The world without us

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Discover the impact of the human footprint in "The World Without Us." Take us off the Earth and what traces of us would linger? And which would disappear? Alan Weisman writes about which objects from today would vanish without us; how our pipes, wires, and cables would be pulverized into an unusual (but mere) line of red rock; why some museums and churches might be the last human creations standing; how rats and roaches would struggle without us; and how plastic, cast-iron, and radio waves may be our most lasting gifts to the planet. But "The World Without Us" is also about how parts of our world currently fare without a human presence (Chernobyl; a Polish old-growth forest, the Korean DMZ) and it looks at the human legacy on Earth, both fleeting and indelible. It's narrative nonfiction at its finest, taking an irresistible concept with gravity and a highly-readable touch. Some examples of what would happen: One year: Several more billions birds will live when airplane warning lights cease blinking. Twenty years: The water-soaked steel columns that support the street above New York's East Side would corrode and buckle. As Lexington Avenue caves in, it becomes a river. 100,000 years: CO2 will be back to pre-human levels (or it might take longer). Forever: Our radio waves, fragmented as they may be, will still be going out.
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Grouped Work ID f9a4320a-67a3-50b3-c7a9-6f776ca65c04
Grouping Title world without us
Grouping Author weisman alan
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-16 23:36:02PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-17 00:38:35AM

Solr Details

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author Alan Weisman
author_display Weisman, Alan
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Hermitage - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction

A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.

In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.

From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

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primary_isbn 9780312347291
publishDate 2007
record_details ils:CARL0000286861|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,|2007.|viii, 324 p. : ill. ; 25 cm., overdrive:5e3f2b21-8628-4837-bef7-8183a2ba746d|eBook|eBook||English|St. Martin's Press|2007|, overdrive:93fb1ad8-d19b-4616-83fc-98461564e9bb|eAudiobook|Audio Books||English|Macmillan Audio||
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subject_facet Human-animal relationships, Human-plant relationships, Material culture, Nature -- Effect of human beings on
title_display The world without us
title_full The World Without Us, The world without us / Alan Weisman
title_short The world without us
topic_facet Effect of human beings on, Human-animal relationships, Human-plant relationships, Material culture, Nature, Nonfiction, Science