Thursday, April 15, 2010

The World Without Us

An article on animal and plant life in the vicinity of Chernobyl--unexpectedly thriving in the absence of humans in spite of the radiation level--led author Alan Weisman to expand the question to what would happen if people disappeared everywhere.  Assuming we didn't destroy ourselves in some messy way that would affect the rest of the planet, but were just quietly removed from the picture as of now, what would come next? 

Some of the speculation is optimistic, some not so much.  Talking about what might happen to landscapes or species without any further human interference requires a good deal of background on what we've done to them already, and some of that made difficult reading.  The prospect of what's likely to happen next assuming that humans carry on as we've been doing lately is mostly outside the scope of the book, though the author did have an interesting (and, I think, extremely unlikely) suggestion for how not to screw up the world even more.  Very interesting book.

Originally posted at MySpace 8/16/07

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