National Geographic's Aftermath: Population Zero
This has more to do with cable programming than cable technology or policy, but I thought I'd share it. The National Geographic channel is running a fascinating show this month called Aftermath: Population Zero. If you're interested in the impact human's have on their natural environment - and what would happen to Earth if we disappeared - you should check it out. I honestly didn't know quite what to expect when I saw the preview for it. The human race disappears one morning, and from there the program explores what would happen in the days, weeks, months, years and eons following. NGC describes it as "the astounding story of a world we will never see... [a] world without humans." Almost immediately, the world begins to lose power as electric generating equipment realizes nobody is at the controls and fails or shuts down. Within a few weeks, the diesel generators that keep water pumping to cool spent nuclear fuel also fail, resulting in a massive nuclear meltdown at the world's nuclear facilities. Zoo animals and family pets suddenly forced to fend for survival roam the streets and begin the process of relearning life in the wild. Within a few years, nature begins to reclaim our biggest cities. Within about 150 years, structures like high-rise buildings, the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower come crashing to the ground. Within a few hundred years, all evidence of our existence is gone - save for the stainless steel fixtures that will take centuries more to disappear. Hollywood has made more than a few movies that examine an apocalyptic scenario that leave few, if any, humans wandering the world. Aftermath goes one step beyond and explores the process through which the Earth would repair itself. It's a two hour program, but well worth the time invested.