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Documentary: Life After People

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    NHNE Wavemaker News List Current Members: 371 Monthly Supporters: 77 Subscribe / unsubscribe / important links at the bottom of this message. ... LIFE AFTER
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 17 11:07 PM
      NHNE Wavemaker News List
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      History Channel


      What would happen to planet earth if the human race were to suddenly
      disappear forever? Would ecosystems thrive? What remnants of our
      industrialized world would survive? What would crumble fastest? From the
      ruins of ancient civilizations to present day cities devastated by natural
      disasters, history gives us clues to these questions and many more in the
      visually stunning and thought-provoking special LIFE AFTER PEOPLE.

      Abandoned skyscrapers would, after hundreds of years, become "vertical
      ecosystems" complete with birds, rodents and even plant life. One small
      animal might be responsible for bringing down the Hoover Dam hydroelectric
      plant. Swelled rivers, crumbling bridges and buildings, grizzly bears in
      California and herds of buffalo returning to the Great Western Plains: In a
      world without humans, these would be the visual hallmarks. Our cars would
      shrivel to piles of dust, our house pets would be overtaken by flourishing
      wildlife and most of the records of our human story -- books, photos,
      records -- would fade quickly, leaving little evidence that we ever existed.

      Using feature film quality visual effects and top experts in the fields of
      engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology and archeology,
      Life After People provides an amazing visual journey through the ultimately

      The 1986 nuclear power plant accident at Chernobyl and its aftermath
      provides a riveting and emotional case study of what can happen after humans
      have moved on. Life After People goes to remote islands off the coast of
      Maine to search for traces of abandoned towns, beneath the streets of New
      York to see how subway tunnels may become watery canals, to the Montana
      wilderness to divine the destiny of the bears and wolves.

      Humans won't be around forever, and now we can see in detail, for the very
      first time, the world that will be left behind in Life After People.


      By Nigel Blundell
      Daily Mail
      March 15, 2008


      [Visit the link above to see images from the documentary. --DS]

      This is what our world would look like without people.

      The images were created to illustrate what would happen if human life ceased
      tomorrow, if, for whatever reason, mankind was obliterated.

      The question it raises is: how long would the remnants of our civilisation

      How much would we leave behind? What would an alien visitor learn about us
      upon landing on our planet a century or more after we had disappeared from

      The answer, astonishingly, is: almost nothing.

      Within a hundred years most traces of our modern-day lives would be so
      destroyed by weather, corrosion, earth tremors, surviving animals, insects
      and bacteria that the monuments and hieroglyphics of ancient civilisations
      would be better preserved than our buildings and our billions of books and
      electronic records.

      An alien visiting Earth might well believe that the last civilisation on the
      planet were ancient Egyptians.

      The prophetic forecast for the longevity of our 21st-century civilisation is
      contained in research for a TV documentary, Life After People.

      And it's not guesswork. The two-hour special uses scientific expertise and
      understanding of history in order to predict the future.

      Principal advisor on the TV programme is a 53-year-old Scot, Gordon
      Masterton, former president of the Royal Institution of Civil Engineers.

      He says: "The lights will start going out around the world almost
      immediately. The last power will be produced by wind turbines but, after a
      few weeks, the planet will be plunged into a deep darkness it has not
      experienced since primitive Man huddled around camp fires."

      After only six months, urban areas will begin to be repopulated -- by
      animals, including former domestic pets.

      Within 20 years wolves and bears will be the master species, roaming the
      streets. Any buildings made of wood will start to crumble, especially where
      termites flourish. But concrete and steel structures will also begin to be

      Looking 40 and 50 years into the future, the corrosion of steel, incursion
      of vegetation roots and effects of the weather mean that modern buildings
      will start collapsing.

      Within a century nearly all automobiles will have rusted away.

      Eventually glass buildings will topple, stone buildings crumble; successive
      freezing and thawing would turn streets to rubble, ground water will rise,
      underground railways flood, sewers crack and lightning will ignite overgrown
      grasses, engulfing cities in flames.

      Central London, of course, will be largely under water. Without power, the
      Thames Barrier will leave the city defenceless.

      Some myths are exposed. For instance, with no heating in buildings, the
      "invincible" cockroach would succumb to the cold; and rats would starve or
      become lunch for hawks and falcons.

      Ultimately, the larger animals would take over again: within 100 years, the
      half-a-million surviving African elephants would have multiplied to their
      pre-colonial population of ten million or so.

      Livestock such as cows and sheep will be killed off by more aggressive

      Meanwhile, the most precious records of our history and culture which are
      stored in archives that are temperature and humidity controlled, will also

      The Dead Sea Scrolls, for instance, remained intact for 2,000 years in
      desert caves.

      "Rescued" and placed in a modern environment - but without the power to
      protect them - they wouldn't last 100.

      Almost all of the records of our human experience - books, photographs,
      electronic data - will fade away, leaving little evidence that we ever

      This apocalyptic forecast is justified in Life After People by
      astrophysicist and author David Brin, who says: "Every civilisation has its
      tales of Armageddon or apocalypse, but we are the first generation that
      could, by deliberate action, cause its own doom."


      Life After People / The History Channel


      Chicago Would you know how to survive if you were all alone? In this
      exclusive Survival Guide from History.com, survival expert Greg Davenport
      outlines all you need to know to stay alive. The first step to survival is
      to know what your needs are. Make a note of these five survival essentials:

      1. Personal Protection

      To keep your body temperature in its safe zone, you'll need protection from
      the elements: heat, cold, precipitation and wind.

      Clothing is your first line of defense, keeping you warm or cool by trapping
      air between its fibers and layers. It is important to keep your clothes
      clean and dry and wear them in layers. Clothes that are wet or dirty can't
      trap air, and thus can't keep you warm. Loose and layered clothes allow you
      to take off or add layers as needed for comfort. Wear a wicking layer, like
      polyester, next to the skin, an insulating layer, like fleece, in the
      middle, and an outer layer, like Gore-Tex, that protects you from the wind
      and rain. In a crisis, leather and foam padding from a car, plant fibers and
      animal hides can be used as personal insulation.

      Shelter. In urban and suburban areas, find shelter in an existing structure.
      In the wilderness, you'll need to improvise a shelter from manmade and
      natural materials. When creating a shelter, use the same principles seen in
      home construction. Create a stable framework that will support the weight of
      the walls; a roof with enough pitch to repel rain and snow; and insulation
      in the roof, walls and floor to keep you warm. If the shelter is airtight,
      make a ventilation hole in the roof (to avoid asphyxiation).

      Fire. Although it's nice to have, meet your clothing and shelter needs
      before you consider fire. When building a fire, remember that you'll need
      heat, oxygen and fuel. Your heat source may initially be matches and
      lighters but over time, you'll use this resource up. Better options are
      flint and sparkers. For fuel, don't limit yourself to wood. Consider other
      options like bundles of grass or scavenged wood products.

      2. Signaling

      Don't be left behind because potential rescuers didn't know you were there.
      A signal can be as simple as blowing a whistle or scanning the horizon with
      the flash from a mirror. Other options include honking a car's horn, beating
      metal objects together, painting a big S.O.S on your roof or creating a big
      ground-to-air signal out of sheets or other material that contrast with the
      ground. The key is to catch someone's attention so they decide to take a
      closer look. On the flip side, you never know who might be out there and
      what their intentions are, so use caution.

      3. Sustenance

      Without water, you'll perish in three to four days; without food, you can
      live for 3 or more weeks.

      Water. Our bodies are composed of approximately 60 percent water, and it
      plays a vital role in our ability to get through a day. During a normal,
      non-strenuous day, a healthy individual will need 2 to 3 quarts of water.
      This amount increases with activity or extreme weather conditions. In urban
      and suburban areas, look for water in home gutters, drains and open
      containers where recent precipitation may have settled. Perhaps the town had
      a water storage tank or treatment plant you could access. In all situations,
      consider surface sources like local ponds, rivers, creaks or natural
      springs. If able, you should treat your water. The best treatment is to boil
      your water for one minute. Other choices include the addition of iodine and

      Food. If you have water, you can eat. Otherwise, don't--the digestion of
      food can speed up dehydration. To survive a disaster, first look to canned
      and dehydrated foods for nourishment. As soon as you can, create a garden
      using seeds found in decaying vegetables and fruit. Other food options
      include indigenous vegetation, bugs and small wild game like squirrels and
      rabbits. Don't eat any vegetation or bugs that you can't identify as edible.
      To avoid a parasitic infection, bugs should be cooked whenever possible.

      4. Travel

      As long as the area you are in meets your needs, stay put. If it doesn't,
      consider traveling to an area that does. Make sure you pack enough gear to
      meet all your needs during the trip or plan your route so that water,
      shelter and other needs can be met along the way.


      Survival stress will play a big role in how well you meet your other needs.
      Focus on positive events like a successful fire or catching that squirrel
      for dinner. Put the negative thoughts into perspective, and don't dwell on
      them. Avoid environmental injuries like cold and heat-related problems
      (hypothermia or hyperthermia) by staying hydrated and dressing
      appropriately. Treat all traumatic injuries immediately and do everything
      you can to prevent secondary infections in cuts and abrasions by keeping the
      area clean and protected from outside contamination.

      Understanding the five survival essentials is key to meeting them. The order
      and methods used, however, will depend on your climate, circumstances and
      available manmade and natural resources.




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      Published by David Sunfellow
      NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
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