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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fire after humans

BoingBoing indrects to a Treehugger article and graphic, apparently based on a NewScientist article and Times of London graphic, about what the disappearance of humans would mean for the environment.

For the most part the articles look accurate and the results good for the environment, but the graphic is way too sanguine about the first months and probably years, e.g., "IMMEDIATELY: Most endangered species start recovering."

Why? Because if humans disappeared fire would be the dominant environmental factor for awhile. Cities and fuel would burn, quickly at first due to unattended fires, then slowly as lightning-started fires burn out anything that can be burned. And managed wild spaces that were not allowed to burn would do so, too.

Some non-human species would be wiped out by the fires and resulting poisoning. Then the recovery would begin.

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