We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? | [Alan Weisman]

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

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.
Regular Price:$23.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity's future from the author of the best seller The World Without Us.

In his best-selling 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 more of us every four 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 more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2013 Alan Weisman (P)2013 Hachette Book Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (39 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.9 (35 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (35 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Greg Peterson Phoenix, Arizona 01-23-14
    Greg Peterson Phoenix, Arizona 01-23-14 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Arduous at best, yet there are redeeming qualities"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    In many ways as I read through this 18 hour text I feel as though Weisman repeats himself over and over. I get it already that there are many cultures around the world that have a lot of babies. Weisman is a long winded academic that has a hard time getting to the point. That being said I am enjoying parts of the book and the data is strong, however get to the point!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NorthFLADiver 01-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    This is THE most boring audio book I have ever listened to. It is not the fault of the reader; it is the fault of the writer, who jammed what might have been an interesting 1-hour listen into a 12 hour insipid monologue full of banal information that is not even slightly enlightening. I could not finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas PLEASANTVILLE, NY, United States 10-16-13
    Douglas PLEASANTVILLE, NY, United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very important book"
    Where does Countdown rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. The performance is engaging, the writing uses a very accessible narrative story telling format and the subject matter is extremely important and timely.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    An incredibly important and very frightening topic was made very human by examining the case studies through the eyes of real people experiencing the consequences of Overpopulation first hand. The history and personalities that brought us this far and show us the path forward are presented in an engaging and accessible manner.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read. Right up there with "World on the Edge" and "Collapse". A very loud warning bell and call to action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Concerned Reader Stamford, CT, USA 11-20-13
    Concerned Reader Stamford, CT, USA 11-20-13 Member Since 2003

    Michael

    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Our Overly Reproductive Species"
    Any additional comments?

    Recently in a class I teach a student summed up an article that concluded climate change could lead to a 2% decline in food production each decade of the 21st century. The article and the student proposed solutions that were all predicated on the premise that food production had to be increased to feed the increasing human population. Neither the article nor she proposed doing something about population. Countdown makes the case that humans may be about as intelligent as algae in a pond about to suffocate themselves with overpopulation. If people don’t do something about population nature will intervene. The combination of a (perhaps) climate change induced superstorm in the Philippines and the population of that island nation is a case in point. Weisman discusses the Philippines intransigence to population control and the involvement of the Catholic Church as a bulwark of opposition. The Philippine population was 7.9 million in 1900. By 2010 it has exploded to 94 million and projected to grow to 150 million. Seven children per woman is not unusual. The TV footage of the typhoon destruction and the narrative brings up examples of women who lost 5, 6, 7 children. Our DNA pushes us to reproduce ourselves creating a tragedy of the commons. Weisman illustrates that well when he compares the prolific ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel with the Palestinians urged by Arafat to overwhelm Israel with population growth. In recent times worldwide access to family planning has improved but is it too late? Male driven cultural imperatives to have large families also are slow to change. Enraged social conservatives in the US are intent on limiting and even abolishing abortion rights while curbing access to contraception. This all ties into climate change as a corollary to Paul Ehrlich’s formulation that implies an impossible technological leap would be required for projected global population to avoid food shortages and the very real prospect of warfare and civil unrest. Is there hope? Weisman points out reducing birth per woman to 1.5 children would bring global population down to 1.6 billion by 2100. Are we heading there? It seems unlikely. China has reversed its draconian one child policy though economic constraints will probably keep child bearing below replacement. Religion and tradition are impediments to controlling persistent population increase. And, of course, our capitalist system that demands growth. The source of that growth is largely a growing population. We need to rethink our economics and our cultural norms or we’ll be proving Malthus was correct but his timing was off by a bit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.