Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Review: The World Without Us

The World Without Us *Click here to rquest this book*The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
[Non-Fiction] This book didn't quite live up to its absolutely fascinating premise: what would happen to Planet Earth if all humans were to disappear overnight? The book was more of a series of loosely-connected articles on the importance of environmentalism than it was a cohesive work of non-fiction. Still, the book is full of interesting tidbits-- New York City would flood without humans to run its pumps; animals like rats that feed off our garbage wouldn't fare too well; Earth's 441 nuclear power plants would either melt or burn with no one to run them, spilling vast quantities of radioactive waste into the air; pet dogs would be killed off by predators, but cats would survive. The chapter about plastics (which as far as we know, never biodegrade-- they simply break down into smaller and smaller particles which are then consumed by animals as small as zooplankton) is particularly enlightening-slash-disturbing. Definitely worth a look, I just wish this book had been a little less disjointed. --Vicky

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