Last night (Monday Jan 21st.) I watched a history channel special on what the Earth would be like after people were all gone. The title, "Life After People" should read "Life Without People, the eco-ideal". Needless to say, most of the two hour special was pure speculation. While parts were mildly interesting, as far as I'm concerned it was nothing more than an exercise in environmentalist wishful thinking.
The feature-I hesitate to call it a documentary-(how can you document the future now?) was sprinkled with quotes like (from memory) "Man's mastery over nature has always been an illusion", and referring to the gradual greening of the cities as "nature's revenge". There were several mentions of the fact that man is the only species capable of destroying itself, as if this were some kind of flaw or original sin. Such a claim ignores the fact that that same power--if used rationally--provides man with the ability to survive that no other life form possesses. It is not surprising of course, that they would fail to mention this fact. And what is that power? The reasoning ability of a volitional mind.
But you know, I wondered out loud, if these narrators and interviewees took ideas seriously, why didn't they point out the contradiction in the claims that man's mastery of nature is an illusion, but we can control climate change? Duh!