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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The World Without Us - Alan Weisman


I added this book to my to read list after seeing the author on the Daily Show. He was an interesting speaker, and highlighted some of the more interesting points to this book, which examines what would happen if the human race were to suddenly disappear from the planet. It’s an alternately fascinating and depressing book.

The fascinating sections include an account of how nature could reclaim Manhattan Island, contrasted with how nature has returned to the nuclear zone around Chernobyl.

The depressing sections include a description of exactly what we’ve unleashed into the environment by creating such things as plastics. There’s a reason it took me more than a week to get through this book. The news isn’t all sweetness and light. We can never put the earth back to the way it was before we started mucking about with the environment.

I do recommend this book. It’s a fascinating look at what we’ve done, and the implications of those actions. Just don’t read it if you’re looking for an uplifting story.

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