Hurricane Rita, New England Blizzard of ’78 & The World Without Us
I’ve been reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. This book, just published, is about what the world would be like if human beings simply disappeared.
( Does that sound like a good idea or not? Would you like to see all people go? Or do you wish you could have run of the planet with a few selected friends and family?)
Once people were gone, houses would collapse from various forms of rot and intrusions of water and pests. Our cities would crumble away from untended infrastructure and from the elements reasserting themselves.
Wild animal populations would rebound and domesticated creatures would be in trouble without human beings.
The reviewer in the New York Times suggested that author Weisman seemed to take a bit too much pleasure in the idea of a world without people.
For three or four days after Hurricane Rita passed by Houston in 2005, damaging areas to the east instead, life here moved at a much slower pace. Millions of people had evacuated and it took time to get them all back in town and for workplaces to re-open.
I’m very sorry for the people who suffered because of the storm, but I did not miss the 24-7 pace that characterizes modern life in a large metropolitan area of the United States.
When I was 10, I very much enjoyed the Great New England Blizzard of 1978. Providence, Rhode Island, where I lived, got 36 inches of snow. Just a few miles north in Massachusetts snowfall totals were even higher.
It was not a time without people—But schools were closed for nearly a week and you could travel by foot only. It was a great week to be 10 years old.
(The above picture is of Star Wars snow figures made by students at MIT in Boston during the 1978 blizzard.)