I’m reading Earth Abides a post-apocalyptic (virus wipes out nearly all humanity) novel from 1949. I mentioned this to Matt, who pointed me to this post, “What’s Causing the “Earth Without Us” Craze in New Scifi Movies?”
Annalee posits stuff I’ve heard elsewhere, but reading Earth Abides made me realize another one. Earth without us, or, at least, without nearly everyone, is consumer heaven. If you saw I am Legend, you saw Will Smith have his choice of anything item he wanted. You actually see this in Earth Abides. Americans love to consume, and when you have no competition for stuff, when it’s no longer scarce, and when you don’t have to pay for it, what could be better?