Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope For A Future On Earth? by Alan WeismanCountdown: Our Last, Best Hope For A Future On Earth? by Alan Weisman

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope For A Future On Earth?

byAlan Weisman

Paperback | May 6, 2014

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A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the bestsellerThe World Without Us.

In his bestselling bookThe 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,Countdownreveals 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.
Alan Weisman is the author of several books, includingThe World Without Us: an international best-seller translated in 34 languages, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Wenjin Book Prize of the National Library of China. His work has been selected for many anthologies, includingBest American Science...
Title:Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope For A Future On Earth?Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.38 inPublished:May 6, 2014Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316097748

ISBN - 13:9780316097741

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoughtful and thought-provoking Rather than simply stating that rapid population growth is a problem that is negatively affecting the planet and we've got to do something about it, Weisman does something much bolder (and better!). He tells the stories and histories of real people from around the globe. He exposes the true complexity of the situation and of finding solutions. As always, Weisman's work is well-researched and he has skillfully integrated together a wide range of subjects. Whether science or social science or even history or engineering is your passion, you will find something of interest in this book.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye opening Very informative written in a way that keeps your interest - a must read.
Date published: 2014-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read This book would make for a fascinating discussion topic for a high school science or social studies class. Uncomfortable truths about the realities about how many people our earth can comfortably hold are never up for discussion when it comes to government policies and even less so when it comes to religious doctrine. If schools made this topic a priority in their schools they would probably plant the seeds of a much more sustainable future.
Date published: 2014-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A must read The topic is vital; the information compelling. Weisman's writing is inspiring in spite of the dire subject.
Date published: 2014-04-25

Editorial Reviews

"Weisman's anecdotes and explanations...draw a clear picture.... Countdown asks the hard questions." -- Shelf Awareness