Countdown

Countdown

Our Last, Best Hope for A Future on Earth?

Book - 2013
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Grand Central Pub
A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the bestseller The World Without Us.

In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet-only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature.

But with a million more of us every 4 1/2 days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of the oceans, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?

Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.

By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how we see our lives and our destiny.

Baker & Taylor
The author visits 20 countries around the world to get their take on the sustainability of human life on the planet, discussing optimum population and how to prosper without endless growth in this follow-up to The World Without Us.

Book News
Alan Weisman, the author of "The World Without Us", explores the chances of human survival in the future in this powerful and brave book. Dealing with the problems of pollution, overpopulation, and war (and potential solutions of education, women's equality, and family planning, this is, in a way, a sequel to his earlier book) this is a picture of the future of the world with us. A work of precision and powerful and rational imagination, the scenarios described therein are seldom pretty, but all too possible. But this is no mere doom-mongering: Weisman provides potential solutions to the crises facing us today, and the book, despite its intrinsically depressing subject matter, sounds a note of cautious optimism. There is hope for humanity's future--and the future may even be a bright one --but we had better start overcoming the obstacles that lie between us and that future now, before the problems grow too complex and impossible to solve. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

"A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the bestseller The World Without Us. In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet-only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature. But with a million more of us every 4Å days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of the oceans, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were the probably the most important questions on Earth-and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth? Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful. By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how wesee our lives and our destiny"--
The author visits twenty countries around the world to get their take on the sustainability of human life on the planet, discussing optimum population and how to prosper without endless growth.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316097758
0316097756
Branch Call Number: 304.2 W435c
Characteristics: xii, 513 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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r
rswcove
Dec 11, 2015

This is a smart, clever, and well researched book that I did not finish. I think if you are unaware and convinced of the magnitude of the problems facing the human race in the 21st century, then you should read this. on the other hand, if you are still unaware, then that is probably intentional on your part and you won't be convinced anyway.
I wonder why people still write these books. We need books one real solutions. But I'm not finding those books, so I guess these book s will have to do.

s
stewstealth
Aug 22, 2014

Though I agree with the premise of our need to reduce the human population in a controlled way before a catastrophe I did not like the way the book was not completely annotated. When a sweeping statement is made with no note do I consider it the author's hyperbole? Anyways the book is well written and asks some difficult questions. Worth reading for everybody.

c
catdaze
Mar 31, 2014

Really enjoying it so far. I've made it to part four and have enjoyed going around the world, getting perspectives and voices from a lot of different countries and continents.

h
HereHere
Feb 14, 2014

A book on the most important issue of our time. Easy to read, eloquently written. You will appreciate the stories told within each chapter.

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DebAK Feb 21, 2016

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