The World Without US by Alan Weisman

This is a non fiction book largely concerning what would happen to the earth if homo sapians suddenly disappeared.  There were two directly competing TV specials on the same topic but the book is obviously much more in depth albeit without great CGI.

The book starts off my examining the only truly primeval forest in Europe, the Bialowieza Puszcza in between Poland and Belarus.  The author then proceeds to examine the world before people, which of our constructions will last longer than others, and the lasting impact of our existence.

The most interesting thing about the world before people is all the various gigantic animals that were hanging out.  Then when we came along and the African animals evolved alongside us and came to understand how dangerous we are. Large animals in other parts of the world had no idea what we can do so they were easy slaughter. This is why there are no elephants and such in the Americas.

The most frightening part of the book was the end times of a nuclear power plant.  Thousands of simultaneous meltdowns all over the world isn’t a very nice picture but I suppose Chernobyl was bad and the deer came back (just don’t look at the mutated offspring).

I did start to imagine what it would be like if I were stuck on a planet without any other people, and then I allow myself a few friends, and the fantasy goes on like that.

Anyway here is a useful fact for everyone:

From the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Sergi Scherbov. With regards to population growth, if we continue as is the population on the planet will be 9 Billion by the year 2050 (the current population is 6.5 Billion).  If each fertile female were limited to one child the population would be at 1.6 Billion by 2100.  I don’t think we should limit people’s offspring to one but the numbers how there should be a middle ground.



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