Friday, September 26, 2008

What if there were no humans?

Going to my friend's funeral today definitely did help. It was more a celebration of her life than sadness at her passing and so while I cried, I felt a lot better. My friend had written something in her funeral program thing - I haven't been able to read it yet. It's definitely written by her in her "voice" to the people who attended her funeral and I'm not sure I can read that just yet.

This evening we watched Aftermath, a tv program that examines the question of what would happen to the planet if humans suddenly disappeared. It's an interesting show and I'd recommend you see it if you get a chance. After 200 years, traces of humanity would be almost gone! In a way it's shocking to think that people have had such an impact on the planet in only a short time. We've polluted our atmosphere, totally changed the paths of many major rivers (causing problems at various points of those rivers), and interfered with many, many ecosystems. And yet within a few centuries of the disappearance of all humanity, all of that would be reversed.

If only we could clean up the planet without having to leave it. Part of our problem is that we do things without fully realizing what the impact would be. For example: the Mississppi used to flood its banks regularly. So they built walls to contain it and force the course to change. But now the Mississippi delta is basically destroyed because of that "solution", which means that there is less natural protection against hurricanes there. Who's the winner here?

If only we sought to fully understand the natural forces we're playing with, maybe we'd do a better job of "fixing" the problems they cause us.

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