Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

Countdown Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth 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 Ear

  • Title: Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
  • Author: Alan Weisman
  • ISBN: 9780316097741
  • Page: 208
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 tA 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 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 in doubt For this long awaited follow up book, Weisman traveled to 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.

    • Free Read [Chick Lit Book] ☆ Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? - by Alan Weisman ¶
      208 Alan Weisman
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      Published :2019-07-26T02:04:14+00:00

    About "Alan Weisman"

    1. Alan Weisman

      Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information Alan Weisman s reports from around the world have appeared in Harper s, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Orion, Wilson Quarterly, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, Discover, Audubon, Cond Nast Traveler, and in many anthologies, including Best American Science Writing 2006 His most recent book, The World Without Us, a bestseller translated into 30 languages, was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2007 by both Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, the 1 Nonfiction Audiobook of 2007 by iTunes a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction, for the Orion Prize, and a Book Sense 2008 Honor Book His previous books include An Echo In My Blood Gaviotas A Village to Reinvent the World 10th anniversary edition available from Chelsea Green and La Frontera The United States Border With Mexico He has also written the introduction for The World We Have by Thich Nhat Hanh, available this fall from Parallax Press A senior producer for Homelands Productions, Weisman s documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media Each spring, he leads an annual field program in international journalism at the University of Arizona, where is Laureate Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies He and his wife, sculptor Beckie Kravetz, live in western Massachusetts.

    410 thoughts on “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?”

    1. The most serious question in history. How can we humans go on?4 1/2Alan Weisman is a practicing and teaching journalist. He’s received several awards, and written five books, the most popular being the 2007 The World Without Us. Countdown is Weisman’s attempt to bring humans back into the picture, by reporting on how the stresses being exerted on our planet could all be lessened by a single remedy – a lowering of the human birth rate, and eventually a lowering of the human population (with [...]

    2. .A marvellous investigation of the world's populations, and the resources available to us. Before reading this I had a rather woolly idea that the world was over-populated, and that we were over-consuming our resources - but the reality is much more complex than that, and the situations vary strongly from country to country. I haven't changed my opinion, but it has been bolstered by a wealth of fascinating information. Also Weisman doesn't only tackle countries with growing populations, but also [...]

    3. 5 "profound, frightening and life-changing" stars 7th Favorite Read of 2015 This may not be the best book I read this year but it will likely be the most important. Mr. Weisman travels to twenty countries over five continents and interviews scientists, economists, religious leaders, politicians, activists, and everyday people around where our world is headed.Initially this book frightened me, and made me feel disgust and anger towards humanity and myself for the state that our beautiful earth is [...]

    4. Alan Weisman has written a masterful, detailed, and well-researched account of the problem that increased population of human beings is bringing to our planet. He begins with a shocking report of how Israelis and Palestinians are destroying the land which they claim to love through their unceasing birthrate. It is painful to read. Next comes Mexico, Uganda, Great Britain, and country after country, including the Vatican, showing how each is culpable in helping to destroy our planet making it unl [...]

    5. Alan Weisman who wrote the popular The World Without Us looks at world population growth and its impact. He goes beyond the statistics and dire forecasts, taking us to communities around the globe. We see the complexity of dealing with rapidly increasing populations and environmental degradation. Each situation is different; some are success stories and some are communities trapped in downward spirals. Entrenched power, greed and tradition are difficult to overcome, but NGO’s, committed govern [...]

    6. I received this book through a giveaway.I do not consider myself a particularly avid environmentalist and this is not the type of book I would typically pick up for myself, but I'm really glad I read it. One of the highest compliments I can give a book (especially non-fiction) is that I find myself talking about it with other people, and that has been the case with this book many times already.I was afraid that it might be a bit dry, but the author does a great job of delivering his message (pr [...]

    7. I won this book from the firstreads giveaway. Thank you, , for the opportunity to read this book.ReviewFirst, let us take a look at Alan Weisman's style in Countdown:When I begin to read a non-fiction book that introduces a new idea that is meant for an audience who is ignorant about said idea, I expect a certain amount of ease of reading. That is not to say it should be simplistic, but the ideas must be presented in such a way that a wide range of people can understand it.On this topic, Weisman [...]

    8. Ths is one more book mainly focused over population explosion,all the books on this subject make clear the logical incompatibility between a exponential growth of population an the limited resources of a rather small planet.Is a book long with a extense list of references.The author has traveled arroun the world and interwiwed many people.He had chosen several countries as examples,some succesful in birth control as for example Iran and others not as for example Philipines due mostly to the intr [...]

    9. This started with a lot of promise. It included a lot of examples of how extremely high fertility rates in developing nations have been harmful to mothers and children and the environment, and how some countries have changed their high fertility rates. But I felt that the book overall left something to be desired. It spent a lot of time talking about the problem, and not as much talking about solutions. It did talk about how some countries lowered their fertility rate, but it didn't spend much t [...]

    10. we humans, despite our natural aptitude for mathematics, seem to have an arduous time making sense of concepts that involve very large numbers. unfortunately however, abstract notions have absolute consequences, whether anticipated or otherwise. although it took until the early 1800s for global population to reach its first billion, it has doubled twice since the year 1900, giving us now some seven billion people worldwide. around the year 2050, the united nations estimates that there may well b [...]

    11. Per FTC rules: I received a free copy of this book as a giveaway from First Reads.A sobering look at the population woes that beset the human race and how various cultures are approaching the issue. Truly this is a work that is not to dismissed when you consider the population trajectory that we're on and the problems inherent that we're already trying to deal with. Multiple times throughout this book, Weisman reminds us that we're on course to have 10 billion (possibly MORE!) people on this pl [...]

    12. I won an ARC of this book from and was very excited to receive it. I was not disappointed. Having really loved Weisman's previous book, The World Without Us, I was very interested to read his follow-up book, about overpopulation, and how the world could survive with us. I highly recommend this book to everyone, to get a firm grasp on the issues that we face, not just specifically about overpopulation, but about how utterly interconnected so many of our issues are -- women's equality, climate ch [...]

    13. Weisman's latest book, Countdown, takes a look at the point at which human population (or overpopulation) and the environment (or overconsumption) converge. That point is incredibly frightening, because from there on we're looking at famine and a lot of suffering that we, as humans, might avoid simply by controlling population. There's quite a bit of discussion about which countries are being responsible or irresponsible re: population growth and environmental sustainability. It's been particula [...]

    14. Reading this book is like reading a long, long, long National Geographic article on overpopulation (without the pretty pictures). Weisman takes us all over the world, from Israel to Thailand to India, to show us how people are dealing with exploding populations. His solution? Have fewer babies. While it's hard to disagree with the numbers, and it is definitely true that our Earth can't handle us all having nine kids, I did wish there was more emphasis on overconsumption—because that's what I t [...]

    15. This book is one of the best that I have read that deals with the overpopulation issues that we are facing. Not only does it talk about the general subject , but Weisman examines what is happening in different countries around the world. This multicultural approach is one of the biggest strengths of the book, as it reduces the amount of ethnocentrism and shows what approaches have worked before and what is preventing some cultures from reducing their birth rates to more manageable levels.Overall [...]

    16. หลังจากที่ดังเปรี้ยงปร้างกับหนังสือสารคดีที่ดีมากๆ เรื่อง World Without Us ว่าด้วยหน้าตาของโลกถ้าหากมนุษย์สูญพันธุ์ไปหมด คราวนี้ Alan Weisman หันมาจับโลกแห่งความจริงด้วย Countdown ซึ่งพยายามตอบคำถ [...]

    17. Disclosure: Won an advance copy on FirstReads. Also an unabashed, hopelessly biased fan of Weisman's The World Without Us.Powerful. And among the best and most effective epilogues I've ever read. I don't think it would do the reader a disservice to read it first (and then again at the end). It sets the stage for the book's argument, which an unnamed woman in the epilogue sums up pithily: "There is not a single problem on Earth that wouldn't be easier if there were fewer people."Weisman takes us [...]

    18. I wanted to love this book. I think The World Without Us is a masterpiece of imagination and science, and strong writing. So I was impatient for Countdown. And it does start promisingly as Weisman assesses what is undeniably a crisis. In fact, it is a crisis of unimaginable proportions: the planet cannot furnish 7 billion people with the resources to live sustainably, never mind the 10 billion it will soon be home to. ("Sustainably" is a word that has been watered down with misuse; in this conte [...]

    19. The world's population is increasing at the rate of one million people every 4 1/2 days. A terrifying fact and one that's hard to get your head around. Weisman's unflinching look at how unfettered population growth is impacting the earth's ecosystems around the globe, and the efforts of committed individuals and organizations to confront the inevitable is a conscious raising masterwork of journalism.Countdown is a superbly written and engrossing examination of humanity's expansion in diverse nat [...]

    20. An important book, and the amount of "human interest" detail --too much for my taste-- will undoubtedly result in it being read more widely than a shorter, more focused on the science, book would have been. But I had hoped for much more on how a steady population world/economy could work, and, except for a too-brief chapter on Japan's situation, there was very little. He does do a good job of making clear the grave danger the world faces and notes that his friend Paul Ehrlich believes that there [...]

    21. Goes around the world examining various country's environmental and population strategies (links population with environmental degradation). Lots of information showing different strategies to ameliorate environmental damage and to control/not control population/birth rates. Sometimes gets tedious with too much information. Makes the argument repeatedly and over and over again and on and on that having too many people is linked with environmental damage.

    22. "You have to finish reading Countdown before we get pregnant," Mike sez. I do not. "Now we're having a baby and you haven't even finished Countdown!" NOW I HAVE. Guess what? Population crises suck. Will the same world be around for Tugboat in 2050? Probably not, but I don't see a Cormac McCarthy scenario either. (In Mike's version of the events, I am Charlize Theron.) That's why I continue to give money to fund abortions.

    23. If Earth’s enormous human population is a threat multiplier, and raising death rates is not an acceptable answer, how do you reduce human population to avoid catastrophe? While answering this question, author Alan Weisman summarizes the 20th century’s human population explosion in ecological terms, and points out the plethora of literature indicating a grim future for humanity. Weisman’s argument acknowledges the traditional reaction to population control as inequitable. However, he points [...]

    24. I was lucky enough to receive this book in a giveaway.“A sustainable population for the Earth how do we design an economy for a shrinking population, and then for a stable one – meaning, an economy that can prosper without depending on constant growth."The focus is heavy on the issue of rapid population growth within the century and the thought that the planet is already too full of people. It could have spoken more on the consumption burden that already exists. There must be math that coul [...]

    25. I won a free copy from as a part of a giveaway.This is one of the more powerful books I’ve read in a while. Weisman got right to the root of the problem of overpopulation that leads to overconsumption of Earth’s resources. There was some repetition when describing some of the many countries and our ability to rein in the number of children with the use of birth control. He describes a lot of countries that I would have ever crossed my mind had he not mentioned them. It seems that education [...]

    26. First Reads Giveaway Book.------------------------------------In world that has too many people, we often encounter numerous warnings predicting a terrible future for humankind. Many of these are described in the recent 2013 book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?. It’s a book that grabs our fear of future problems and appeals to our love of our planet, as it attempts to discover realistic solutions.The author visited a couple of dozen countries as he explored four vital qu [...]

    27. I received this book for free through First Read.Loads of information on the effects of over-population, but I found the book over long and repetitive. As much as I enjoyed "The World Without Us" for the informative and imaginative way it showed how the world would change without a human presence, I found "Countdown" a bit of a difficult slog to get through. Why? Maybe the book just wasn't my cup of tea, and I'm sure many readers here will disagree with my assessment of the book, but I felt the [...]

    28. (Obtained through a giveaway.) This is a sequel to Weisman's provocative thought-experiment "The World Without Us", an imagining of how (whether?)nature might recover in the absence of human presence. "Countdown" reintroduces humans, in our unprecedented numbers, into the equation. The central thesis is that although the growth rate of human populations has decreased, our numbers present an inordinate challenge to the earth's capacity. Weisman argues his case articulately, thoughtfully, and ins [...]

    29. The author of the excellent thought experiment titled World Without Us, reprises his role to help us think more about where the demographic math is leading us. Informative chapters give us an inside look into the realities within a number of individual countries. It makes for sobering reading, considering he barely acknowledges the factors of climate change and increasing resource use as people around the world raise their consumption levels. I'm anxious to read the new Population 10 Billion by [...]

    30. Alan Weisman is an amazing writer. I devoured each chapter of this book and learned so many fascinating facts about population growth and policies in various countries, how scientists are working hard to genetically modify crops - in a good way - to enhance growing potential and nutritional value, what overpopulation is doing to our natural resources, land and animals, and just how dire the situation is for the future. It wasn't all doom and gloom - if a few things change (simple things, really) [...]

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