The earth without humans

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  • Publicado : 22 de febrero de 2010
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The Earth without humans.

Humans are undoubtedly the most dominant species the Earth has ever known. In just a few thousand years we have swallowed up more than a third of the planet's land forour cities, farmland and pastures. By some estimates, we now commandeer 40 per cent of all its productivity. And we're leaving quite a mess behind: ploughed-up prairies, razed forests, drained aquifers,nuclear waste, chemical pollution, invasive species, mass extinctions and now the looming spectre of climate change. If they could, the other species we share Earth with would surely vote us off theplanet.
Now just suppose they got their wish. Imagine that all the people on Earth - all 6.5 billion of us and counting - could be spirited away tomorrow.Nature would begin to reclaim the planet, asfields and pastures reverted to prairies and forest, the air and water cleansed themselves of pollutants, and roads and cities crumbled back to dust. The lack of maintenance will spell an early demisefor buildings, roads, bridges and other structures. Though modern buildings are typically engineered to last 60 years, bridges 120 years and dams 250, these lifespans assume someone will keep themclean, fix minor leaks and correct problems with foundations. Without people to do these seemingly minor chores, things go downhill quickly. Ironically, a few endangered species - those charismaticenough to have attracted serious help from conservationists - will actually fare worse with people no longer around to protect them.On the whole, though, a humanless Earth will likely be a safer place forthreatened biodiversity.

The upshot of Life After People is that, our planet would be better off without us. If Mother Nature seat us down for a talk and says, "You're really damaging on the restof the planet, its residents, its ecosystems, etc. and, by the way, you're killing me slowly and painfully" and the only honorable thing to do would be to jump in a rocketship to colonize Mars or...
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