One of the books I checked out of the library yesterday is one that I’ve been meaning to read ever since hearing about it on MPR. It’s Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us.” Weisman has conducted a thought experiment with the book and followed it up with research in order to show what would happen if homo sapiens was suddenly wiped off the face of the earth. I’m on the second third chapter, which discusses how New York City would be in big trouble structurally if the sewer systems below the city lost the capacity to remove water.
The History Channel had on a show with the same theme as Weisman’s book. It was called “Life After People,” a name I can never remember because I had heard the title of Weisman’s book first. (Now was that “Earth Without Us,” “Life Without People,” “Earth After People?” Sorry if I’ve now confused you!) I watched the show and was fascinated, just as I am with Weisman’s book. We can go ahead and try to destroy Earth by over-consuming, but Earth is stronger and has the ultimate payback. Even though some might find these thoughts depressing, I find them hopeful. I think Dave Matthews might agree with me. Go, Earth!
P.S. Weisman uses one of my favorite words in his book – entropy. I wrote a story about entropy a while ago. It’s called “As Above, Not So Below,” although I sometimes refer to it as “The Creatures of Entropy.” This is a story I’d like to have illustrated before I release it into the wild.