Vanishing Act

Posted: October 16, 2006 in Idealism, Philosophy

This is a little bit shocking. What if humans just … disappeared? What then?

Recent developments in N. Korea have sparked reminders of apolcalyptic scenarios. I admit that I’ve been feeling more than a little destabalized recently in light of the potential for all manner of nuclear nastiness, not to mention the inevitability of ecological and social collapse within the next 100 years. I’ve not blogged about it because it’s just too sad to contemplate, really. This graphic demonstrates just how miniscule and meaningless our short time strutting upon the stage may well be.

Update: I’ve learned that this graphic comes from an article in NewScientist called “Imagine Earth Without People.” The article has apparently provoked quite a controversy in the so-called “green blogosphere.” There are doomsayers and stewards and apologists and the generally clueless all chiming in with opinions on the topic, all of which is very good. The overall impression the article gives me is that humans are having a huge and mostly devastating impact on the ecosphere right now, which is the the most important consideration for us but not the only one. If we humans hope to survive (in terms of thousands of years, which is the timescale of ecological, evolutionary, and geological processes), then what we do within the next 10 to 100 years will likely determine our outcomes for the long haul. Very interesting ideas to work on.

  1. grasshopper says:

    Staggering, Brutus! Make us think and think again: you excel at that. My tenuous hope is that **TIME**–as a universal condition–is not at all similar to what we experience in our short futile time on earth.

  2. Daran says:

    I have that edition of New Scientist.

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