The World Without Us

20 Oct
https://i0.wp.com/www.bewilderingstories.com/issue266/world_without.jpg 

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.

Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff 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, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

 

>> Read an Exce
The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York’s subways would start eroding the city’s foundations, anhttps://i0.wp.com/infosthetics.com/archives/world_without_us2.jpgd how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically-treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. 

https://i0.wp.com/www.mondolithic.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/focus-poland_warsaw-without-us.jpg

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 – who describe a pre-human world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths – Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.

From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl),

Weisman reveals Earth’s tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman’s narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that doesn’t depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly-readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

(http://www.worldwithoutus.com/

It makes an interesting point how the most lasting artifact will be a  floating island of  of polymers (plastic) and how as human beings we will make a greater impact on the world by drinking a bottle of water than most any other artistic or social achievement.

Lesson Idea:

Students can draw or paint or Photoshop what their communities will look like after humans are gone in increments of 100, 1,000 and 1,000,ooo years later. Possibly take a photo of some where in their community as a reference. Or use a reference photo of another significant place.

This would be a great catalyst to create discussions and art surrounding  how we impact the wold around us, the ecosystem, and a more in depth perspective on how small of a place we have in the history of earth and create a sense of a for the amazing world we live in.
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