If the end is near...


I am reading a book that everyone should read, but I can’t recommend it because it’s so damn depressing; at least I find it so. The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, is a beautifully written, compelling look at what we’ve done and are doing to the planet, and what would happen to Earth if we all just disappeared.

I have friends who welcome that idea—at least they claim so—and sometimes I sympathize with their view: there are too many people (“people are a cancer on the planet”), we have wreaked havoc with the environment that nurtured us and we blindly and foolishly continue to do so. But reading this book, imagining Earth without humanity, leaves me feeling bereft and saddened. No more art, no architecture, no stories, no music, no kindnesses, no love, no smiles.

Is our legacy all bad? Read this book and tell me what you think. And then tell me what we should do about it.