What Will Happen To Earth When Humans Disappear?
Since our species first appeared in the African savannah about 200,000 years ago, we human beings have been industriously designing our environment. Huge swathes of forest have been razed for farmland; rival predators, from the saber-toothed tiger to the American cheetah, have been hunted to extinction; and then there’s the millions of square miles currently occupied by houses, shopping malls, and football stadiums. At this point, there is no continent in the world left untouched by human hands.
But what would happen to all the relics of our meddling—to our glorious monuments and dams and cities and statues—if every homo sapiens suddenly exited stage left”
Award-winning journalist Alan Weisman considers what would happen to our planet post-rapture in his bestseller The World Without Us. It turns out that the vast majority of our achievements are not so permanent. In fact, in just a few years, most of what we achieved from subways to skyscrapers would be lost in a matter of decades. Apart from the odd plastic bottle and the radioactive core of nuclear power stations, nature will have reclaimed the planet in just a few millenia.