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The World (Kind Of) Without Us (For A Little While)

emptyroad.jpg
Travis Wise
/
flickr creative commons

In 2007, journalist Alan Weisman published The World Without Us. It was an international bestseller. The book tries to answer what is ultimately a simple question: What happens to the Earth if human beings disappear? Here's how Weisman puts it in the book: "Say a Homo sapiens-specific virus -- natural or diabolically nano-engineered -- picks us off but leaves everything else intact." Then what?

And over these last few months, we've gotten maybe a fraction of a percentage point there. Temporarily. Maybe not directly because of coronavirus, but indirectly because of our absence and scarceness due to stay-at-home orders and the like. And so... then what?

Well, goats "took over" a town in Wales. Wild boar "invaded" a town near Barcelona. Salamanders "own the road" in Maine. And the air got cleaner and the night sky got clearer.

And so it follows: Now what?

GUESTS:

  • Beth Gardiner - Author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution
  • Brandon Keim - A freelance journalist specializing in animals, nature, and science
  • Alan Weisman - The author of six books including The World Without Us

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident.

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