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What would the Earth be like without people?

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posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 11:49 PM
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What do you think the Earth would be like without people? I have to admit that this question has crossed my mind more than once, and I've often thought that the world and everything in it might be a little bit better off without us. It looks like I'm not the only one. The New Scientist published an article about this in October 2006. I didn't read it until the other day (a friend lent me his copy), and it made for some pretty interesting reading:


Quoted from Imagine Earth Without People
Imagine that all the people on Earth - all 6.5 billion of us and counting - could be spirited away tomorrow, transported to a re-education camp in a far-off galaxy. (Let's not invoke the mother of all plagues to wipe us out, if only to avoid complications from all the corpses). Left once more to its own devices, Nature would begin to reclaim the planet, as fields and pastures reverted to prairies and forest, the air and water cleansed themselves of pollutants, and roads and cities crumbled back to dust.


Even assuming worst-case senarios for already-endanged species, the consequences of genetically engineered plants growing unchecked in the wild, and the residual effects of our pollution, the world would be remarkably better off from the perspective of biodiversity without us here.

What this really brings home for me is that it isn't the Earth that's fragile - it's us! Even the aftereffects of our nuclear reactors melting down would only cause relatively short-term, localized chaos - witness the rapidity with which the area around Chernobyl recovered after that tragedy:


Quoted from Imagine Earth Without People
The first few years after people evacuated the zone, rats and house mice flourished, and packs of feral dogs roamed the area despite efforts to exterminate them. But the heyday of these vermin proved to be short-lived, and already the native fauna has begun to take over. Wild boar are 10 to 15 times as common within the Chernobyl exclusion zone as outside it, and big predators are making a spectacular comeback.


I wonder how self-absorbed we are as a modern, technological society, to think that we can really affect the Earth in any meaningful, long-term way, what with our polluting the environment, improperly storing nuclear and other waste, and destroying habitat like wetlands that benefit both animals and people. The Earth is fine. We, on the other hand, might be in trouble...




posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 12:02 AM
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It really is ashame how we treat nature. We need earth more than she needs us. I admit I haven't done much to help but if everyone wasn't so caught up in material needs, just imagine. There are alot of people out there tryin to make a difference, but awarness is the key. Human break the web of life that was meant to include us. Hopefully as a whole we will be aware before its too late.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 12:17 AM
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It's not really people per se, that are destroying this planet. But industrial and technological "advancements", from the beginning of the 20th century until the present day, created by people that are causing harm.

If I could live in a world devoid of modern technology, I'd be a happy camper.

Of course, if that happened, I wouldn't be able to post on this forum.


[edit on 12/17/2006 by Mechanic 32]



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 02:50 PM
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What would the Earth be like without people?

Beautiful and peaceful.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by PhloydPhan
I've often thought that the world and everything in it might be a little bit better off without us.

Who cares? The planet is meaningless without people on it. It didn't have people for billions of years on it, and it might as well've never existed. Why should we care what the world would be like without man?


mechanic32
It's not really people per se, that are destroying this planet. But industrial and technological "advancements", from the beginning of the 20th century until the present day, created by people that are causing harm.

Humans have been altering the environment, locally and globally, practically from our inception. Like any organism, we change the environment and make it suite us. Beavers hack down trees and clog up rivers to radically change the environment to make it easier for them to move through the territory so they can exploit it. Anoxic thriving bacteria and plants thriving on the early earth expelled a toxic gas into the atmosphere as a waste product, and as a result completely changed the atmosphere, by adding so much oxygen to it. THis caused the extinction of entire classes of life forms.


If I could live in a world devoid of modern technology, I'd be a happy camper.

You'd be living in a mud hut dying at an early age from an easily preventable disease. All of us would. Modern technology exists for our benefit, not 'earth's'. So much as its consequences harm us, we should change them. But its us that decides what needs to be done. THere is nothing objectively 'good' about a diverse, vibrant, dense ecosystem. The earth does not 'care' about that, and wouldn't 'care' if there was that or an expanse of bare rock wastelands across the planet. Its all equally 'good' in 'earth values'. Its 'human values' that decide that a diverse ecoystem and a wide variety of animal organisms is 'valuable', esthically or morally or both.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Who cares? The planet is meaningless without people on it. It didn't have people for billions of years on it, and it might as well've never existed. Why should we care what the world would be like without man?

This kind of arrogance always floors me.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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How is it ignorant? We're thinking sentient human beings living on a rock that has biologicla entities scuttling around it. The rock ain't important. The humans are whats important. Concern for the environment, appreciation of nature, none of it would even exist without man.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by 123143
What would the Earth be like without people?

Beautiful and peaceful.


Who defines beautiful and do you really think that nature is peaceful?

We are nature. We are the earth.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Concern for the environment, appreciation of nature, none of it would even exist without man.




Man is not the only self-aware lifeform on this planet. Hence, concern and appreciation would indeed exist - along with the evolutionary trends to interdependence and cooperation.





posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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Earth without people?

Monkeys lording it over the ecosystem like hairy, corpulent Kings! Gigantic Cockroaches puffing out the stinking fug of fine Cuban cigars whilst gallavanting through a landscape laid to waste by their Termite slaves!

Such a place is absurd, sir. No god could possibly countenance a reality that is not ruled by clean limbed sons of Albion!

Pah! ............ and Pah again!



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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it would be frickin great cuz then no one would have to die we would already be in heaven



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 05:49 PM
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Man's arrogance never ceases to amaze me. Some people seem to think that humans are the reason this place exists. I'll leave you to your delusions.

When I state that Earth would be peaceful without people, I mean that any violence would be geological, et al, and death would relate to animal survival via the laws of nature. No one would be killing people by the thousands because of asinine religious beliefs or greed.

We humans are, without a doubt, the worst thing to happen to this beautiful planet. We've wrecked it and, for that, we don't deserve to keep it.

[edit on 12/17/06 by 123143]



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 06:27 PM
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Humans are a part of nature. We are as much a part of the ecosystem as dolphins, houseflies, marmosets and algae. Removing humans from the planet is as immoral and nonsensical as removing any other species.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Man is not the only self-aware lifeform on this planet.

Short of elephants that can adjust a bow tied to their head in a mirror, only man is going around in awe of the world around him. THe elephants would eat every last peice of forrage if they could, and rip to shreds every last tree if their tusks ached enough, and not give pause or shed a tear over it. Only man is in wonder and appreciation of nature.



123143
Some people seem to think that humans are the reason this place exists

This place doesn't exist for any reason. THe only thing with reason in this world is man. Remove man from earth and you've destroyed its most incredible organism, flat out. Other animals are wonderous, but only man is an intelligent, moralizing, artistic, creative, thinking being.

We humans are, without a doubt, the worst thing to happen to this beautiful planet.

An absolute absurdity. Without man, there wouldn't even be a concern for the triffling damages that we've done. Nature wipes out entire ecosystems, faster and more throughly and a heckuva lot more often than man does. Only man sometimes tries to preserve parts of nature. Everything else in nature is in absolute struggle with one another, and the illusion of cooperation that we think we see sometimes is nothing more than self-interest on the parts of some species. We will never see an ant hesitate when building his anthill, for concern of disturbing the surrounding area, anymore than we'll see a rock decide to break apart to make room for moss.


dave_54
Removing humans from the planet is as immoral and nonsensical as removing any other species.

Its a helluva lot more immoral to destroy sentient, intelligent, rational, thinking beings, than to destroy dumb animals. Wipe out every single non-human lifeform on this planet before wiping out humans.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 06:43 PM
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The arrogance espoused in this thread in the name of man is disgusting. Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves.

I'll leave you to your grandiose delusions.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Process of technology?

maybe the process of developing technology is to get the a point where we hit the jackpot and realize hey. we can have free water/ free energy and live in harmony with nature. but the problem is we have to get there. Unfortunately it is in the hands of mindless criminals that run the world today. They don't care if they get rich and die leaving us with nothing.
Simple fact they DO NOT CARE!



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by 123143
The arrogance espoused in this thread in the name of man is disgusting. Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves.

Ashamed? Man should be ashamed of himself, and subordinate himself to the muck that he climed out of?
No. Non serviam, not even to nature.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 07:10 PM
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Well I think one major problem with humans on earth is their abundance....
Got an ever growing population of hungry mouths to feed...violence and destruction of natural habitats can often stem from such things.
My solution, though I realize is entirely unrealistic, would be to stop reproducing like rats.

[edit on 17-12-2006 by laiguana]



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Originally posted by soficrow
Man is not the only self-aware lifeform on this planet.


Short of elephants that can adjust a bow tied to their head in a mirror, only man is going around in awe of the world around him. ...Only man is in wonder and appreciation of nature.




Chimpanzees and orangutangs are considered self-aware - I doubt anyone can determine the qualities and extent of that self-awareness.

I would think dolphins and some whales at least are also self-aware, but such has not been proved.

Re: non servium and muck.



Que'est le mood? La grippe?


This muck has a complexity far beyond the wildest imagination of any man. And man, whether or not he recognizes it, does serve, in the philosophical sense, or perish.




posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by laiguana
Well I think one major problem with humans on earth is their abundance....
Got an ever growing population of hungry mouths to feed...violence and destruction of natural habitats can often stem from such things.
My solution, though I realize is entirely unrealistic, would be to stop reproducing like rats.

[edit on 17-12-2006 by laiguana]


Agreed. For a species that is supposedly so smart, we sure do the dumbest things. We've got the most powerful thing known in the universe inside our heads and a lack of discipline to go along with it.

The funny thing is that to "stop reproducing like rats" is extremely easy and realistic thing to do. The problem is that we don't care enough to do it...yet. We don't have to stop having kids, we just need to manage how we do it.

Who wants to breed another 16 Billion people on to a planet that we are starting to tax the resources of right now? And even more irresponsible are the people who figure that Earth belongs to humans only...the rest of the life on this planet is for entertainment, food, or work. The human ego continues it's path of destruction because it can't stand having an equal.



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