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SLCL’s Westfall Series Presents “The World Without Us” Author Alan Weisman

Press Release

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 10:00a.m.

The St. Louis County Library Foundation’s ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series is pleased to present acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of “The World Without Us” Alan Weisman for a discussion and signing of his latest book “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth.” The event will take place at Library Headquarters (1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.) on Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

In his bestselling book “The World Without Us,” Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we could find a way to add humans back to this vision of a healthy planet—only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature.

But with a million more 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 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?

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 practical, and affordable way of returning our planet 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.

Alan Weisman is the author of several books, including “The World Without Us,” an international bestseller translated into thirty-four languages and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. An award-winning journalist, his reports have appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and on NPR.

The program with Alan Weisman is a St. Louis County Library ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series presentation. The Westfall series features authors of politics, current issues, history, and sports. The series is co-sponsored by Jack Dubinsky and Sons; McMahon Berger; Sachs Properties; Brown Smith Wallace LLC; Royal Banks of Missouri; St. Louis Business Journal; Midwest Library Service; The Booksource; Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers; S.M. Wilson & Co.; and Stifel, Nicolaus.