The World Without Us
by Alan Weisman
Humans often look at the world from their point of view. When we learn about the history of the earth, we are often most interested in the beginning of humanity and assume that life on this planet won’t continue without us. But Alan Weisman challenges us to think differently in The World Without Us. Weisman proposes the idea that one day humanity suddenly disappears and describes in detail, using New York City as the point of reference, what will happen to all of our man-made buildings and paraphernalia once people are no longer there to maintain them. Of course Weisman reminds us that in order to examine a future world without humanity, we must understand to the best of our ability the way the earth was before humanity. The creative descriptions of the development of life on earth and the evolution of humanity are not only informative but entertaining and allow the reader to think beyond his or her usual frame of reference. And the book ultimately begs the question: what is our final impact on this planet? Will our supposedly timeless architecture and art last beyond us? Or will plastic water bottles be the only things to remember us by? This book will be enjoyed by historians, environmentalists and naturalists alike.
This book will be discussed tonight, April 13 from 5 to 6 pm, as part of the Scott Arboretum’s “Nature’s Narratives” Book Discussion Group. Also check out the other must-reads as part of this group!