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Tonight | Earth on ABC and ABC iview

Earth on ABC – HUMAN: This episode explores the human chapter of Earth’s history, and our story so far.

Today, Earth is a human world, home to 8 billion people and counting. Humans now have a greater effect in shaping Earth’s surface than many natural processes. In this episode, we explore how dramatic twists in Earth’s story enabled humans to go from being part of nature to controlling it, and what we can learn from this epic tale before it’s too late.

The story begins 66 million years ago with the catastrophic impact of the asteroid that wiped out the (Non-avian) dinosaurs. But from the ashes of the impact winter that followed, a new animal family rose to power, one that was adaptable and inventive enough to emerge out of the harsh new world – the mammals.

It began with a distant ancestor that shared many traits of the much maligned, but evolutionarily brilliant, rat.

Due to a series of extreme geological and climatic events, mammals evolved into early primates feasting in the newly formed tropical rainforests, and then to early humans travelling vast distances between forests in places like East Africa’s Rift Valley.

Earth’s story is a saga spanning 4.5 billion years, but it’s only in the last 11,000 years – with the rise of farming – that our species has started to dramatically impact our planet and its ecosystems.

Production credit: A BBC Production

Earth on ABC and ABC iview – Tuesday 20 February, 2024 at 9.00pm

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