Saturday, November 29, 2008

A necessary "read"...

Currently reading a most fascinating book,
"The World Without Us", by Alan Weisman – it’s gripping! The author, an award-winning journalist and Laureate Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, has written what many consider to be one of the most compelling books to date on issues related to the environment – and our dramatic effect on a planet that has shared its existance with us for only the briefest period of time. Weisman details what would likely happen if humankind, were, in an instant, to disappear from the face of the earth. I can tell you, it’s a “page-turner”! The premise of the book has been described as “one of the most ambitious ‘thought experiments’ ever”.

Weisman’s research describes the effect that we humans have had on the earth and the lasting changes that will, perhaps, be the legacy of our existence. It is clear that, over time, nature will always claim back our human constructions just as moss attempts to grow on our Island rooftops and driveways. The attached photo, for example, taken from the kayak cockpit shows a once-comfortable habitation swept away in a storm, now in the grasp of the ocean. Our complex infrastructures, both above ground and below ground, are, in fact, only fragile extensions of our industry – their life spans measured in, at best, a few generations.

What is also clear, however, is that many of the substances we have created, most notably plastics and polymers, will last pretty much "forever" – breaking down only enough to be ingested by all forms of marine life - as small as zooplankton! I’ll leave you to consider reading this book. As a “thought experiment” it shakes you – but knowledge brings hope, and heaven knows, we need that!


  1. Wow where did you ever see that house floating by? I don't think I will read the book because I like living in my fairy land world.
    See you in the am.

  2. Jervis Inlet (launched from Egmont) - magnificent Coast Mtn Range, pristine waters (almost). Yeah, I know what you mean, the book is kind of like taking a big spoonful of "Buckley's" - makes you shudder but its message may lead to a healthier (or less sick) planet. Egmont marina - ate the best veggie burger ever there!