Life After People

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Deus EpS Machina
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Life After People

Post by Deus EpS Machina » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:09 pm

So, what do you think will happen to the Earth if people were to just up and disappear? What would happen to our homes and structures, our monuments to our culture past, present and future? What of our possessions both animate and inanimate? Well if you’ve been hankering for an answer to those and other similar questions I suggest you grab this hypothetical documentary Life After People. It was showing on the History Channel a couple or so days back but you can buy the DVD or um, yanno, download it. But I suggest you buy the DVD as this is one of those features you need to watch on a big arse TV with good video quality.

So what is it about? Just that, it goes through the hypothetical situation of what would happen if people were to just inexplicably vanish one day. It deals with what would happen in varying intervals of a day, 1 week, month, etc, all the way up to the end of the show where its 10,000 years since the extinction of humans. Buildings and monuments are shown to naturally crumble due to simple erosion and corrosion and plant life. We also are shown just how nature takes back the Earth.

There are some things I didn’t like all that much about it though. For one, the underlying (for lack of a better word/phrase) natural arrogance that runs throughout the entire show’s two hour length: will anything to indicate our long history/culture/society remain so that if one day a new dominant humanoid organism were to rise on earth, or if an intelligent extra-terrestrial species were to visit it, they will know that we once existed? Of course the show answers this question in brutal fashion by showing that even our most massive structure are doomed to oblivion by the smallest of organisms and simple disrepair. That and in the most ironic declaration of the show, SETI researchers reckon that what we thought to carry signals from ET (radio signals) devolve into simple noise in approximately 1 to 2 light-years. Meaning that ET isn’t watching I Love Lucy and will possibly never even know about any of our other classic television shows. No one would know we existed except for, perhaps, the cryptic clues and evidences provided if the pyramids of Giza were to be dug up from under the sands, and the loads of space junk we've accumulated over the past 60 odd years.

Of course it being hypothetical doesn’t mean it isn’t based on fact. They give a few examples of such a scenario already happening. The Chernobyl disaster is one, which they use to pretty much base the whole show on I think; plant and animal life seems to go on even though we cannot in that place. The other is how sea life flourished in WWII when the North Atlantic was left alone.

It’s quite chilling I will admit. I have always thought that we were quite irrelevant in the Earth’s life cycle; conservation and recycling, to me, is arrogance in the thought that we will run out of resources and will rape the Earth. This shows that the Earth, and its other inhabitants, will be quite alright without us.

Watch it. Now. Go on, I demand you to.

link to the trailer:
Link to 1o9's rightup: ... ter-people
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Post by MrMarch » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:27 pm

I wouldn't mind watching the show, though I'm ever wary of the messages. Environmentalism has become the new fundamentalism, IMO. While I do acknowledge the need for sustainability, it's only a stop gap measure at best. Even if every step towards sustainability was realized and we had a truly green industry, we are still rapidly outgrowing any measure of long term sustaining existence on this rock. Fact of the matter is, we need to get off this damned planet. We cannot stay in the cradle much longer.

Digressing, the idea of Life After People is a fascinating scenario. It'd be interesting to see all the changes they explore if the human races was no more. Must see this :)

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Post by Fritz Ashlyn » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:26 pm

MrMarch wrote:Fact of the matter is, we need to get off this damned planet. We cannot stay in the cradle much longer.

Anyway, I really wanted to watch this when it aired on the History Channel (almost typed the "Hitler Channel" there from habit) and missed almost all of it. Looks like I might be picking it up on DVD unless it airs again soon.

The one part I did see was about animals and plants possibly moving up and into skyscrapers in big cities decades and decades after humans are gone. Including descendants of former housecats setting up little kitty empires on floors way up in old buildings.
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Post by Darth Optimus » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:41 pm

Yeah, it's certainly an interesting topic. I saw some of it, and it was very cool.

However, Mr. March does bring up a good point. The way we are going, consuming the Earth's natural resources at such a high rate, in maybe 100-150 years, we will be in serious trouble unless we find somewhere else to go. We can't ruin the Earth forever but we can hurt it for a long enough time to cripple human life.
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Post by Ultimetemark4 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:28 pm

I saw the whole thing live and I though it was pretty intresting, especially when they get to the 25 year+ area.

On a side note, I learned that Pripyat, Ukraine is a real city
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Post by Albireo_818 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:41 pm

Well, i agree that We NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!

Maybe somewhere in the Sirius sector (for anyone who gets this pun, kudos).

I would have liked to have seen 10000+ years in the future though.
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Post by teslashark » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:05 am

do you guys think there will be a new humanoid-crature-rule period after human times?or earth just went into total chaos with billons of mutants?
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Post by Charismatic Enigma » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:04 pm

The mini series "The Future is Wild" tackled this. Although I would doubt a new sapient being who raise up from a tree dwelling squid.
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Post by Albireo_818 » Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:36 am

Actually (according to the past-civilisations theory) we may be the latest in a series of Intelligent Sapiens who either destroyed themselves or colonised othe rparts of the galaxy and left here.

This theory is not generally accepted.

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Post by teslashark » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:49 am

I just cant inmagine tree squids.although The Future is Wild exlain it wel.l

will there be different races of humanoid-intelegent-craturesat one time?that's intresting,just like some fantasy gemes.I think one or all of them will get into the space and/or discover human junk and do resarch of it ,or,best,see us return.
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Post by Chang_Blu » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:48 pm

About the point about our large structures being doomed. I have to say thats probably correct, because most of the modern structures (unlike pyriamids which are gonna last a long time), rely on effecient alloys and metallic mixes to support them, and If I learned anything about materials its that most of not all alloy's we use are only "meta stable". Meaning that they are stable enough to use for a long time "from a few years to maybe 1000 years" but after that they change into a different material (a more stable material). This change would likely not go well for a lot of things, like if a super ductile steel changed into a brittle one it'd be game over. So yes a lot of our super tall buildings = gone without the maintaince we give it.

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Post by Krogoth255 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:34 am

I would think larger engineering projects like Suez and Panama Canals will last a very long time (tens if not hundreds of thousands of years).

There will be a lot of evidence that intelligent life had existed on the Earth which will last a few million years until geological processes eliminate most of them.
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Post by lalahsghost » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:09 pm

Lets not forget the timespan of petroleum resins to break down... Although this is just
educated theory, the average time is easily a thousand years for a large chunk of
plastic. Glass on the other hand is 100 times more defiant to weatherization. If anything
comes to our silly planet after we are gone, there will be a cluster-ZOINKS worth of
evidence everywhere.... simple as that.

I thought the show was kind of a fun/entertaining look on our living environments
without us, and took it with a grain of salt. This kind of thing is something I may inherently
effect positively/negatively but like it said this is a thousand years after I/we die.
Do I really give a flying ZOINKS what creatures will be 'pwning' Manhattan that far into
the future? Haha. No.

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