If humans went extinct, what would the Earth look like one year later?

Jul 4, 2023
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History Channel had a special, then series, all about it titled "Life After People". The special went through in time as things degraded. The series focused on certain aspects, and used real-life examples when possible. Looks to be available with History Channel cable/satellite service link. Not sure if it's is on History Vault.
Of course, if humans went extinct by the processes that we know of, instead of just quietly vanishing, there would be damage to the Earth that would take extensive time to repair. Nuclear winter, asteroid impact, climate change extreme enough to make the world actually unliveable for humans, would all have major effects on the restorative capabilities of the natural ecosystems.

On the other hand, a truly "renewable" human infrastructure might look reasonably intact after a year. Solar powered electrical systems run by computers, water supplied from local cisterns, located in a region that does not freeze in winter, might continue to provide services after a year. Sure, these things eventually require maintenance. But, there are places where people can live without much infrastructure (e.g., Amazon rain forest), and also places where human infrastructure is essential to human habitation (densely populated cities in regions that freeze).

Which brings up a point about whom to blame for CO2 emissions. Comparisons of per capita emissions by region are not that useful for a couple of reasons. First, the amount of energy needed per capita depends on the local climate. Second, the energy expended to produce the goods and infrastructure for one location might actually be expended in other locations. For instance, China makes a lot of the goods used in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and most of the technological goods used in Africa come from outside Africa.

Also, it is useful to realize that a lot of the people in the low per capita CO2 emission regions are simply not affluent enough to live the lifestyles of people in the higher CO2 emission regions, but they aspire to those life styles, so efforts to create "equity" among the regions are, in effect, efforts to create more CO2 emissions on the behalf of those in the "less developed countries".

To me, the bottom line is that humans need to learn to control our population densities by voluntarily controlling our own reproduction rates, so as not to have them controlled by wars, famines and pandemics.
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If plants go we might get aeolian Earth. A solar flare in a 1B yrs, Milankovitch ice ball Earth in 2.5B, about that for rats to hunt in packs. If we were going to voluntarily control our population, AIDS and overcrowding would've done it already. I see us stopping AGW easily enough. It is an issue of bringing up as much area and nations on Earth to future 1st world standards. We will be curing cancers and heart disease. Pollutants will soon be a main killer, Incinerators leave their junk 5 km away. You wouldn't want to live near there. I'm looking at how much better it is to dry clay using ethane than cement or plastics. Several entire fields of the economy can be replaced with less polluting varieties.
Space is a positive forcing here. We can get ready for a space economy where the principles with sustainability intersect. Triton has natural gas and nitrogen. Some Ammonia based hydrogen is maybe better than coal including the space application. You might subsidize potential space uses of natural gas for a while. The asteroids are cold vacuum materials at risk of impact. Saturn is even colder and more remote. Neptune has cosmic ray irradiation. With re-entry shields in space we can eventually phase out the worst mining on Earth.
To answer the question, the book hinged alot on whether nuclear employees got a 10 second chance to scram their reactors.
Weizman's book was one of the last ones I read before being Techno-specifically engineering. He wasn't sure if oil tanks rust or get hit with lightning. One year there is maybe nuclear pollution, is chemical pollution, and I think they had animals wrong, dying in colder cities. To be honest, I don't think we can go extinct. Some of us are made to wipe out Earth-based civilization in 500 years (before AI is made). But a solution has been found. And that solution includes forcing people to go to Sirius and to stop watching TV. Any behaviour management that has already wiped out free will or prevented mind-control by evil actors has already happened in 1998. The baseball players can't do triple plays anymore but the dauphins are clearly on another ship...the military and private King's Tutors were also supposed to be able to blog space propulsion...my PM is okay going for the human project even though the devil time machined his religion on permanently, it promotes space. An example, a space music song is "Watch your step". Because some 500 yrs-ers got control of public transport in the USA in the 1980s, hicks didn't fund publicly space much. Both attempted extinction. Instead, space is forced and a dead devil is allowed to steal my bus fare and run late and early just for me. Extinction doesn't happen, my feet get sore and employment is harder. The driver had a kid get on for free and then told me "we aren't there for you in space". The ancients made the evil AI's beatable by our version of their creator or his hacker buddy. You guys ignore me and all that happens is technology of the ancient's AI makes you preserve yourselves still.
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Another astronaut song is "Headwheel". An instrumental about quantum effects of the brain: your study areas become a headwheel. And there is nothing extinction there. No one knows what an AI with time outputs if the headwheel leaves the universe. Apparently a place without aging that is a galaxy of good stars and blueprints to make my ex. Either way I still think I have to reverse engineer their tech to turn the TM into Sphere and make people without headwheels by Artificial Womb in the meantime.
100 headwheels eventually or war extinction. Green energy sources can be used to sub in lesser polluting substances. Wave enrgy will be made by 3d printing an ocean bulwark from limestone or titanium. Solar and wind can provide 2nd world life especially w/ batter batteries. And hydropower making lesser polluting but normally more GHG intensive substances. Part of why I dropped out is Gr. 10 couldn't figure you can sub in greener electricity to factories. Japan's ammonia investment uses equipment that almost goes to asteroid temps. A freebie for a moon rocket soon is I'll want palladium at Honest Trading a LY away for space air filters. Earth will get a version eventually of directional filter and I might offer radioactive Ag asteroid hard to snatch through the badlands. So space makes our air cleaner and how much pollution it takes to get to space is a deeper accounting.
Those aoelian worlds would benefit from trees. A flare 10M yrs ago from Procyon may have approached 2M km at closest and carried the 1000C asteroid to 0.5 LY away now. 5% Ag in ponds and 2.8% a Sargasso Sea you'll probably split near an iron asteroid 1 LY away and then raid it as it tanks 0.01c towards Sirius. I'll bring back 1000 colonists and there are 3 nodes of civilization. There might only be clay and silica fired around Sirius. These are extinction events only if civilization is localized and stuck at our tech level. Consider Earth still the hub as travel is twice as slow and dangerous between her neighbours and some past object travelling outwards left radioactive debris from the neighbour system towards Earth along the way. It seems like viable space countries have been laid out it is more a question of whether to catch Arcturus's wave's last 30000 yrs of moisture and its 2nd best nearby star. For pollution I have oil going to Triton fuels as well as DLC and anything needing tools to handle at UHV or <= asteroid temps. I'm not sure how many cohorts of astronauts using space seafoods it takes to live longer and teach Earth a better diet. Older people surely learn how not to go extinct.
I've figured what it is, another paper pledged the same 70 IQ reasoning, that base load electricity never changes: the VASIMR guy, Drexler, Obama...weren't supposed to get free credit for environmentalism. Until a person is 120 IQ, they don't have economic logic. It looks like you need alot of binders for wave power. The dirty generation nations are stuck making low polluting low GHG emitting stuff or stuff that gets your IQ 120-150. I'll bring 75 to short of Procyon. Make AW engineers. They will escort the ladies back to Triton as 2 to 4 people with unmanned loot a shuttle mission away tanking back, I'll pick up 1000 colonists needing to grow Procyon 10x each trip. It is dangerous the 1st two trips back and forth. One of the USA CRN guys wasn't allowed to pursue the bio-nano route to avoid WMDs and Regan shuffled things around; Japan had a breeder reactor guy learn coal emissions instead...we have almost a degree to give and green concrete, utility batteries and a cheap wave power foundation win no AGW.
Sixty-five million years ago there was an almost intelligent, complex, almost human-like dinosaur developing from the carnivorous and scavenger class dinosaurs. Sixty-five million years later, we are here, not to be custodians of the Earth but to take, to expand, life out into the universe at large.

If we implode, if we go extinct in the 1,000 years Hawking gives us if we don't do the job we were made to do, and if life has enough time before all of it goes extinct, it will develop an even more brutally less caring of poor Earth species to get the job done for it. What does life in general on Earth probably think, if it can think, of the environmentalists and their environmentalism? Idiots and idiocy!!!! It wasn't why all the eggs were put into one species basket that could look outside the box, think outside the box! One apex of the pyramid! It has no need whatsoever of any custodian species. What it has need of is a carrier species to carry it out into the outland frontier universe for its continued expansion of life, survival of life from a dead certain extinction on a single rock, and a generally emerging energizing prosperity of life in its birth out of the womb of the Earth!

If Mankind can't or won't do the job it was made for, Nature, given more time, will bring into being a species that will do the only job it is intended to do (all else being nothing more than reward), the only job it is really good at, and damn environmentalism, full speed ahead.

What would Earth look like one year after humans went extinct? Another space looking and spatially minded species on the way up to fill the void between Earth life and its continuing mass extinction ending expansion (in Noah's Ark-like Space Colonies) out of Earth and into the universe.
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I outpaced the tech level of environmentalism for 12 yrs. It has caught up to me with air filters and trading CaO for CaCO4 and reactive extrusion binders are lower footprint. We have in situ flaries eventually. An 80km Ag one is white silver w/ orange scorching poking an inch to metre out of the pond in regular geometric shape pieces. Its sunset is one millionth Earth's ocean's brilliance. 6 metals are mixed in at least 1%. Is dusty. A 500km by 10km orbital panel of Ag focused on a 40C world's surface could cool a city below 0C permitting Jetson's condos. Another star may have had a flary (10M km closest flare approach) w/ hull quality clay (eroded like metal) hard to cut w/ an island of sapphire (big enough for raccoons if on Earth but not deer) deep. Another flary was Mercury but a flare passed through it and is now an asteroid whose samples would appear to be different elements if it were flipped as the interface mix is 10M x stronger than is my planned cosmic ray metallurgy to be learned in NY. One flary has a city of 1% iron oxide (deep). With space neuroimaging and in situ alot of the sci-fi storyline risks go away but big Earth gets a tech level centuries behind soon.