One of my favorite aspects of The Walking Dead is that Greg Nicotero has taken pains to ensure that the zombies disintegrate and decay a little more each season, although it puts the show in something of a bind. According to science, a zombie above ground can completely decay within two or three years, often faster in very hot climates (like Virginia). With a time jump arriving on The Walking Dead on top of the many years that have passed since the zombie outbreak, we’re potentially looking at a world in which most of the people who were zombified in the original outbreak have already disintegrated.
Perhaps that actually has something to do with the upcoming logo change in season 9 of The Walking Dead. Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that The Walking Dead logo has actually shown signs of decay over the years. That, however, will change in season 9 and the logo takes on a greener look.
The simple explanation for this is was explained to the Insider by showrunner Angela Kang.
“In previous seasons, the logo in the main titles was gradually decaying along with the world and the zombies in the show. The solid stone letters overgrown with greenery in the season 9 logo reflects the fact that we’re jumping into a new chapter of the story where our characters are rebuilding and nature is thriving — for better and worse.”
That echoes a great George Carlin bit about environmentalism, and about how plastic bags and styrofoam won’t destroy the planet because Earth has been here for 4.5 billion years. It will be here long after it shakes humanity off like “a bad case of the fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, long time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, and it will cleanse itself because that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, and the Earth will be renewed.”
Basically, that’s what’s happening in The Walking Dead. Humanity is dying, and the Earth is self-correcting. It’s cleansing itself. Nature is taking its rightful place atop the hierarchy, and it’s wreaking havoc on the few people who remain. To wit:
This is what happens when there aren’t millions of people to build and maintain the infrastructure. It gets swallowed up by the Earth, but this is not the death of the planet. It’s the renewal, and the smattering of folks who remain will have to compete not just with zombies, but with Mother Nature (something we’ve already seen with the hurricane in this season of Fear the Walking Dead).
The Walking Dead will return with fewer greenhouse gasses on October 12th.