Friday, January 4, 2008

Books That Seem To Matter...

...continuing the Daily Sprawl series on interesting books that generate thought-provoking ideas related to sprawl and sustainability topics, we offer our latest recommendation:

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Now remember: just because a book makes us think, doesn't mean we agree with its entire argument. That's certainly true in this case.

However, Weisman's premise is really fascinating: What would happen to Earth if humans were gone all at once?

Now, for starters, while a speculative exercise, The World Without Us is not something akin to I Am Legend. No mysterious viruses, aliens, or asteriods kill us off. Rather, Weisman simply consults with various experts to consider what would happen--if we all weren't here anymore--to that which we humans have created.

Some of the conclusions are quite interesting (and, frankly, not surprising). For instance, very little of our current built environment would last long against natural forces (save some of our most complex polymers).

Rather, if we go, that which would last longest would likely be our stone buildings of many years ago (apparently, along with most of our true ceramic-tiled bathrooms).

Anyhow, if you are looking for a good read, try The World Without Us. If nothing else, it will make you think about the big picture.

And, that's a good thing, right?


This video is kinda strange but quite an interesting animated summary of Weisman's book.