How nature flourishes when humans leave

The New Scientist has a surprising look at Bikini Atoll, which was famously blasted by the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated in the atmosphere back in 1952 (not to mention 19 other nuclear weapon tests between 1946 and 1958). A recent visit reveals that, in the utter absence of human activity since those tests, the mile-wide crater left by the H-bomb is flourishing with coral life. Welcome news given that elsewhere, reefs are whithering due to direct human contact from fishing and diving, as well as indirect stresses from man-made water pollution. The news resonates with a darkly-wishful theme running through the media of late. From books like “The World Without Us” to movies such as Will Smith’s “I Am Legend”, many folks are exploring the benefits to nature if humanity were to disappear. News that nature is in fact so resilient can cause folks to treat the environment worse in the faith that miraculously, the earth will heal itself. Only problem is: this seems to happen only when humans are taken out of the picture. What do you think?

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