Review: ‘Life After People’ on The History Channel

What would our planet look like without us? <P></P> <P>That’s the question "Life After People," a new History Channel special debuting <STRONG>Monday, January 21st, at 9pm ET</STRONG>.  A documentary to catch that really hammers home how truly insignificant we are in nature’s order.</P> <P>***image4:center***</P> <P>Featuring top notch post-production and CGI effects, accompanied by key scientists and leaders in engineering, botany, ecology, biology and archaeology, the History Channel takes an educated guess on the imagined events of what will transpire if we suddenly vanish: The family pets’ fates, our domiciles and the man-made infrastructure we utilize and inhabit.</P> <P>“Life After People” demonstrates in incremental time chunks the progression of decay and rebirth.</P> <P>What happens echoes some fiction such as Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic work in “28 Days Later” to the recent “I Am Legend”: Our immediate foodstuffs rot; insects and rodents flourish; domesticated pets revert to feral beasts and ultimately the earth reclaims our structures as all mammalian life re-orders itself.  Twinkies never mold and Styrofoam hangs around in landfills forever.</P> <P>***image3:center***</P> <P>A planet suddenly devoid of humans quickly forgets us and our lofty structures. </P> <P>Today we fight back weeds in our manicured lawns, and stem tidal surges with engineered gates and locks, but without someone tending to it, the topography quickly reverts. </P> <P>Plants are the real champions of survival, and even in the most frigid conditions adapt and continue to flourish.  Top soil creation from continual decomposition of all organic materials will coat our roads, buildings and our wooden framed homes become termite all-you-can-eats.  </P> <P>The two-hour show takes us from the day after all six and a half billion people on the planet suddenly disappeared to what the future holds for a homosapien-free earth – which is half the fun of this show – seeing what happens in each specific block of time that goes by.  </P> <P>One of the contributors to the show, as well as one of its onscreen narrators, is scientist and author –  futurist David Brin.</P> <P>Along with Scottish engineer Gordon Masterson, we learn that well-engineered structures like the Hoover dam will continue for a long time, until a predatory mollusk gaks up the mechanisms and exchanges.  Nuclear power plants are smart enough to shut themselves down, and our kitty cats rival the cockroaches for sheer survival skills.</P> <P>The earth is billions of years old, and human life is a <SPAN id=intelliTxt name="intelliTxt">minuscule</SPAN> blip at the end of this timeline.  It isn’t so far-fetched to think earth would continue to evolve and generate new species long after we disappear, until our sun eventually burns out.  </P> <P>But then, that’s an entirely different Danny Boyle movie.</P> <P><STRONG><EM>Grade: B   family friendly<BR></EM></STRONG></P>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.