Summer readings #3

27641318.JPG I've completed reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It took a while, both because it is a demanding read and because I've been busy the last weeks with handy work on my house.

My general impression is that this is a book well worth reading. But it won't be very uplifting if you can't zoom out properly and see Earth as a habitat for all species, not only humans.

The message is that the planet will do just fine without us. And depending on your perspective you'll find that very comforting or scary as hell. I mostly find it comforting, but quickly find myself immersed in thoughts of how we – a supposedly very intelligent species – put ourselves in this mess. And seemingly can't get us out of it.

The book is full of interesting examples of places that could be "prototypes" of life without humans. Oddly interesting, these places flourish with animals and plants. Odd because these places are the mine infested DMZ between North and South Korea, an abandoned resort after the war on Cyprus and Chernobyl.

You'll also find an abundance of other insight-giving facts in the book. Such as if all humans were to adopt a one-child-per-family policy today, the human population would halve by 2075. That could make a serious difference for us… But would obviously challenge the idea of eternal growth…

Lastly a quote from Les Knight in the book: "By definition, we're the alien invader. Everywhere except Africa. Every time Homo Sapiens went anywhere else, things went extinct." Les actually wants to phase out the human race. Non-coercively. But still…


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