The Future of the Earth, With or Without Us

We've studied a lot about the earth's past, and we are concerned about what is happening to the planet now. But that concern is mainly about what's going to happen to humankind and the civilizations we've built. While catastrophe may wipe out humans, suddenly or slowly, our extinction will be just another phase for the world as a whole. We can look much further ahead if we want, by extrapolating how the world has changed in the past, assuming the same forces will continue into the future. Sure, we have some say in certain trends that affect the earth, but the planet was around a long time before there were humans, and it may be here a long time after we are gone. Who knows? Maybe some other species will take over and treat the world better.

PBS Eons looks at the near future, 10,000 years or so, when human actions will still have serious effects on the world. But if you go further, like 10 million years or 300 million years into the future, it's as if we were never here at all. This video is a little over nine minutes long; the rest is promotional.

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