In last week’s review of Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us, Justin noted
Weisman’s final sentence in the Prelude provides a provocative launching point into the book: “Is it possible that, instead of heaving a huge biological sigh of relief, the world without us would miss us?”1 Having this idea of nature missing us as or after it takes over again keeps the reader wandering what trick Weisman (or nature!) has up his sleeve as he describes all the serious alterations we have made to the natural ecosystem. It also challenges the widely held assumption that Earth would be better off without us–and so likely happy to see us gone!
There are certainly people out there that believe that the environmental movement (in particular) thinks humanity has been nothing but a scourge on the natural order. While we don’t think that’s necessarily an argument that will do much to advance, well, anything, we do think that Weisman’s “thought experiment” provides a fertile jumping-off point for discussing human interaction with nature. So, we’d like to invite you to discuss the concept of “the world without us” … and enter to win a copy of Weisman’s book.
We’ve created a thread in the GO Media Discussion forum for this conversation, and invite you to contribute. The starting point will be Weisman’s provocative question above: “Is it possible that, instead of heaving a huge biological sigh of relief, the world without us would miss us?” Obviously, you don’t have to have read the book to participate — in fact, the discussion may be even more interesting if you haven’t read it (and, of course, you’re more likely to want a copy of The World Without Us if you haven’t read it). Respond as the spirit moves you.
We’ve got ten copies of the book to give away, and will give them to the discussion participants that contribute the most provocative and original responses to this question. Yes, that involves subjective judgments, but we’ll be watching to see which responses generate the most discussion, and stimulate others towards original thinking on this question. Everyone’s welcome to participate: just go to the forum, make sure you’re registered, and contribute your thoughts. The deadline for entry into the contest will be noon (CST) on Friday, August 29th.
Image source: worldwithoutus.com
Glad to see you posting something on the blog. Dr. Jeff has been missed.
Although it is unlikely that I will participate in the contest, I do like the idea of generating discussion via prizes. If the prize was fast food wrapped in paper or plastic and a cold drink poured into a styrofoam cup, I’d be all over this one. Just kidding. 😉
Thanks, man… I’ve missed writing, but got plenty to do on the back end to keep things humming… I plan to get back here soon (and I’m very happy with the team we’ve got here!).