Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting for a World Without Us

Today, I joined the legions of others who are worried about the outcome of the upcoming elections. I voted early and, for the first time and perhaps the only time in my life, I voted a straight party ticket. I pushed the button for straight Democratic party. As it happened, there was one race for which no Democrat was running, so I chose the Libertarian candidate, rather than vote for the Republican or leave it blank. The only other important vote was for a bond election to provide funds to replace the largest and most overcrowded public hospital in the region; I voted in favor of that, too.

While I was at the polling place, one of the candidates drove up in an antique car, the open trunk of which was filled with yard signs extolling her candidacy. I approached her about getting one for my yard; after discussing how my yard is situated on the street, I got two signs, one for the corner (I live on a corner where two streets intersect) and one for the alley behind my house.

Later, I stopped in at a bookstore and wandered around a bit before deciding I wanted to learn whether the softbound version of The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman was available. They had a copy, so I now finally have my own copy of the book and can read it cover to cover, rather than snippet by snippet online, etc. If you don't know of the book, it's a "thought experiment" that examines how long it would take for the earth to return to its natural state if humankind were to disappear. While I've not read all of the book, far from it, I've read enough snippets, have heard enough reviews, and have scanned enough summaries to know it is a fascinating and thought-provoking piece of work. I'm thrilled to have my own copy to read and reread. It was a New York Times bestseller, which is not always a good thing, but I have enough regard for people who would buy such books to think that they would have decried its writing if it weren't very good.

I will take my time reading it, thanks to my miserable eyesight, but will write a little something here once I'm some point after I'm done.


YourFireAnt said...

Interesting that you voted thusly, Springer. I voted two weekends ago, a straight ticket too, for the first time ever. The absentee ballot I filled out seemed puny and flimsy, somehow, so I pressed hard with the pen and made really dark marks.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Good for you. Feels great to get that ballot in, doesn't it?

I'm eager to read that book, too -- my husband got a copy a couple of months ago.


scarletvirago said...

That book reminds me of an article I read in... National Geographic? Can't remember, but the gist was regarding farmland in Europe: as more and more people are moving to urban areas to seek work and farms are abandoned as Ma & Pa die out, forests (and accompanying wildlife) are reclaiming those areas.

And here I am, heading off to a small village in Bavaria. I think I'd better read that book! Or maybe Grimms, of which I already have a copy.