The World Without Us

The World Without Us If Human Beings Disappeared Instantaneously From The Earth, What Would Happen How Would The Planet Reclaim Its Surface What Creatures Would Emerge From The Dark And Swarm How Would Our Treasured Structures Our Tunnels, Our Bridges, Our Homes, Our Monuments Survive The Unmitigated Impact Of A Planet Without Our Intervention In His Revelatory, Bestselling Account, Alan Weisman Draws On Every Field Of Science To Present An Environmental Assessment Like No Other, The Most Affecting Portrait Yet Of Humankind S Place On This Planet

See this thread for information. Alan Weisman s reports from around the world have appeared in Harper s, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Orion, Wilson Quarterly, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, Discover, Audubon, Cond Nast Traveler, and in many anthologies, including Best American Science Writing 2006 His most recent book, The World Without Us, a bestseller translated into 30 languages, was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2007 by both Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, the 1 Nonfiction Audiobook of 2007 by iTunes a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction, for the Orion Prize, and a Book Sense 2008 Honor Book His previous books include An Echo In My Blood Gaviotas A Village to Reinvent the World 10th anniversary edition available from Chelsea Green and La Frontera The United States Border With Mexico He has also written the introduction for The World We Have by Thich Nhat Hanh, available this fall from Parallax Press A senior producer for Homelands Productions, Weisman s documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media Each spring, he leads an annual field program in international journalism at the University of Arizona, where is Laureate Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies He and his wife, sculptor Beckie Kravetz, live in western Massachusetts.

❁ [EPUB] ✹ The World Without Us By Alan Weisman ➚ –
  • Paperback
  • 416 pages
  • The World Without Us
  • Alan Weisman
  • English
  • 22 September 2019
  • 9780312427900

10 thoughts on “The World Without Us

  1. says:

    If you are like me The World Without Us will cause you want to do one of two things A Find a remote wilderness and build a cabin Add a few chickens, goats, cows ect and live off the land with as much peace of mind you can muster until man destroys the planet Or B Say AWWW F K IT , and put all regular, old fashioned light bulbs in all your lamps and turn them on Leave your house, with the air conditioner running, get in your Hummer, and drive across the country..just because you can Eat as much factory farmed meat as you can stand on the way cause you are crazy like that Steal a truck loaded with nuclear waste and drive it Thelma and Louise style into the Grand Canyon, committing a spectacular environmental suicide I feel better now This book is a very good book, but it is a tad, well, depressing I recommend it because not only do I want to drag you down with me of its important information We all need to be informed The World Without Us examines what the earth would be like if man were to just disappear How long would it take the earth to rid itself of all traces of us Turns out not very long geologically, but bronze statues and Barbie and Ken in the landfill will stand the test of time One point the author makes, our problems well most of them could be fixed, or greatly improved, if all women of child bearing age would agree to have just one child I don t see this happening but, I do think maybe we should stop glorifying women who have litters of children That would be a start.

  2. says:

    Yeah, what you ve heard about this book is true It really is very good, very scary, very depressing AND it s written entirely in Spurdlish, a language I just made up that consists only of the letter t If it only enabled fire ants to slowly liquify Dick Cheney, it would be perfect.Okay, I m kidding about the Spurdlish, but, yeah, great book Weisman doesn t just speculate on what happens to your house or the NYC subways or the pyramids once we ve all been raptured off to Heaven Hint That expensive kitchen remodel you did Hopefully it s in a color that raptors enjoy The book is really about what we re doing to the planet, and how long our nefarious activities will outlast us The news is both good and bad nature tends to adapt to just about anything think wildflowers blooming in Chernobyl but there are still some future scenarios that are pretty hellish Yes More hellish than Boca Raton, Florida Between the PCBs, the fluorocarbons, the dioxins, the plutonium, the global warming, and those uncounted zillions of plastic microparticles now gutting everything from krill to blue whales, the planet s in for a rough ride for a while, even if aliens appear in the skies tomorrow and suck us up through the galaxy s biggest straw.Weisman writes quite well and the panoply of places he visits is worth the price of admission reserves in Kenya, the Korean DMZ, the Panama Canal, the American Southwest, Turkish caves, Pacific atolls, etc., etc I m glad someone could write about them before they re swallowed up in Pepsi bottles and plastic bags It s tempting, when reading the book, to take the long view of things, that the Earth endures and that if we disappear from our own foolishness, it s no great loss In fact, it s hard to escape the conclusion that we deserve extinction for all that we re doing And yet that seems to me to be both simplistic and disingenuous For all the evil we ve done through our greed, our cruelty, and our shortsightedness, we have produced some real marvels, whether it s the Parthenon or a newborn child We are a remarkable species, perhaps unreplaceable, and it will be a loss to the biosphere when we go Of course, in the end all things must pass, as some Liverpool philosopher once put it, but the end is not yet here and there s still much to enjoy Do those who wish an end to humanity really believe what they say Who amongst them is willing to commit suicide for the sake of a better planet Let s hope that we gain the wisdom to enjoy it all, and preserve it for a better future.

  3. says:

    the world without us would be a better place well, not for the dogs they d die out pretty quickly and since dogs are the greatest things on the planet, it gives one pause but, no the badness of all the bad shit we ve done outweighs even the goodness of the dogs the kanamits aren t gonna serve us anytime soon, a virus probably couldn t take everyone out, war certainly won t so here are two options 1 we simply stop procreating and peacefully die off, leaving behind a near not total remember the dog situation paradise www.vhemt.org2 we commit to the four pillars of the church of euthanasia suicide, abortion, cannibalism, sodomy are some of my favorite people on the planet 1 i m pro abortion.2 i m vegetarian but could be convinced to eat a human way before a sweet, gentle cow or pig 3 i m pro sodomy 4 i don t really wanna kill myself but i have no problem if you want to in fact, you should everyone should kill themselves except for me and rosario dawson we d live out our lives with each other and the dogs it d be me, rosario, and five millions dogs traveling the globe, swimming in lakes climbing trees, rolling around on grassy fields at night the dogs would ball up together and create the world s largest and warmest mattress for me my girl and then, after a few decades, we d all run indian chasing bison style off a cliff finis.

  4. says:

    I enjoyed the premise, but the execution was a snoozer I m not sure if it was the author s soporific style, or that I was let down by his overly repetitive rundown on floral succession asparagus and trumpet vine take hold as dingleberries and snorfle weed provide shade Over and over it felt like the author was attempting to display the fact that he did thorough investigation with environmental biologists and was flexing his bio street cred, After the first 4 times, the remaining 18 were overkill.I did learn that there s a voluntary human extinction movement, something I found interesting and hadn t heard of before Of course, he only devoted 1 paragraph of the book to something that was actually novel and interesting I also enjoyed the exploration of human works in a human less scenario what would happen to subways, oil wells, nuclear power plants, statues, domestic farms, dams, etc but felt that the author took few risks For example, he might have investigated what the probabilities were for a human extinction scenario I understand that that may not have been crucial to his discussion of a world already without humans, but without discussing what would bring about that scenario, the book is little than one of those semi drunk, what if imagination games you play while sitting at a bar If you were trapped on a deserted island To say the book ended with a whimper would be an understatement It felt like he was just tired of writing, or that his editor said he needed to put the thing to bed Either way, it was mildly entertaining and mildly educational, meaning it was also mildly a waste of time.

  5. says:

    In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman attempts to answer the question of what would happen to the earth if, for whatever reason, humans were to completely disappear tomorrow While it s a fascinating premise, one that Weisman undoubtedly put a lot of time and effort into, the execution falters Inevitably, it s hard to stretch what was initially a short essay into a full book, but that s how The World Without Us got going Structurally, the book is broken down into four parts with chapters discussing what would happen to the earth, both in the manmade and in what man has altered in nature, including cities, power plants, nukes, art, farmland, bacteria, animals and creatures of the ocean In reading this book it s clear that Weisman realized that, a that it s strange to read a book without any people and b in order to predict the future, you must delve into the past As a result of this, The World Without Us is about history than the future Weisman interviews a number of people from all walks of life viewpoints and there s a fat bibliography at the end He strives for accuracy in his predictions, even though it s based on what we currently know It s like when you see a science fiction movie all the future computers are still based on the technology we have available now Though Weisman succeeds in not being preachy, the theories he presents are still debatable There are a few areas I d argue with him and since time has gone by since publication, recent history is contending to debate with his theories, too In certain parts though, as with the section on Galveston, TX hit with a massive hurricane in 1900, then again in 2008, a year after the book was published , Weisman s assertions remain true So what s the problem then The World Without Us has a great premise, is well researched and historically accurate depending on who you ask today , but it s not all that interesting It seems like Alan Weisman realized it, too, as the hook chapters to each part are far interesting than the remainder of each section save the terse final part which is fairly solid throughout You get drawn in by a few fascinating chapters, then you have to wade through the meandering text until the next hook spikes interest I d find my mind wandering, wishing it were of dystopian fiction based on environmentalism Maybe that means I should just stay away from nonfiction science books where inevitably, after enough time has gone by and enough new data has popped up, it ll be laughed off the shelf Two stars Barely.

  6. says:

    Well written and researched exploration of the premise of how the world would change if humans suddenly disappeared from the earth This ostensible absurd premise turns out to be a very useful lens to view many important environmental and ecological issues Several chapters, such as those on plastics and nuclear waste, are distressing as their impacts are incalculably long lasting The ones on how fast pockets of biodiversity might spread or how quickly highly stressed areas might recover are reassuring Weisman gets a lot of help from an army of experts and does well to make the focus of each chapter come from the first person perspectives of relevant field or laboratory scientists The diverse riffs on urban sites include an abandoned city in the Turkish zone of Cyprus, which after a few decades appears to be disassembled surprisingly fast by the forces of nature The virtual disappearance of great Mayan cities into the jungle is another fascinating example of the ephemeral quality of civilizations The human caused extinctions of so many species are obviously not reversible, but the fate of domestic animals, agricultural species, and alien species introduced far and wide make great subjects of his creative speculations from historical and evolutionary perspectives A consideration of what human made structures will last the longest turns up some surprises The Panama Canal apparently won t last long, but many structures made of stone, bronze, or ceramic will persist until crumbled by another ice age or tectonic folding A nice coda to the book is a reflection on how the examples of human literature and music sent out of the solar system with the Voyager spacecraft will likely outlast the sun.Update Weisman is back on the job pondering Earth s fate with a follow up that puts people back into the picture I look forward to reading his account of the challenge of overpopulation of our planet, published at the end of Sept 2013 Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth

  7. says:

    This book is a tour de force of what ifs based on scientific facts mixed with scientific guesses The premise is unusual..what if humans suddenly were no longer on the earth Not dead by plague, war, or natural disaster but simply disappearing tomorrow, leaving no bodies But what humans leave behind will change the Earth as we know it, forever.Environmentalist have been fighting battles to save the planet for years but the damage has partially been done Huge whirlpools of garbage, miles wide, already dot both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the majority of the material in those floating garbage dumps is plastic based The author gives quite a bit of information about what effect non biodegradables will have on every thing from plant life to animal life remember, only humans have disappeared.The second huge consequence of human progress will be the nuclear missiles, power plants, and nuclear waste that remains with no one left to regulate it to prevent detonation Humans have already gotten a bit of a taste as to what might happen based on the Chernobyl accident Magnify it worldwide and it is beyond comprehension.Animal life will continue but not in the form that we now recognize, as species struggle to adapt to changing weather patterns and availability of food sources..reindeer in France and elephants in Russia are possible scenarios.This book is not too scientific for the layman while still delving into scientific thought and theory An engrossing look at what the human race may leave behind which is, to say the least, horrifying Recommended.

  8. says:

    The Coda last chapter should probably be read first as it sums up the thrust of the book it s not what the description title suggest It started out as billed, a look at what the world would look like if we disappeared, but devolved into a platform for an environmental rant with some snide political remarks thrown in If it was a little better balanced thorough or if it offered any solutions, I d like it since I m a tree hugger, too It s generally negative, though He doesn t seem to like the human race much It was great that his examples are drawn from all around the world, but if this wasn t an audio book, I would have abandoned it by the half mark Weisman obviously isn t a scientist, although he spent time with some fascinating ones in preparing this book Too many of his statements are poorly phrased his presentation shows far too much bias I m not a scientist either, but I knew enough about several topics to catch him did a bit of research several other times his logic seemed strained Both literally figuratively, he often can t see the forest for the trees Worse, he often doesn t try, but anyone with a modicum of curiosity will find a variety of interesting ideas to research on their own.He does a great job in showing that many of our large works are not as permanent as they seem Most exist only because of continual, often massive maintenance Perhaps the best example of this is the Panama Canal He devotes a fair amount of space to discussing just how quickly the rain jungle would wash it away Unfortunately, the entire section is weakened by his snide outline of U.S foreign policy, a topic he had no business addressing in this book, especially in such a cavalier fashion It simply proved his bias.Some of our changes to the environment are obvious horrible, the best example being the ocean sinks coral beds that are choked with plastics other polymers Some are invisible, but just as or deadly, will last practically forever, such as in the case of dioxins PCBs Others may make radical changes that will last for centuries, such as lime or other changes to the soil that change the order types of regrowth, if we were to disappear These he condemns without fully discussing how much the exact composition really matters from the larger perspective, though.I m no happier than he is about the extinction of the American Chestnut or Passenger Pigeon, but other species have taken their ecological niches, for better or worse I doubt the squirrels are upset over having to eat acorns hickory nuts rather than chestnuts, though Rock doves starlings have filled in for the Passenger Pigeon, haven t they If not, what is still out of balance I wish he would have addressed this fully, but much of it is guess work he tended to just write it off as bad I was intrigued by his examples of how much man changed nature even before the Industrial Revolution For instance, each wave of immigrants to the Americas has made huge changes Clovis Man first wave may well be the cause of the extinction of the mega mammals either through hunting or disease, a rather interesting parallel with our fourth wave immigration its effects on the second third wave immigrants AKA Native Americans , although he only vaguely alludes to it He also points out some other fallacies in our current perceptions about what natural ecosystems were like over the ages He didn t go into enough detail on some For instance, it would have been nice if he had researched desertification a bit He points out the most obvious causes, but missed others He especially missed all the efforts aimed at eradicating it which is far instructive for a natural recovery.Unfortunately, his agenda continually skews limits his facts For instance, his distaste for electrical generation disrupting the natural environment is obvious Coal nuclear plants are targeted many times over the course of the book He never mentions what the alternatives are besides doing without, though Hydro electric dams wind turbines are never mentioned at all, yet he spends a lot of time pointing out that radio cell towers kill possibly a billion birds each year with their flashing red lights, electromagnetic radiation, guy wires Wind turbines combine not only all the hazards of the others, but add in spinning blades Unlike the other towers where dead birds are usually quickly cleaned up by scavengers, wind turbines often have so many piled up that crews have to remove them I can only conclude that he likes them because they re clean energy thus he again proves his bias.Many of his opinions on the survival of species don t make sense to me In the beginning he says our cattle, goats, horses, dogs will probably die out once we are gone yet there are plenty of examples of all of these species going feral successfully He doesn t mention pigs or sheep at all, but they are two of the most extreme examples Feral hogs are notoriously capable destructive Now a real problem in my area while most sheep would die immediately He does discuss the dangers of the common house cat to the environment, although they are in a different section, one dealing with his love of birds Toward the end he changed this somewhat briefly mentioned pigs So overall, I can t give this book the high rating some of the facts research deserve They re just too badly skewed As food for thought, it has some points of interest, but most facts every opinion should be taken with a large dose of salts It s certainly not definitive, but could serve as a springboard for thorough research on any topics of interest.

  9. says:

    Detailed journey into an again very nature bound, deserted futurePlease note that I put the original German text at the end of this review Just if you might be interested.A bonanza of ideas for science fiction and downscale world scenarios that describes the various aspects of the tooth of the time following a fictional extinction of humans.The explanation begins with the immediate knock on effects after day X, with incoming indoor plants and water rich mines and infrastructures such as subways being among the first concomitants before the emergency generators in all the facilities necessary for the maintenance of a western industrialized society run out of fuel and all formerly regulated processes become independent After all highly reactive and dangerous operations have come to a spectacular end, a decay of relatively inferior constructed infrastructure begins, as compared to the buildings of antiquity and the Middle Ages were built of natural materials Do not even consider reinforced concrete, which actually implies the name One of the crucial factors here is the penetration of water after rotting roofs, which significantly increases the speed of disassembly At the same time, to the slow disappearance and decay of all civilizing achievements, nature enters the scene and conquers both once their entranced areas back and, at the same time, actively participates in advance of the decay In this case, plants are involved in the fouling of vegetation and the immense power of their roots, as well as microorganisms and, to a lesser extent, animals themselves.In the broadest sense, the description of late revenge of sentient beings, which could save themselves from the extinction of their species by man and now fervently help to erase the last evidence of its existence from the face of the earth And in a relatively short time, after a few hundred or even a few thousand years, nothing remains of the grandiose structures of the former crown of creation The long term greetings of people to the future in the form of industrial plants and nuclear power plants are also explained, and the aspect of highly dangerous effects of malfunctions and the resulting masses of GAUs in massive industrial complexes is one of the most remarkable ideas of the work At such sites, accidents occurred despite human maintenance and control.The absence of all maintenance measures would result in widespread pollution of the environment within a short period of time Even secure and well protected sites, repositories and systems built with high quality building materials would pay tribute to the passing of the years and at some point be damaged, rusted and thus time bombs What bothers me is the lack of visible distinction between fiction, proven facts, and previously unconfirmed assumptions, which makes it difficult to judge the book s reading value So it is difficult to recognize, which is the fantasy of Weisman or historically proven and observed by the example of extinct high cultures facts Other authors solve this problem by incorporating fictive short stories clearly labeled as such, to illustrate these, or by referring to sources in individual thoughts and passages Unfortunately, the various aspects are explained individually, but not at the end assembled into a single image of the respective levels of degeneracy, including all elements, which could have given a better and vivid overview.Besides, the extreme penchant for accurate explanation is sometimes lengthy and overweight concerning the actually eponymous book content On the way to the downfall in all its stages has been explained many times fictional and including real factors The description of the exact situation after the final decline in the distant future, the reader s actual expectation of the real life world of animals and plants and other effects fall through the rust and take barely one eighth on nearly 400 pages What a pity, as it would have made no difference due to the lack of differentiation between utopia and reality, even , spread of the hoped for by the relevant reading client future scenarios and present them in detail and with the inclusion of facts on better footing foundation Unfortunately, in otherwise excellent work, a lot of potentials is given away, a weighting in favor of less unnecessary detail and promised content would have done very well.Detaillierte Reise in eine wieder sehr naturverbundene, menschenleere Zukunft Eine Goldgrube an Ideen f r durch Science Fiction und Weltuntergansszenarien affektierte Leser, die die verschiedensten Aspekte des Zahnes der Zeit nach einem fiktionalen Aussterben der Menschen beschreibt Die Erl uterung beginnt mit den unmittelbaren Folgewirkungen nach Tag X, wobei eingehende Zimmerpflanzen und mit Wasser vollaufende Bergwerke und Infrastrukturen wie U Bahnen zu den ersten Begleiterscheinungen z hlen, bevor den Notstromaggregaten in s mtlichen, f r die Aufrechterhaltung einer westlichen Industriegesellschaft notwendigen Anlagen, der Treibstoff ausgeht und sich alle bisher regulierten Prozesse verselbstst ndigen Nachdem s mtliche hochreaktiven und gef hrlichen Vorg nge ein spektakul res Ende gefunden haben, beginnt ein steter Zerfall von, im Vergleich zu den aus Naturmaterialien errichteten Bauwerken der Antike und des Mittelalters, verh ltnism ig minderwertig konstruierter Infrastruktur H lt doch selbst Stahlbeton nicht, was der Name eigentlich impliziert Einer der entscheidenden Faktoren hierbei ist das Eindringen des Wassers nach dem Verrotten der D cher, durch die sich die Demontagegeschwindigkeit wesentlich erh ht Gleichzeitig, zum langsamen Schwinden und Verfallen aller zivilisatorischen Errungenschaften, tritt die Natur auf den Plan und erobert sowohl einst ihr entrungene Gebiete zur ck als auch gleichzeitig bei einem Voranschreiten des Verfalls tatkr ftig mitzuwirken Hierbei sind sowohl Pflanzen dank ihres f r bereits angeschlagene Geb ude verheerenden Gewichts bei Bewuchs und der immensen Kraft ihrer Wurzeln, als auch Mikroorganismen und in geringem Ausma , Tiere selbst beteiligt Im weitesten Sinn die Beschreibung einer sp ten Rache der Lebewesen, die sich vor der Ausl schung ihrer Art durch den Menschen retten konnten und nun voller Inbrunst helfen, die letzten Belege seiner Existenz vom Antlitz der Erde tilgen Und in verh ltnism ig kurzer Zeit noch dazu, nach ein paar hundert bis paar tausend Jahren ist nicht mehr das Geringste brig von den grandiosen Bauwerken der einstigen Krone der Sch pfung.Auch die Langzeitgr e der Menschen an die Zukunft in Form von Industrieanlagen und Atomkraftwerken werden erl utert und der Aspekt hochgradig gef hrlicher Auswirkungen von Fehlfunktionen und daraus resultierenden, massenhaften GAUs in gigantischen Industriekomplexen z hlt zu einer der bemerkenswertesten Ideen des Werks An solchen St tten kam es trotz menschlicher Wartung und Kontrolle zu Unf llenEin Ausbleiben s mtlicher Instandhaltungsma nahmen w rde innerhalb eines kurzen Zeitraums zur weitl ufigen Verseuchung der Umwelt f hren Selbst gesicherte und in gut gesch tzten Lagen errichtete Endlagerst tten, Depots und mit hochwertigen Baustoffen errichtete Systeme w rden dem Voranschreiten der Jahre Tribut zollen und irgendwann besch digt, verrostet und damit zu Zeitbomben werden.Was st rt, ist die fehlende sichtbare Unterscheidung von Fiktion, belegten Fakten und bisher unbest tigten Vermutungen, wodurch man bei der Beurteilung des Lehrwerts des Buches leider hart mit dem Autor ins Gericht gehen muss So f llt es schwer zu erkennen, wobei es sich um die Fantasie Weismans oder um historisch belegte und am Beispiel untergegangener Hochkulturen beobachtete Tatsachen handelt Andere Autoren l sen dies, indem sie als solche deutlich gekennzeichnete, fiktive Kurzgeschichten einbauen, um Thesen zu veranschaulichen, oder indem bei einzelnen Gedanken und Abschnitten mittels Fu note auf Quellen verwiesen wird Leider werden die verschiedenen Aspekte zwar einzeln erl utert, aber nicht am Ende zu einem einheitlichen Bild der jeweiligen Degenerationsstufen unter Einbezug aller Aspekte zusammengef gt, was einen besseren und anschaulicheren berblick h tte vermitteln k nnen.Daneben ist der extreme Hang zur minuti sen Erl uterung mitunter langatmig und auch im Verh ltnis zu den eigentlich titelgebenden Buchinhalt bergewichtet Denn der Weg in den Untergang in all seinen Stadien wurde schon vielfach fiktional und auch unter Einbeziehung realer Faktoren erl utert Die Beschreibung der genauen Situation nach dem endg ltigen Niedergang in ferner Zukunft, die eigentlich dem Leser suggerierte Erwartung auf die genauen Lebenswelten von Tieren und Pflanzen und andere Auswirkungen fallen durch den Rost und nehmen auf knapp 400 Seiten kaum ein Achtel ein Was schade ist, da es aufgrund der mangelnden Differenzierung zwischen Utopie und Realit t keinen Unterschied gemacht h tte, noch mehr der, von der einschl gigen Leseklientel erhofften Zukunftsszenarien auszubreiten und diese vor allem detaillierter und unter Einbeziehung von Fakten auf besser fu endem Fundament darzustellen So wird leider in einem ansonsten feinen Werk viel Potential verschenkt, dem eine Gewichtung zugunsten weniger unn tiger Detailf lle und mehr versprochenem Inhalt sehr gut getan h tte.

  10. says:

    I am disappointed that in spite of the tremendous scope, the book never manages to rise beyond the past and the present and truly explore its potential that of imagining a post human world, far into the future Most of the book was about the world before humans and about how we have changed it This was interesting and informative, but was not really the reason I started the book and was not what the dust jacket promised.But, despite the shortcomings or rather the under delivery, it still manages simultaneously to be a celebration of our existence, a warning about our imminent departure, a swan song for humanity, a warning for a world on the brink and also an evocative and imaginative pointer on our place in this world And for that, this book is worth reading.If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos E O Wilson

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