T h e World Without ALSO BY A L A N. WEISMAN An Echo in My Blood Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World La Frontera: The United States Border with. The World Without Us. Home · The World Without Us Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us · Read more. Without pumping, New York. City's subways will impassably flood. 7 days: The emergency fuel supply to diesel generators, which circulate cooling water.

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Journalist Alan Weisman has worked in 58 countries and on all seven continents. His books, including his bestselling The World Without Us. Print Friendly, PDF & Email In his bestseller, The World Without Us, journalist Alan Weisman describes a planet that regenerates itself. In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.

The World Without U.S.

The sheer titanic presence of a New York City resists efforts to picture it wasting away. The events of September showed only what human beings with explosive hardware can do, not crude processes like erosion or rot.

The breathtaking, swift collapse of the World Trade Center towers suggested more to us about their attackers than about mor- tal vulnerabilities that could doom our entire infrastructure. And even that once-inconceivable calamity was confined to just a few buildings. Never- theless, the time it would take nature to rid itself of what urbanity has wrought may be less than we might suspect.

The World Without Us

For its exhibit, the gov- ernment of Poland sent a statue of Wladyslaw Jagiello. The founder of the Bialowieza Puszcza had not been immortalized in bronze for preserv- ing a chunk of primeval forest six centuries earlier.

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For notifications: Join Our Mailing List. In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff 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.

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 Dalai Lama, and paleontologists — who describe a pre-human 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.

Publication Info: The position required him to teach only one class in the spring semester, and he was free to travel and conduct research the rest of the year.

The article raises the prospect of failing power plants, chemical plants, dams, and petroleum tanks. To expand this into a book, Weisman's agent found an editor and publisher at St. Martin's Press. Interviews with academics quoted in the book include biologist E. Wilson on the Korean Demilitarized Zone, [10] archaeologist William Rathje on plastics in garbage, [11] forest botanist Oliver Rackham on vegetative cover across Britain, [12] anthropologist Arthur Demarest on the crash of Mayan civilization , [13] paleobiologist Douglas Erwin on evolution, [14] and philosopher Nick Bostrom on Transhumanism.

Each chapter deals with a new topic, such as the potential fates of plastics, petroleum infrastructure, nuclear facilities, and artworks.

It is written from the point of view of a science journalist with explanations and testimonies backing his predictions.

There is no unifying narrative, cohesive single-chapter overview, or thesis. He interviews biologist E.

Wilson and visits with members of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement at the Korean Demilitarized Zone where few humans have penetrated since He profiles soil samples from the past years and extrapolates concentrations of heavy metals and foreign substances into a future without industrial inputs.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and implications for climatic change are likewise examined. The abandoned city of Pripyat , near Chernobyl With material from previous articles, Weisman uses the fate of the Mayan civilization to illustrate the possibility of an entrenched society vanishing and how the natural environment quickly conceals evidence. Weisman finds that their structures crumble as weather does unrepaired damage and other life forms create new habitats. In Turkey, Weisman contrasts the construction practices of the rapidly growing Istanbul , as typical for large cities in less developed countries, with the underground cities in Cappadocia.

Due to a large demand for housing in Istanbul much of it was developed quickly with whatever material was available and could collapse in a major earthquake or other natural disaster. He explains that sewers would clog, underground streams would flood subway corridors, and soils under roads would erode and cave in.Gradually, bacteria will feed on residues of fuel, laundry solvents, and lubricants, reducing them to morebenign organic hydrocarbons—although a whole spectrum of man-made novelties, ranging from certain pesticides to plasticizers to insulators, will linger for many millennia until microbes evolve to process them.

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Now let's see what you've got. After nearly all the buffalo were gone, save a few kept as curiosities, the white settlers took advantage of the plains that the Indians' ancestors had opened, and filled them with cattle.

When people got out of Africa and Asia and reached other parts of the world, all hell broke loose.

In Gombe, the opposite has apparently occurred. Oysters, clams, quahogs, crabs, and lobsters were so abundant that harvesting them was effortless.

The Great African Rift Valley is the continuation of a tectonic parting of the ways that began even earlier in what is now Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, then ran south to form the course of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. If so, why does Africa still have its famous big-game menagerie? On either side lies some of the best soil in Africa, planted in forest above and in corn, beans, leeks, cabbage, tobacco, and tea below.

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