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Imagining “The World Without Us”

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On September 25, 2007 @ 9:02 am In Green Report / Media | No Comments

Alan Weisman offers yet another fascinating nonfiction with his eco-thriller “The World Without Us”, where he speculates what would happen if humankind no longer roamed the earth. A very common human pondering… as seen in the 1946 classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life”. George Bailey despairingly pondered what life in Bedford Falls would be like if he never existed. When things go wrong, and life doesn’t follow a path richly abundant, we ponder.

We now have a global view of community rather than worry over a small town. Those concerned with the state of the Earth quite naturally imagine what might happen if we were to vanish. Mother Nature is not a small town bully, but she definitely is in charge no matter how grandiose our perception of our importance in the scheme of things. Some of us think we are unique enough to alter our earth. At those times, our long-suffering mother gives us a whack and puts us back in line. Should we leave the planet, signs of our existence would slowly disappear into the redesign of the uninhabited planet state, as Weisman describes.

He also ponders what life would be like if a few of us remain. It reinforces my belief that we all can have a tendency toward a narcissistic exaggerated sense of importance. Selective populating is a frightening train of thought – ‘irradiate’ the ‘them’ by selective process and decreased childbirth. Those who survive would not live the utopian designed lives they plan to build. That subject makes for great science-fiction fantasy, but it is not consistent with human nature.

All things considered, we are intricate creatures with creative and wonderful minds. But as the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and I believe change will only come when Mother Earth says “enough!”, or when that Great Spirit in the sky reaches down his hand and goes ‘splat’.

For those who remember the short novella “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions” Abbott shows we can only perceive our existence by our limited dimensional awareness. I for one believe larger things are at work in existence and the whole picture is just as it should be, even though we cannot see it.

For more information on “The World Without Us”, check out the book’s official site.

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