The world without us

By | 2008-08-02

Word Without Us, the bookEventually I read the book “The World Without Us“. In the last few months I’ve read quite a lot of essays, like Freakonomics, Philosopher at the End of the Universe, Wikinomics… but I really wanted to assault this book. Last month I found a copy in Liverpool airport, after looking for it almost 1 hour in a bookshop. It is a shocking book!

It starts with things you are expecting, like “how long will your house stay steady?”, and such issues regarding our function as a maintainers of our own creations. Without us, entropy works faster. But then, step to step, it changes the focus, to the effect humankind has already done on Earth. You can only scream “oh my god, it’s just horrible”. There is a lot of things, made by humans, which will last too much… things like nuclear garbage (which will arrive to its half expected lifetime when our Sun will be melting down the Earth!), or plastics, really filling the oceans. There are also non obvious things, like the total destruction of big animals in North America. The thing is, if we suddenly disappear, and all this horrible damage is already done, so let’s imagine the damage we are committing every day that we are still walking on Earth?

I love this book, and actually I will buy some copies (in Spanish) to give. Of course there are some not too good chapters, as in every book. But the overall idea is terrific. We live in a society, in a lifestyle, condemned to a massive collapse, and it’s not a question of centuries, but just years. Maybe I should move to Modbury, first plastic bag free town. But that would not be enough. Maybe move to a remote place in the rainforest. The thing is, there is no way to stop polluting in our society, personally or as a group. Polluted sick society, I claim!