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Re: [at-l] The world a viewshed

At 01:53 PM 8/26/99 -0400, David  F. Addleton wrote:
>> Mother nature is infinitely more powerful than us and will repair our 
>> atrocities on the planet.
>..clip.. The "repair" takes a good deal longer than human history so far
>achieved: you can identify cultural archaeological sites ..clip.. Now these
>villages and towns and cities were made mostly from mud and clay and fired
>clay. I think it would take a remarkably long time, certainly a lot more
>than two or three mellinia, an more likely some kind of geological time
>frame, to actually erase any evidence of human habitation in Atlanta
>Georgia, or in NYC, or in any modern urban area.

Actually fired clay is one of the most durable materials made by man. I can
safely attest to that. My degree is in ceramics and the prevalence of
pottery remains in digs proves it. Especially higher fired materials such
as stoveware and porcelain which are the manmade equivalent of igneous
rock. There aren't many more durrable things on earth. Most metals
corrode/rust, concrete breaks down in a human lifetime. We don't know yet
how long plastics hold up (varies with the type) but I feel fairly safe
saying that they will likely break down in less time that you're talking
about. Not that what they break down into will add anything positive to the
landscape mind you. Much of what survives the ravages of time do so because
of fortunate conditions of preservation/climate etc. If it weren't for the
climate the pyramids would be long gone by now. The stone is too soft to be
durable. We literally don't know how much has been totally obliterated by
nature from previous millenia.

>Human population hasn't really suffered any great decline towards their
>estimated populations of 2,000, 4,000, or even 5,000 years ago and barring
>some catastrophe I don't expect to see any decline in my life time.

Decline? Surely you jest! Human population is a state of skyrocketing
increase. Do a web search on "population increase" and you'll find charts
that'll make your eyes pop. Our numbers remained pretty flat until around
the start of this century then started curving upward. By the last decade
the graph looks like the path of the space shuttle taking off. If the earth
were a human body and we humans were germs I'd say the prognosis for
earth's recovery from this infection is very dim.

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