Poll

Finally got around to seeing the Wonder Woman movie.  One mind-opening concept I walked away with was the idea that Gods were playing with the idea that Earth would be better off if Mankind were eradicated.  

I think the Earth would be better off without any Humans, just other life forms
I think the Earth is better with some Humans, but maybe not so many
The Earth is doing great just how things are, but let's keep the status quo, OK?
Live Long and Prosper - more and more Humans indefinitely!
I have a totally different view (write in, in the comments)
meh (maybe comment, maybe don't)

Voting closes: August 16, 2017, 11:40:25 PM

Author Topic: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?  (Read 2559 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2017, 07:35:15 AM »
'Biological annihilation:' Earth’s 6th mass extinction is underway.

Quote
During the past 500 million years, there were five "mass extinctions" during which many species rapidly died.
Now scientists say we've entered a sixth mass extinction, and humans are the primary cause, according to a new study.

Previous mass extinctions were due to natural climate changes, huge volcanic eruptions or catastrophic meteor strikes. But this one is due to human activities such as deforestation, overpopulation, pollution, poaching and extreme weather events tied to man-caused global warming, the study said.

"The massive loss of populations and species reflects our lack of empathy to all the wild species that have been our companions since our origins," said the new study's lead author, Gerardo Ceballos of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. "It is a prelude to the disappearance of many more species and the decline of natural systems that make civilization possible."

The study appeared Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2017, 08:00:36 AM »
I voted "some humans but not as many". The good news is that I think that the latest population projections suggest that we're close to the peak and that we expect global population to begin decreasing soon.

Big con for humans: we consume resources and pollute in a ways that may be unsustainable currently.
Big pro for humans: we're the only species that we know of that has ever existed that has the ability to create technological solutions that could avert the kind of global catastrophic event that wiped out the dinosaurs (and a bunch of other species)

I think that the pro outweighs the con. In fact, I think that we are currently grappling with how to use our biggest pro to overcome our biggest con.

Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I'm betting on humans (we've done more in less time than any other species we can find out about here on Earth).

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2017, 08:01:08 AM »
Lack of diversity leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads inevitably towards a slow or not so slow, death. This is true in business, politics and nature. As a species, there are too many of us and we have had too large an impact on the biodiversity worldwide that I don't feel it's sustainable long term, even if we exclude the possibility of some calamitous event(volcano, asteroid, ect).
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GuitarStv

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #53 on: July 11, 2017, 11:50:19 AM »
The word better is a subjective concept.  Is earth better than Mars because it has water and more atmosphere?  I think we would need to define our moral compass first.

It is certainly better for those life forms that require water and oxygen to breathe.  I'm not aware of any other life forms.

There's enough water and atmosphere on Mars to let some life (like Tardigrades) to survive.

nereo

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #54 on: July 11, 2017, 01:49:06 PM »
The word better is a subjective concept.  Is earth better than Mars because it has water and more atmosphere?  I think we would need to define our moral compass first.

It is certainly better for those life forms that require water and oxygen to breathe.  I'm not aware of any other life forms.

To be fair, there are many lifeforms which do not require oxygen to breathe.  Earth didn't have oxygen until cyanobacteria started excreting it as a biproduct of photosynthesis.  Many of these forms still exist.

...but yeah - water is vital to all forms of life as we know it.
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Timothymaxy

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2017, 01:53:26 AM »
You know..for a pessimist...I think THE EARTH has its way, for human beings, we only exist such a short time. I think human are weak and vulnerable, we can be killed easily due to many virus or bacteria. Human have got used to modern life with kinds of tools and tech, but we do not take any belongs...we can't survive in the wild..

ooeei

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2017, 09:02:24 AM »
It would be better in the same way that a rainforest is better than a city, which is to say it depends. Basically it would be different, whether it's better or not depends on what you want. I know some people who'd way rather live in a city than a rainforest, and some people who prefer the forest.

In the short term humans have done a lot of damage to a lot of species on this planet (and a lot of benefit to others, looking at you, corn). In the long run, I think there are plenty of disasters that are only going to be possible to avoid through human technological advancement. The increase in sun power mentioned earlier is one, more asteroids or cosmic radiation are others.

Basically, we can have a planet without humans where all sorts of diverse plants and animals live (and still brutally kill each other or die from the environment), but is vulnerable to extinction from giant disasters.  The alternative is a planet with humans that has less diversity, lots of urbanization and environmental destruction, but has a chance at fighting back against giant disasters that threaten the entire planet and saving what's left. Neither is necessarily "better", but they are different.

I think the optimal solution is for humans to mostly leave the planet and colonize lifeless places where destroying them doesn't really matter. Let some humans stay on Earth, and basically treat it like a nature reserve. Something to be protected, not exploited.

zoltani

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2017, 09:34:10 AM »
You know..for a pessimist...I think THE EARTH has its way, for human beings, we only exist such a short time. I think human are weak and vulnerable, we can be killed easily due to many virus or bacteria. Human have got used to modern life with kinds of tools and tech, but we do not take any belongs...we can't survive in the wild..

That's why I think in the face of a massive disaster, climate change, or other, humans will still exist, but they will be those that are still living the hunter gatherer lifestyle now. They know how to survive, we do not.
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nereo

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Re: Would the Earth be a Better Place if Mankind No Longer Existed?
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2017, 08:19:42 PM »
Earth is only special because humans are on it.

Just my personal opinion, but I find many of the most special places on earth to be where there are very few people.
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