<TED Worksheet (Free)>
62. What would happen if every human suddenly disappeared?
Dan Kwartler
<5:16>   September 2018

 

Questions
(PDF)   (Word)

Answers
(PDF)   (Word)

Trascript

<Key Vocabulary>
Write the meaning(s) of each word. Write an example sentence (example sentences) if you need.

(1) tundra

(2) oil refinery 

(3) malfunction

(4) blaze

(5) catastrophic

(6) erode

(7) temperate

(8) buckle

(9) uncontested

(10) sag

(11) supporting beam

(12) rodents

(13) infestation

(14) resourceful

(15) fauna

(16) flora

(17) flourish

(18) millennium (plural:  millennia)

(19) remnant 

(20) granite




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<Questions>

  1. According to the speech, human beings are everywhere, and our impact is so profound that most scientists believe
  1. humanity has left a permanent mark on Earth’s geological record.
  2. human beings will live forever.
  3. human beings will start living on different planets in the future.
  4. humanity has decreased the lifetime of Earth.

 

 

  1. What would happen if suddenly every human on Earth disappeared? Fill in the blanks.

[In big cities and factories]

<In the 1st week>

a.  Oil refineries

  • They malfunction, producing

       month-long (1)                        .

b.  Underground rail systems

  • Hundreds of (2)                pumps are abandoned.

    → flooding the tunnels in just

         (3)                            days.

c.  most emergency generators

  • They have (4)                      (2 words).

     * After the first month, changes come

       more gradually.

 

<Within 20 years>

a.  sidewalks

  • They have been torn apart by

       (4)                  and

       (5)                             (2 words).

b. flooded tunnels

  • They erode the streets above into

       urban (6)                                   .

*In temperate climates, the cycle of seasons freezes and thaws those waterways. 

   → cracking (7)                       and

        concrete foundations




<Within 200 winters>

a.  concrete buildings

  • Leaking (8)            crack concrete

       foundations.

  • Most skyscrapers buckle and

      (9)                         down. 

      Some of them eventually

      are washed away.

 

[In rural and suburban areas]

b.  houses and other buildings

  • They decay more slowly, but in largely

      (10)                                      ways.  

      → leaks, mold, bug,

           and rodent infestations.

      → Within 75 years, most house’s

           supporting beams have

           (11)                           and sagged.

           (Some collapsed heap now

           becomes home to local rodents

           and lizards.)




 

  1. Which of the following is not an example of the new “local” in the post-human world?
  1. Poisonous giant hogweeds overgrow the banks of London’s Thames River.
  2. Water hyacinth coat the waterways of Shanghai in a thick green carpet.
  3. Cherry trees sprout in the Sahara Desert, producing water in Northern Africa.
  4. Chinese Ailanthus trees burst through New York City streets.

 

 

  1. Which of the following is not true about the new “animal kingdom” in the post-human world?
  1. Some cockroaches die out in two winters because our heating systems are gone.
  2. Over a billion birds are saved each year.
  3. Only a few pigs, dogs, and housecats survive.
  4. mosquitoes die out because abandoned rubber tires destroy their habitats.

 

  1. How many years would it take for the plant cycle to completely remove the lead produced during the Industrial Revolution from Earth’s soil?

   

 

  1. How many years would it take to reduce the amount of CO2 to pre-human levels?

   

 

  1. Which of the following of humanity’s legacies will not last for more than a million years?
  1. America’s Mt. Rushmore
  2. airplanes
  3. bronze sculptures
  4. remnants of cities built on floodplains




================
<Answers>

  1. According to the speech, human beings are everywhere, and our impact is so profound that most scientists believe
  1. humanity has left a permanent mark on Earth’s geological record.
  2. human beings will live forever.
  3. human beings will start living on different planets in the future.
  4. humanity has decreased the lifetime of Earth.

 

 

  1. What would happen if suddenly every human on Earth disappeared? Fill in the blanks.

[In big cities and factories]

<In the 1st week>

a.  Oil refineries

  • They malfunction, producing

       month-long (1)   blazes     .

b.  Underground rail systems

  • Hundreds of (2)  drainage   pumps are abandoned.

    → flooding the tunnels in just

         (3)  three   days.

c.  most emergency generators

  • They have (4)   shut down    (2 words).

     * After the first month, changes come

       more gradually.

 

<Within 20 years>

a.  sidewalks

  • They have been torn apart by

       (5)   weeds     and

       (6)  tree roots   (2 words).

b. flooded tunnels

  • They erode the streets above into

       urban (7)     rivers     .

*In temperate climates, the cycle of seasons freezes and thaws those waterways. 

   → cracking (8)   pavement     and

        concrete foundations




<Within 200 winters>

a.  concrete buildings

  • Leaking (9)   pipes    crack concrete

       foundations.

  • Most skyscrapers buckle and

      (10)    tumble      down. 

      Some of them eventually

      are washed away.

 

[In rural and suburban areas]

b.  houses and other buildings

  • They decay more slowly, but in largely

      (11)   unsurprising    ways.  

      → leaks, mold, bug,

           and rodent infestations.

      → Within 75 years, most house’s

           supporting beams have

           (12)  rotted     and sagged.

           (Some collapsed heap now

           becomes home to local rodents

           and lizards.)




 

  1. Which of the following is not an example of the new “local” in the post-human world?
  1. Poisonous giant hogweeds overgrow the banks of London’s Thames River.
  2. Water hyacinth coat the waterways of Shanghai in a thick green carpet.
  3. Cherry trees sprout in the Sahara Desert, producing water in Northern Africa.
  4. Chinese Ailanthus trees burst through New York City streets.

 

 

  1. Which of the following is not true about the new “animal kingdom” in the post-human world?
  1. Some cockroaches die out in two winters because our heating systems are gone.
  2. Over a billion birds are saved each year.
  3. Only a few pigs, dogs, and housecats survive.
  4. mosquitoes die out because abandoned rubber tires destroy their habitats.

 

  1. How many years would it take for the plant cycle to completely remove the lead produced during the Industrial Revolution from Earth’s soil?

   35,000 years

 

  1. How many years would it take to reduce the amount of CO2 to pre-human levels?

   1,000,000 years
   (35,000 + 65,000 = 1,000,000)

 

  1. Which of the following of humanity’s legacies will not last for more than a million years?
  1. America’s Mt. Rushmore
  2. airplanes
  3. bronze sculptures
  4. remnants of cities built on floodplains

 

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