"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The World Without Us: Read This Book

This amazing book should be on everyone's To-Read list. The author, Alan Weisman, takes us on a tour of our world as it would be were humans to suddenly disappear -- wiped out by some plague, or even if our numbers were half or less of what they are now. There are some surprises. The earth doesn't have unlimited capacity to regenerate what we know, although there will always be something. He discusses what would become of the world's 441 (at time of publication) nuclear reactors, and the huge, city-sized crude oil refineries such as the one that stretches from Houston to the Gulf coast. It seems they alone could create the equivalent of a nuclear winter, if we left them alone without first shutting them down. He also explains the coming effects of global warming, what to expect and what to fear -- this is a book that can keep you awake nights, and it's not alarmism. Global warming is here. If you, like me, can't believe that our idiotic leaders have let it go this far -- weren't we all talking about this as far back as the 'sixties and 'seventies? -- You will appreciate this fine book.

I like a good end-of-the-world sci fi read, but this is not sci fi. In addition to his extensive research on many different areas that are impacted by us, the author makes a convincing case for population diminishment, not just zero growth.

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