Weisman wrote the wildly popular book The World Without Us, making the point that if we humans were to disappear, the world would do exuberantly well without us.
He wrote this book, Countdown, to ask if there's a way that the world could do exuberantly well with us. The book grew on me. After each story, I'd say, just one more...just one more. Now that I've finished the whole book, to my surprise I realize that I'm well-educated and hopeful about something I'd pretty much given up on. What a writer! I highly recommend this book.
Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman (Little, Brown and Company), recommended by Sue at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.