Reissued 15 years later with a new afterword from the author, this worldwide bestseller answers the ultimate question: what happens to the Earth when human beings disappear?
The World Without Us is a penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth. 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, Alan Weisman deftly illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
In this revelatory account, Alan Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items 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, and radio waves may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman draws on every field of science to present an environmental assessment like no other. This is narrative nonfiction at its finest—one of the most affecting portraits yet of humankind’s place on this planet.