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

  • Title: Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
  • Author: Alan Weisman
  • Released: 2014-05-06
  • Language:
  • Pages: 528
  • ISBN: 0316097748
  • ISBN13: 978-0316097741
  • ASIN: 0316097748

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From *Starred Review* Intrepid planetary journalist Weisman put our minds in a whirl with his best-selling The World without Us (2007), a vivid projection of what would happen if humankind suddenly vanished. Here he asks a really tough question: What will happen on the warming earth if our population continues to grow? Aware that population control is a treacherous subject, Weisman boldly traveled to more than 20 diverse countries, from India to Italy to Japan, instigating remarkably candid conversations with religious leaders, scientists, and public-health experts. Spirited descriptions, a firm grasp of complex material, and a bomb defuser’s steady precision make for a riveting read as Weisman takes a close look at China’s one-child policy and the religious and political imperatives responsible for large Palestinian and ultra-Orthodox Jewish families in Jerusalem in spite of scarce resources. In stricken Niger, he talks with two brothers, both imams. One says “man cannot hold back doomsday”; the other actively supports the use of contraception. In Uganda, he discovers the connection between family planning, wildlife protection, and economy-boosting ecotourism. Weisman’s cogent and forthright global inquiry, a major work, delineates how education, women’s equality, and family planning can curb poverty, thirst, hunger, and environmental destruction. Rigorous and provoking, Countdown will generate numerous media appearances for Weisman and spur many a debate. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the edition.

Review Praise for Countdown

"Spirited descriptions, a firm grasp of complex material, and a bomb defuser's steady precision make for a riveting read... Weisman's cogent and forthright global inquiry, a major work, delineates how education, women's equality, and family planning can curb poverty, thirst, hunger, and environmental destruction. Rigorous and provoking, Countdown will generate numerous media appearances for Weisman and spur many a debate." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Provocative and sobering, this vividly reported book raises profound concerns about our future." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Weisman offers heart-rending portrayals of nations already suffering demographic collapse... A realistic, vividly detailed exploration of the greatest problem facing our species." -- Kirkus (starred review)

"Unflinching and ready for anything, Weisman's Countdown tackles the biggest question facing not only us, but every other living thing on earth. How many people can there be on the earth? Written with extraordinary clarity, without all the arm-waving and doomsaying that seems to kill the conversation, his firsthand tour of the globe offers both worst case scenarios and the most hopeful futures we can imagine." -- Craig Childs, author of Apocalyptic Planet and House of Rain

"[Weisman] found vivid, real-world portraits of what overpopulation portends." -- Men's Journal

"Countdown converts globetrotting research into flowing journalism, highlighting a simple truth: there are, quite plainly, too many of us. A world that understands Weisman's words will understand the pressing need for change." -- Bill Streever, author of Cold and Heat

Praise for The World Without Us

"Prodigious and impressive." -- Janet Maslin, New York Times


"Alan Weisman has produced, if not a bible, at least a Book of Revelation." -- Newsweek

"Extraordinarily farsighted. A beautiful and passionate jeremiad against deforestation, climate change, and pollution." -- Boston Globe


"I don't think I've read a better non-fiction book this year." -- Lev Grossman, TIME Book Critic

"Brilliantly creative. An audacious intellectual adventure. His thought experiment is so intellectually fascinating, so oddly playful, that it escapes categorizing and clichés. It sucks us in with a vision of what is, what has been and what is yet to come. The book is addictive...By appealing not just to our fear and guilt but to our love for our planetary home, The World Without Us makes saving the world as intimate an act as helping a child. It's a trumpet call that sounds from the other end of the universe and from inside us all." -- Salon pdf