IT’S A QUESTION many environmentalists have asked themselves: would the planet be better off without us, human beings?

While Nature would take over most of what humans have built, from timber houses being eaten away by termites, to steel bridges and cars turning back into iron oxyde, the damage we have done to our planet and those who live on it would never be repaired. The distribution of wildlife would never go back to what it would be without our intervention (with hippos possibly swimming in South American rivers) and our nuclear waste would (and will) persist for many, many years.

This scenario is not very hard to imagine, even the idea of alien paleontologists trying to figure out what we were doing with so much plastic seems spot on!