I find the History Channel’s series Life After People to be quite fascinating. It’s very intriguing to see how everything Man has created will eventually decay, fall apart and disappear.
The show doesn’t go into how or why mankind disappears from the face of the Earth but apparently we left in a hurry since no one bothered to turn out the lights. The only signs of our existence are what we left behind.
For apparent dramatic effect, the program describes the resulting entropy as a never ending, unstoppable series of disasters. However, I can’t fathom why the crumbing of our civilization after we’re gone is so disastrous since there is nobody around to care what happens. Maybe it’s the immense ego and vanity of the human race that makes us believe the demise of our species and all we have created is disastrous. We want to believe that our mark on the planet is permanent.
One thing that becomes evident from watching this series is the shallowness of Man’s understanding of Nature. We are an arrogant species, so proud of our cleverness and our belief that we can, and will, dominate everything. While we can often temporarily circumvent Nature, it has infinite patience and will eventually reestablish its dominance over Man.
It is also clear that everything Man creates contains the seeds of its own destruction. Without constant maintenance everything we build or create falls apart. Maintenance is essential yet, ironically, it is nearly always the first casualty of downsizing or adversity.