Leadership and the Environment

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258: The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman

Ep. 258

After recording three episodes (248, 250, and 251) on Alan Weisman's Countdown, I read his earlier book, The World Without Us, which I found equally tremendous. In it, he considers what would happen to the Earth if humans suddenly disappeared. How isn't the point, but what the difference between a world without us from that world with us tells us about ourselves.

The book and author won many awards and became a New York Times bestseller about a decade ago when it came out. I remember when it came out but not why I took so long to read it.

His writing I found a joy to read. He researched people, animals, plants, places, and so on beyond what you'd expect. You can tell he loves reporting what he's learned and making it useful.

The book emerged from his Discovery Magazine article World Without People.

There are many videos featuring him.

More Episodes

4/3/2020

319: Avoid doof

Ep. 319
Food is fundamental to our environmental problems.Most of what American restaurants and supermarkets sell looks like food but isn't by my definition. It makes us obese, diseased, fatigued, poor, dependent, and such, whereas food, like fruits and vegetables, bring us together. Many of us are addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience.Yet people addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience can point to addicts to other things, like alcohol or cocaine, and say, "they don't need their thing but we need to eat." But no one confuses Doritos with broccoli. But the terms "junk food," "fast food," and even "frankenfood" have the term food in them, leading people to confuse them with food.I introduced the term doof---food backward---to distinguish between doof and food. Doof is all the stuff sold to go in your mouth refined from food, usually designed and engineered to cause you to crave more of it, usually through salt, sugar, fat, convenience, or other engineering.Here are my notes I read from:What motivated the problem: reading about food, nutrition, health, and the environmentMy favorite food writers, and podcast guests, Drs. Joel Fuhrman and Michael GregerTheir books Eat to Live, Junk Food Genocide, How Not To Die, and How Not To DietTheir videosThe problem: the term "food" in junk food, fast food. Other addictions, like tobacco or alcohol, people say you don't need them, but they need food.Beer versus water versus Doritos versus broccoliSolution: New termOne that isn't sticking as well: craving-oriented mouth fillerOne that people like: doofSounds like doofus. Helps you not confuse doof with food, like you don't confuse poppy seeds with heroin.Next episode I'll share my story of shopping in a supermarket for the first time in years, nearly all doof.Michael Pollan's "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much." Doof clarifies.Won't confuse McDonald's, Gatorade, Starbucks with food since they don't serve it.Enjoy food. Avoid doof.Spread the word!Dr Joel Fuhrman'sEpisode on this podcastBooks Eat to Live, Fast Food Genocide, and the new Eat For LifeHis bio and TEDx talkHis videosMichael Greger'sEpisode on this podcastBooks How Not To Die and How Not To DietHis About pageHis videos and Nutritionfacts.org