The World Without Us: Get A Free Copy of the NY Times Bestseller

worldwithout2.jpgWhat if we dis­ap­peared from the face of the earth tomor­row? All of us, just like that? What would hap­pen? How would the remain­ing world sur­vive or thrive with­out us? That’s the sce­nario that gets exam­ined by sci­ence writer Alan Weis­man (who we inter­viewed last year) in his non-fic­tion eco-thriller, The World With­out Us.

Now out in paper­back, the book, which spent 26 weeks on The New York Times best­seller list, sees things play­ing out like this:

With no one left to run the pumps, New York’s sub­way tun­nels would fill with water in two days. With­in 20 years, Lex­ing­ton Avenue would be a riv­er. Fire- and wind-rav­aged sky­scrap­ers would even­tu­al­ly fall like giant trees. With­in weeks of our dis­ap­pear­ance, the world’s 441 nuclear plants would melt down into radioac­tive blobs, while our petro­chem­i­cal plants, ‘tick­ing time bombs’ even on a nor­mal day, would become flam­ing gey­sers spew­ing tox­ins for decades to come… After about 100,000 years, car­bon diox­ide would return to pre­hu­man lev­els. Domes­ti­cat­ed species from cat­tle to car­rots would revert back to their wild ances­tors. And on every dehabi­tat­ed con­ti­nent, forests and grass­lands would reclaim our farms and park­ing lots as ani­mals began a slow parade back to Eden.

The World With­out Us is a great read. And now some of our read­ers can get their hands on a free copy. We have 10 copies to give away, and here’s how we pro­pose doing it. We’ll give a copy to the first 10 read­ers (liv­ing in North Amer­i­ca) who add a qual­i­ty piece of “open cul­ture” in the com­ments sec­tion of this post. That is, you will need to post a link to an enrich­ing video, pod­cast or mp3 that fel­low read­ers will enjoy, and tell us a lit­tle about why. When we get ten qual­i­ty clips, we will then pack­age them in a post and share them with the larg­er com­mu­ni­ty. In short, think of it as you get as you give. How nice. Very Kum­baya. (Watch Joan Baez sing it). Now let’s see what you’ve got.

NOTE: We can only ship to read­ers in North Amer­i­ca. And, yes, that includes Cana­da this time, and Mex­i­co too. To our many inter­na­tion­al read­ers, I apol­o­gize for the geo­graph­i­cal lim­i­ta­tion. And we’ll try to make things up to you down the line. We do appre­ci­ate you.

Also please note that if you’re select­ed, I will also even­tu­al­ly need your name and mail­ing address.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.