April 22, 2010

Earth Day: The World Without Us

Happy Earth Day to all! May all beings wake up to the beauty and gravity of our planet!

Here is part of a conversation between environmental journalist Alan Weisman and Tricycle contributing editor Clark Strand (see his writings on "Green Meditation" in the most recent issue of Tricycle) about global warming, population control, and what the world might look like when we’re gone.

People have described the experience of reading your book (The World Without Us) as a definitive moment in the development of a collective ecological awareness, like first encountering Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. Yes. One interviewer compared it to the first Earth Day, which was inspired by photographs of Earth taken from outer space. For the first time, we got far enough from the Earth that we could turn around and take a photograph of it, and what we saw completely changed our way of looking at the planet. We were mesmerized by how beautiful and utterly unique it was. And that new way of seeing the planet in its totality yanked our consciousness to a whole new level of reverence and of concern. Immediately the environmental movement sprang to life. That same interviewer suggested that The World Without Us gives a similar kind of distance by extracting human beings from the equation, allowing us to think about the planet on its own terms, apart from the innumerable distractions and noise of human life. It’s a way of tearing down the walls that separate us from nature.

Read the full interview here.

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Bill's picture

There is no world without us because the world depends on the mind and if it's not an object of mind, it doesn't exist.

The world is illusion like - don't take ecology too seriously, but don't ignore it either (middle way).

Had Walmer's picture

This is a Bodhisattva commitment to
Wake UP in awareness/action and
to stay awake!

Watch this carefully.

Craig's picture

I'd love to see the same concept applied to wars. Maybe there is such a book? We desperately need a Peace Day!