Journalist Alan Weisman stirred up a great deal of discussion with his book The World Without Us. His thought experiment -- what becomes of the world if we humans were no longer here? -- explored how the Earth might heal itself from the damage we've wrought ecologically once we're out of the picture. His follow-up book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?, grapples with the issue of how we could undo the damage and remain a part of the ecosystem. Based on Weisman's extensive research with experts in a score of countries, Countdown gets down to brass tacks: How many people can the world sustain? What other species have to survive in order for us to survive? What are the most direct paths to an actual, not hypothetical, solution to population stabilization? Weisman visits St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or www.slcl.org) at 7 p.m. tonight to discuss and sign copies of Countdown. Admission is free, and books will be sold onsite by Left Bank Books.
Tue., May 20, 7 p.m., 2014