’ve abandoned, including Chernobyl, the Korean DMZ and an ancient Polish forest, to see how they’ve fared since we left. He talks to numerous scientists, engineers, ecologists, biologists and architects to get a realistic view of our impact on this planet. And he asks, since we’re imagining, why not think of a way for nature to prosper that doesn’t depend on our demise?
At a time when we are seriously examining our impact on the earth, The World Without Us is essential reading. With its irresistible premise, intelligent mix of disciplines and candid tone, this mesmerizing book is a provocative and timely future classic.