Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aftermath: Population Zero

I watched a documentary called 'Aftermath: Population Zero' which talks about what would happen to the Earth if the human race just vanished overnight. It was very similar to the other documentary 'Life after people', but with a slightly different perspective. The interesting thing is, within a few hundred years there would be almost no trace left of our presence, and the Earth would revert to a pristine natural state of untouched wilderness and most of the environmental damage we have done would be repaired. A lot of man-bred plants and animals would revert back to their wild ancestors. As if we had never here at all. Jared Diamond's book, 'Guns, germs and steel' touches on that topic a bit. What is our place in the universe then? We are not the pinnacle of creation. We are just one succesful species, at this precise moment in Earth's long history. An accident of chance. It's very humbling. We are a part of Nature, no matter what our short-sighted concerns may be. The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth. Did another civilization exist and vanish before us? Who knows. Let's enjoy our moment in the Sun while it lasts.