Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The World Without Us - Reviewed

The World Without UsThe World Without Us by Alan Weisman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is amazingly informative and will have you looking about you and pondering exactly what would happen if *poof* we weren't around any more. He pulls from a a vast pool of sources and has toured all around the world to draw his conclusions. You'll learn how a house will decay over the decades, what will happen to New York city if the subway pumps turn off, how a forest will return, and how long it will take for all of our petroleum products to degrade. I particularly enjoyed the time he spent in Polish forests, the Pleistocene, and Texas. This book will stay with me for a long time and will have a permanent place on my shelf.

My only reservation about this book is that it is, in the end, very misanthropic. Weisman seems to see little of redeeming value in humanity. He even manages to find the good side of war: not only does it reduce the human population, but it also creates demilitarized zones and no-man's lands (such as in Korea and on Cyprus) where wildlife can reemerge. Regardless, I recommend this book, but only if you're prepared for a heavy read.

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