Chernobyl and the Korean DMZ offer clues about "The World Without Us," which is also the title of a new book by journalist Alan Weisman that looks at how the earth would react to our sudden disappearance. Steve Mirsky reports.
What would happen on earth if human beings just suddenly disappeared? It’s an interesting thought experiment to do, and journalist Alan Weisman has done it, and written up the results in a new book called The World Without Us. Part of the idea for the book came from a site that Weisman visited and that human beings have indeed abandoned. (Audio clip of Weisman talking about Chernobyl.) The demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, devoid of humans, has also become a de facto nature preserve. We’ll have en extended interview with The World Without Us author Alan Weisman on the June 27the edition of Science Talk, the weekly podcast of Scientific American.