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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

After humans have gone

A few days back, I watched a programme, or least about 15 minutes of it, that speculates on what the Earth will look like once humans disappear. There is lots of stuff about how houses, roads, bridges, airports and sewage systems start to crumble, how rats and other animals take over. There are lots of photographs of wrecked cars with plants growing out of the windows. On one level, if you are into wildlife or the study of botany, some of this is pretty interesting. The programme is very slickly put together.

There are two ways to view this film. Perhaps it taps into a very powerful theme amongst what I might call the dark Greens – the idea of Homo Sapiens as a disease, almost a curse, on the “pure” Earth. While the narrator has a civilised tone of voice, it is hard not to miss a sort of gloating at the demise of humans and their artifacts.

On the other hand, it is quite useful to be reminded of what happens once the basic infrastructure of modern civilisation goes into decline, such as electrical power, clean water, mass transportation, and so on. Which is why it matters a great deal if we forgo important sources of power generation, for example, all because of coming to the wrong conclusions about supposed Man-made climate change, for example. So maybe one perhaps unintended consequence of this sort of film is to sharply remind us of what happens when we take our modern civilisation for granted and flirt with “going back to nature”.

36 comments to After humans have gone

  • Yes, and on a side point, this quality documentary and so many others like it show the utter deficiency of arguments against doing away with the BBC licence fee, in which they assert that the licence fee is required because the market would be unable to make quality documentaries like it on their own. Life After Humans was produced by the History Channel, others by Discovery, National Geographic and so many more, all products of the American broadcasting market where no licence fee exists nor need exist to have the existence of quality television.

    Do away with the licence fee! Thank you. :-)

  • Brad

    Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Most people get cable or satellite. Back in the day we had mostly just cable. Most areas for “efficiency” gave a monopoly to one cable supplier, and you took the channels they provided or nothing at all. There was no competition. Now that there is something resembling competition, it so far gone that you are STILL given a whole boat load of channels you don’t want to get the five that you do. There is no a la carte, it’s all or nothing. So a lot of channels PAY to be carried, and then share in the revenue stream of subscribers. Basically, it’s certainly not a FREE market beast. I think that’s how a lot of money rolls into the cofers of stations few people watch.

    So not precisely a license fee, but the TV media certainly has a bend to it that is the result of State influence. Typical result in a country that has a capitalist veneer over a socialist core.

  • You don’t need to speculate on this stuff. Just send off a camera crew to film round the Tschernobyl reactor fall-out-zone-thingy.

    That’s what it’ll look like. i.e. teeming with wild life and so on.

  • Laird

    I’ve seen this program listed several times, and (much as I like the History Channel in general) I have studiously avoided watching it for the very reason you articulated: its “dark Green” theme (good phrase, by the way). I strongly disagree with the “humans are a disease” mindset (Agent Smith’s theory notwithstanding!); we have as much right to be here, and consume the earth’s resources, as does a Snail Darter or a Kauai Cave Wolf Spider.

    However, it occurs to me that the program may have a salutary effect, in addition to the one you mentioned, if it helps to overcome some of the “anti-trash” nonsense which lately has become so prevalent. Viewers can see for themselves that the processes of time and Nature ensure that all of our great works will eventually return to dust, and that is true even of disposable diapers and plastic hamburger packages. OK, it takes 100 years for a diaper to decompose in a landfill; so what? Perhaps programs like this will give more people a sense of geologic time, and help them to get over some of their paranoia about throwing away newspapers and water bottles.

  • Pedant

    @Johnathan Pearce:
    Thankyou. An interesting post about this rework of an old theme of science fiction (“What would happen if all the people just went away from earth?”) produced for the History Channel – it was broadcast in the UK sometime in May this year. I note that you only watched 15 mins of it, which is about the same attention span that it got from me.

    I liked what I thought was your rather droll comment about the “dark Greens”. It made me smile, anyway.
    However, I thought that you took an unfair pot at people who “…flirt with ‘going back to nature’.” Last time I checked, it was still undetermined as to whether we are headed in the right direction (i.e., with our general industrialisation and urbanisation) or whether we do so at the risk of losing our affinity with Nature and thus our right to survival of the species homo sapiens on this planet. (The Gaia hypothesis could provide us with some food for thought on this.)

    Could you not have been more detached/objective? Though I understand that your post might have been a sort of throw-away opinion piece, I do not think it is good rational practice to try to use this sort of science fiction film to push personally held beliefs/opinions, and you did not seem to be being deliberately provocative.

    @John Wright:
    You call this “…this quality documentary…” demonstrating a new use of the word “documentary” that I have not previously come across.

    A working definition of “documentary” from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is:

    Factual, realistic; esp. (of a film etc.) based on real events, places, or circumstances and usu. intended primarily to record or inform.

    I would therefore respectfully suggest:
    (a) that this is therefore categorically NOT a documentary, by definition, and that it would be more appropriate to call it “science fiction”;

    (b) that it flatly refutes your contention that it shows “…the utter deficiency of arguments against doing away with the BBC licence fee, in which they assert that the licence fee is required because the market would be unable to make quality documentaries like it on their own.”

    That is, on the contrary, it demonstrates what is (at best) a pseudo-documentary, which looks like it has been dumbed down for the masses, and which is exactly the sort of execrable “quality” that you expect the BBC to avoid producing under the misnomer “documentary”. This sort of thing, for example, explains why I have usually been a happy payer (though reluctant to part with my money) of my BBC tax – sorry, “licence fee”.

    Thus, it seems that you have put your contention forward as though it is a logical argument substantiated by something else, when in fact it is an opinion which you would like to rationalise. This is not good rational practice, and is not conducive to building a solid piece of reasoning.

    I would suggest that you might be hard-pressed to find many non-BBC produced documentaries which are up to BBC standard, let alone any that support your contention. One that comes to mind as probably meeting (or almost meeting) BBC standards is the excellent “The Corporation(Link)“, which I think was developed from about three 30-minute (or so) documentary programs run together as a single film (at any rate, that was what it seemed to be when I viewed it at a film festival a few years back).

  • RRS

    QUALITY[?] TV !!!

    The suggestion is a reminder of that ancient professorial gag:

    Here I stand casting synthetic pearls before genuine swine.

  • Kevin B

    The only way that I can see this scenario playing out is if some deep green does release a virus that kills all of humanity. Otherwise we ain’t going nowhere. (at least not all of us.)

    Off course if that happens then some other species, (probably primate), will develop intelligence in a hundred thousand years or so and poor old Gaia will get her backyard messed up again. (In my view, intelligence means being able to manipulate your environment rather than letting it manipulate you, and since it is such an obviously useful tool for doing just that, then intelligence will always evolve.)

    Of course, the virus could be tailored to wipe out all our cousins down to the last madagascan lemur, in which case some other genus will take up the cudgel. My money’s on the bears.

    I have a daft fantasy where Dr Bruwin travels from one Gallapagos island to another and marvels at the difference between the giant, indolent cats and tiny tree-dwelling rats on one island and the miniature vampire cats and amphibious, kelp-eating rats on another.

    “Hmmm.” he ponders. “I wonder if there could be some strange selection process at work here. Perhaps we weren’t created by the great God Orion.”

    Of course, old Gaia being such a bitch, a tectonic ripple chooses that precise moment to blow the, (volcanic), Gallapagos islands away, and the Ursines are left believing in their primative gods.

  • Space Nerd

    However, I thought that you took an unfair pot at people who “…flirt with ‘going back to nature’.” Last time I checked, it was still undetermined as to whether we are headed in the right direction (i.e., with our general industrialisation and urbanisation) or whether we do so at the risk of losing our affinity with Nature and thus our right to survival of the species homo sapiens on this planet. (The Gaia hypothesis could provide us with some food for thought on this.)

    I didn’t just LOL. I ROFLOL’d.

    Ah yes, the entire planet is, or will be, concrete and the only way to regain my lost ‘humanity’ is to live in a forest. Oh to be a butterfly!

  • Ed Snack

    Kevin B, short story by James Tiptree Jnr (Racoona Sheldon) in a collection c 1980. Title of the story escapes me. Deranged (but sympathetically portrayed) scientist releases engineered Leukemia virus to wipe out humans.

    Dark visions indeed, but misses the high probability that at least some humans will be immune or survive. However certainly a possibility,a nd one would not put it past some “dark green” groups to try for exactly this outcome.

  • Last time I checked, it was still undetermined as to whether we are headed in the right direction (i.e., with our general industrialisation and urbanisation)

    Undetermined by you perhaps, I have no such doubts. I would like to start by completely paving over Kent (and no I am not joking).

  • Space Nerd

    ‘Dark Green’ is a great term, but I remind all that the term rendered is ‘Deep Ecologist.’

    Anyway; if Humanity is a cancer upon Gaia, then so are the whales! Vote for me: we shall nuke them in the name of Equality our Lord!

  • Laird

    Before anybody else starts jumping on Pedant, I’d like to suggest that his post is just a big put-on, an example of the dry, sardonic wit one would expect from anyone who adopts such a nom de web. What else could one make of someone who asserts that he is a “happy payer” of the BBC license fee, or who lauds such a feculent piece of tripe as “The Corporation”? Or who frets about “losing our affinity with Nature and thus our right to survival of the species”?

    Funny stuff.

  • Laird

    Before anybody else starts jumping on Pedant, I’d like to suggest that his post is just a big put-on, an example of the dry, sardonic wit one would expect from anyone who adopts such a nom de web. What else could one make of someone who asserts that he is a “happy payer” of the BBC license fee, or who lauds such a feculent piece of tripe as “The Corporation”? Or who frets about “losing our affinity with Nature and thus our right to survival of the species”?

    Funny stuff.

  • nick g.

    The show also has another value. I have lots of unusual interests, and one of them is Atlantis. This shows that we shouldn’t expect to find much evidence at all left behind, even if we know where to look. (I favour around the Azores Islands.)

  • Pedant

    @Laird:

    What else could one make of someone who…

    I do not understand why you need to go ad hominem when referring to my otherwise legitimate comment.
    The only real opinion I probably expressed in my comment was “…the excellent “The Corporation(Link)“, and that was not so much my opinion as the presumed opinion of various film judges and pundits. As the Wikipedia entry states:

    “The film was nominated for numerous awards, and won the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, 2004, along with a Special Jury Award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival in 2003 and 2004.

    - but this is not meant by me to be an appeal to the consensus. The film stands on its own merits.

    Furthermore, I do not understand why you become scatological about the film. The only place where that might be relevant is where it talks about “pollution”.

    Sardonic I may have been, but one point being made was about the quality of documentaries in general vis a vis documentaries made by the BBC, and it seems to be a valid and so far unvitiated point in this discussion.

    If I were to say that:

    “I dislke paying the BBC TV licence fee, therefore BBC documentaries are of poor quality”

    – then that would be neither rational nor equivalent to saying:

    “BBC TV documentaries are all of no better quality than other media documentaries, therefore the BBC TV licence fee is unjustified.”

    I am unaware of any proof that “BBC TV documentaries are all of no better quality than other media documentaries”, and in fact the reverse would seem to be the case, which is why – rightly or wrongly in our views – the BBC levy is allowed to continue in statute.

    I would suggest that, if the film “Life After People” had been produced by the BBC (not as a “documentary” though), then it could have commanded the whole attention of Johnathan Pearce and myself, for example, rather than the 15 minutes or so that it did.

  • veryretired

    I have never understood the contention that humanity is somehow outside of nature, or that our activities are an affront to nature.

    Evolution is an ongoing process, and we have evolved into our current form for precisely the same reason that any other animal has, i.e., there are certain aspects of our composition that enable us to survive in the current planetary epoch.

    It is no more artificial or unnatural for humans to construct New York city, or a bamboo hut, or an igloo. than it is for ants to construct elaborate nests, or bees complex hives, or moles an interconnected series of tunnels.

    There is an implicit, and sometimes explicit, sense in some of the “deep” theology that cognitive function is somehow unnatural, as if, when humans moved from instinct to cognition, they had left a primodial Eden of being one with nature and become something outside of the natural rythms of life on earth.

    This is a pernicious and caustic mistatement of both the functioning of evolution in humans, and the legitimacy of humanity’s use of technological solutions for the problem of survival.

    It is well to remember that fire is technology, as well as a pointed stick or flaked stone. And, if today, we fashion that fire out of uranium instead of fallen branches, the fundamental human activity is much the same.

    Those who would hold the cognitive activity of humans as being “unnatural”, separating us from nature, misunderstand both the process of evolution which rewards cognition, and the legitimacy of our use of technology as cognition-in-matter, every bit as natural as a bird’s use of flight, or a lion’s use of its teeth and claws.

    Could humans disappear? Of course. We are subject to all the slings and arrows that fate and reality can throw at us. Many species have been widespread and dominant at various times in earth’s history, and then disappeared as conditions changed, or catastrophe struck.

    But even the most primitive amoeba would not be so foolish as to jettison the very aspect of its nature that allowed it to survive, as the “deeps” demand that humans abandon the constructs built from the cognition that has brought them from few thousand to several billion, and given them dominion over the earth, as well as the potential to explore other planets and moons in this solar system, and to dream of walking among the stars.

    One must wonder at the motives of those who would condemn humanity for the very qualities that have ensured its survival, and facilitated our spread across the globe.

    To consider one’s own brothers and sisters a plague and a curse is a form of self hatred that is very, very deep, indeed.

    It is well to recall, once again, that glaring and obvious truth: the anti mind is the anti life. To regret the constructs of cognition is to regret the existence of humanity itself, and to propose the banning of the fruits of cognition is to propose the collapse of human civilization.

    Instead of the stars, a return to the caves. Deal me out, for Gully Foyle is my name…

  • The Apocalypse is a very popular human concept and even those that don’t enjoy a religion end up enjoying a religion. We’re hard wired for it, even those Americans on the right who have a specifically religious version of Armageddon also talk about the more mundane situation of SHTF or WTSHTF – When The Shit Hits The Fan; Some short or long term collapse in utilities and supply that up ends our day to day lives.

    Sci-Fi books about various ends sell big internationally but even bigger in the States because we imagine ourselves still and always on the frontier. A good example is “Dies The Fire” where hobbiests end up running the show after technology collapses (by an awful laws-of-physics-suddenly-change conceit).

  • Johnathan Pearce

    However, I thought that you took an unfair pot at people who “…flirt with ‘going back to nature’.” Last time I checked, it was still undetermined as to whether we are headed in the right direction (i.e., with our general industrialisation and urbanisation) or whether we do so at the risk of losing our affinity with Nature and thus our right to survival of the species homo sapiens on this planet. (The Gaia hypothesis could provide us with some food for thought on this.)

    Last time I checked, the direction that humans need to take is not mapped out by mystical crap about Gaia, but rather, by the use of what mental faculties Man has been lucky enough to acquire through the process of evolution.

    A telling expression is “right to survive”. The notion that there is some way of deciding whether a species has a “right” to survive or not is bizarre: rights are a concept bound up with notions of how humans relate to one anothe in terms of the boundaries they must accept. For that reason, it is connected to our ideas of jurispudence, property and territory, etc. The concept has no meaning whatever beyond that.

    Of course, some religious folk like to argue that God has granted Man a particular domain in His creation and Man will be punished for violating that. Not being religious in the slightest, I look upon such ideas with the contempt they thoroughly deserve.

  • Nevermind the token YEC Christian around here (me). Here’s a couple of technical questions I would like to ask folk in the UK…

    1. Is the BBC fee payable by those who do not own TVs?
    2. Are digital/analog VGA monitors charged the tax – er, ahem, fee?
    3. How about TV tuners? Bought from overseas?

    Because it seems to me that if I can get a huge-ass HDMI LCD monitor to plug into my PC, I shouldn’t be charged a red cent. Er, penny. Or ha’penny. Or farthing, even.

  • A posting from veryretired and, as so often happens, my spirits are lifted: thank you.

    Here is a small contribution. Many years ago, in my youth (the late ’60s most likely), I and friends were exploring locally and visited a dead village (I think it was called Stantonbury, or something similar) in what is now Milton Keynes in North Buckinghamshires. As we understood it, the death of this village (then in a largely agricultural community) was because of the killing of so many young men in the First World War.

    In the remains, there were many buildings in various (mostly advanced) stages of collapse. However, the most relevant thing to this thread is that there was nothing valuable remaining: no artifacts, no metal, nothing much untidy (except the buildings).

    If humanity disappears for natural reasons, I suspect it will quite possibly be like this: a gradual retreat over decades and with little left behind: the remaining humans, wherever they are, will take all that is of use, and use it.

    Only if ‘the end’ were catastrophically quick (and there were no replacement intelligent lifeform) would anything so useful as a motor-car’s worth of metal be left lying around in perpetuity.

    Best regards

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Gregory, you can try all those options and good luck to you. However, this is not a thead about the BBC or broadcasting in general. Let’s stay on-topic!

  • Pedant

    @veryretired:
    Thankyou. I learned something from the thinking you displayed in your comment above, and – for what it’s worth – I happen to agree with all that you wrote. You put it much better than I could have.
    I too have been happy living in the world of now and have no desire – and see no need – to reject my life and all that Man has achieved, and return to a basic existence and doing such things as dancing around a campfire in a loincloth with my pointy sticks and other tools – “getting back to nature”. I look to the future and not backwards – except when I am trying to understand how we got to where we are today and what mistakes we made.

    @Johnathan Pearce:
    Your writing seems rather annoyed and a tad hostile. If I pricked a sensitive spot, I apologise – I did not intend to offend.

    With the “Last time I checked…”, I was merely putting forward two potentially opposing trains of thought that people might have, rather than advocating either one in particular. The same goes for my reference to the Gaia hypothesis. I always thought it was a rather interesting hypothesis, but it is not one that I would necessarily advocate except as a useful subject for thinking.

    It was interesting that you seemed to consider Gaia “mystical”. I must admit that I had never thought of it in that light, but if it were, then that would make it even less attractive for me. (It often seems such short steps to get from mysticism to religion, to fascism.)

    As an exercise, I always like to advocate the practice of despising and condemning any ideas that one chooses not agree with – and their proponents – so I could be fully in sync with your final comments on religion.

  • llamas

    I’ve mentioned in the past the unusual reversion to nature that we are seeing in parts of Detroit, where whole city blocks of abandoned and/or demolished homes are returning to nature. The result is a sort of savannah/grassland ecosystem. The rough shooting would be quite good. Most of these areas had homes built in the 20s through the 40′s, and generally of high quality, but time does not deal kindly with a frame structure that is not maintained.

    By contrast, I have been in several abandoned towns and structures on the high plains, some well over 100 years old, and their state of preservation is often surprisingly-good. Former Wyoming lawmaker Nels Smith had a 100-year-old bunkhouse removed from an abandoned mining camp in the edge of the Black Hills to his place outside Sundance, and all it needed was minor repairs and a good coat of paint. The silver-mining camp at Kirwin, on the Double-D ranch near Meeteetse, was abandoned in 1907, and even its very-roughly-built log cabins are still standing – I’d bed down in one, if I had to.

    I’ve watched the ‘after people’ shows on Discovery and History – I think there’s been at least 2 different productions on the same theme. Some of their presumptions are overblown – for example, how quickly autos will deteriorate. For example, on the privately-owned Hawaiian island of Niihau, there is a residence which was abandoned in the 1930s. A Ford Model T truck is parked outside, just where it was left. It’s shows significant deterioration, to be sure – but it’s still recognizable, still on its wheels – it hasn’t collapsed in a heap of rust.

    Our steel structures will fail quickly when we are gone. Our concrete and masonry structures will stand for millennia, and some of our works will last a lot longer than that.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Dale Amon

    I saw it the last time around. Perhaps I enjoyed it because of a slightly different perspective, that of an avid student of science. If you look both at Cosmology and at Paleontology you soon run into a concept called ‘deep time’. The simple truth is, human will disappear. There will come a time when our species and the branches of species that split off from Homo Sapiens will be as far in the past as T. Rex or the Trilobite.

    So there is an interesting intellectual question here. What will remain after a species such as ours passes on? If we some day manage interstellar flight, something I imagine we will accomplish even at sublight generation ship rates, what will we find on other worlds? The odds of running across a civilization that is the same age as ours is so miniscule as to beggar belief. Much more likely will be the remains of civilizations millions or hundreds of millions years past. Or millions of years in advance of us…

    To put this in perspective, the error bars on dating a dinosaur skeleton are larger than the whole span of time in which Homo Sapiens has been a distinct species. The entirety of our known historical record is so small a time period that it could be entirely lost in the deep time of a 4.3 billion year old Earth. If aliens came to Earth three billion years ago, used it as a major world in their empire for a million years and then abandoned their ancient cities, we would probably not have noticed it in the lean records of those geological eras.

    So play with it in that context. If a GRB has us in its boresight and we all die tomorrow, what will an alien archaeologist find in a hundred years? A thousand years? What will their paleontologists find in 10 million or 100 million? What signs will there be that we eve existed?

    I am sure they would be there if they knew what to look for; but they would be subtle forensic clues, not recognizable remains of Big Ben.

  • alastair harris

    given that the complete removal of people from the earth would require a global catastrophic event of biblical proportions then the underlying premise of the program looks to be severly flawed!!!

  • RAB

    Well Nick G, if you are interested in Atlantis (and I posit that there are many not just one)
    The place to start looking is about five miles off any coast you care to name and about 500ft down.

    That is where the coastline was at the end of the ice ages.

    I was in Borth, back in may. It is just north of Aberystwyth, on the Dovy estuary. Beautiful spot.

    Anyway, when time and tide is right you can find the remains of a petrified forest stetching for miles out into Cardigan Bay. These were no mickey mouse trees either, but hundreds of feet high.
    They are about five thousand years old.

    There was a Coast half hour all about it recently, called the Welsh Atlantis. Dont know if it is still up on i player.

    Facinating stuff there Dale.
    Maybe H P Lovecraft was right all along!

  • Chris Durnell

    I’ve seen and enjoyed Life After People, and many commenters are making erroneous judgments about it. First, the show has no commentary at all on why people disappeared. It is not “dark green” propaganda. It does not present any scenario on why people disappeared. Nor does it deal with the effects of billions of human corpses rotting. For the documentary’s sake, all of humanity may have been abducted by aliens, or ascended into heaven.

    It’s simply a thought experiment to show the effects of entropy on what man has built. It shows how delicate the technical achievements of man are and how much work is needed to maintain them. It talks about what materials would last longer than others and why. And it talks about how nature would reclaim urban areas. As means of example, it goes to places (like the area around Chernobyl) which man has abandoned to view what’s happened to it.

    Far from being science fiction, it applies science and technical experts to talk about these issues. It is no less of a documentary than a program about what will happen when the sun burns all its fuel and dies. Future events or speculation does not necessarily make it fiction.

    Many people do have a fascination with the topic of entropy so it’s not surprising Life After People has attracted attention. But it is not about how humanity becomes extinct. It simply talks about the principles that would determine what happens after we are gone.

  • Bod

    The Doom that came to Machynlleth?

    Harsh, man. Harsh

  • RAB

    Chris, it has no idea about the principles that determine what happens once we’re gone.

    Rot sets in, things decay, even buildings of stone dissapear from the landscape.

    There is a point on a tour of the Temples at Luxor, where it is pointed out to you, the door of a Mosque.

    You are 80 ft below it looking up.

    Well that’s where the level of the sand was when they built the mosque.
    Knowing little of what was buried below.
    So easily lost.
    Yes.

  • J

    Although there is a certain kind of green that thinks much of human progress has been harmful, I don’t think any were influential in this program – of course lots of them may have enjoyed it, but that’s different.

    I tend to take Dale’s view on this. If our entire civilization destroys itself and we revert back to the stone age, that’s fine. We can have another go over the next 20,000 years. And we can repeat that process several times, before it would even show up within the rounding errors of the earth’s predicted lifespan. What’s the hurry? The planet’s not going anywhere. Hell, we can nuke the whole lot, wait a 100 million years for the dust to settle, and start the whole thing again right from unicellular organisms on upwards. It’ll only take 2 billion years, so we can do that whole cycle five times, and still have, oh, about 10-20 million years to worry about designing a rocket to get off the planet before the Sun starts going out.

    There’s no hurry. It doesn’t matter. That’s why the global warming crowd annoy me. Not because I doubt the science, nor even because I doubt the possibility of at least moderate consequences, just that I don’t see the urgency in it. The Black Death killed 33% of people in Europe and the Middle East, and the effects barely show up at the century scale (and were generally positive anyway). I hate to be mean, but half of Bangladesh drowning isn’t going to make any difference to anything, except leaving the other half better fed.

  • RAB

    I recon Lovecraft was a secret Welsh speaker!

    Does anyone know how to pronounce

    Cthulhu

    For instance?

    Except with recourse to a damp flannel and a word of appology,
    Like proper Welsh?

  • Brendan Halfweeg

    There were some daft elements to the programme, such as talking about domestic pets being trapped and power stations continuing to run without humans, it was a pretty interesting documentary.

    For me though, I’d be interested in a programme that investigates how humanity might survive and recover from a massive disaster such as plague or nuclear war.

    What would be the result of a nuclear exchange between China and Russia that left much of the Eurasian continent devastated and induced climate change elsewhere?

    If some plague decimated our population by Black Plague proportions, how fast would we recover?

    There are other less armageddon studies I’d be interested in as well, such as what will Japan, Russia, France and other countries with very low birth rates and low immigration look like in one hundred years time? On the flip side, what will the US look like with a hispanic majority population?

  • Bod

    RAB,
    At the risk of hijacking the thread, HPL himself was reported to have been inconsistent in his pronunciation of Cthulhu.

    One point that seems to be well established that it wasn’t with a hard ‘C’ the way Metallica uses it; HPL seemed to prefer a glottal, throat-clearing ‘ch’.

  • kentuckyliz

    Maybe everybody was raptured!

    We have the right to survive and dominate because of superior reasoning brains and opposable thumbs.

  • Param

    What is the name of the program?Is it a Television show?Can you give me a straight answer of what will come after humans please?(IT IS MY HOMEWORK,AND WE CAN USE INTERNET FOR IT)

  • What is the name of the program?Is it a Television show?Can you give me a straight answer of what will come after humans please?(IT IS MY HOMEWORK,AND WE CAN USE INTERNET FOR IT)