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This question already has an answer here:

Nukes are destructive, and yes, they blow up everything in range.

One easy way to kill off humanity.

But, say, some person comes along and looks around. He sees the imperfections everywhere and believes that if he were in control, he could change everything. Completely eradicate poverty, debt, remove the idea of money and military...

The guy knows that there is no way to eliminate everything mentioned above by advocacy alone, nor by force, so a discreet mass extinction of humanity is the only option. But Mr. Person and his wife has to survive so that they start life over and rebuild humanity.

How would Person do this?

Notes:

  • Mr. Person wants to start life all over again. He is willing to cause the deaths of people and animals to achieve this.
  • Person does not want the world contaminated. This basically means no chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. Nukes strictly prohibited.
  • He needs to ensure that there are minimal survivors.
  • Mr. Person and his wife have to survive, so that life does not become extinct, so they can rebuild humanity.
  • Apparently, Person has a googolplex dollars, which is a very large number, so our subject has anything at his disposal.

I know this question exists, and it is similar, but in that question, the goal of the question was to comepletely eliminate humanity with only one person alive. The virus proposed in that question would have worked just fine. With this question, the environment still has to be habitable so that life can continue living above ground. Much of the Earth should still be suitable to life without the need of any life sustaining devices (air tanks, gas masks, etc.) that would have been required in the other question's scenario, as Mr. Person intends to restart humanity with the same territorial borders, but a more peaceful foundation. That's why the question above is hardly related to mine.

Countering answers on that question, you can't mind control people in unknown's scenario, for the asker of that question has told people to keep the answers within reasonable boundries. Turning people into memetics is kind of out of the reach of humanity at that time... Also, as proposed in another answer, killing off many people with radiation is bound to leave traces, and here, Mr. Person does not want to recreate humanity on a radioactive foundation.

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marked as duplicate by JBH, kingledion, sphennings, L.Dutch, Andon Jan 19 '18 at 3:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure this is a duplicate of worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/4521/… or worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/14234/… $\endgroup$ – bendl Jan 19 '18 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ @bendl I don't think this is a duplicate. In your first reference, the goal for Rodrigo's question was to kill the whole world without any sanctions. In your second link, unknown states that his character "Bob" has to survive by himself, but here Mr. Person wants to rebuild humanity. This is why this is a totally different question. $\endgroup$ – iostreamerX Jan 19 '18 at 1:11
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize, but your question really is a duplicate of @bendl's second link. The only difference is you want two people on the deserted island instead of one. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 19 '18 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ I'm gonna edit it. $\endgroup$ – iostreamerX Jan 19 '18 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ A virus requires a host or it cannot survive. Your world would be clean and ready to repopulate after a month (even with the piles of rotting bodies). Don't like the smell of corpses? Wait a year. And that question has many answers. Frankly, your explanation as to why your question is different than the former is "I don't like the answers." That's not enough. Leaving two people alive instead of just one is also not enough. There is nothing different about your question. (And what territorial borders are you talking about if 2 people minimum are alive?) $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 19 '18 at 2:52
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You need to stagger the deaths over maybe a decade, to give the grave diggers and crematoriums time to keep up with all the cadavers. You don't want your freshly cleaned planet littered with more 6 billion rotting corpses, do you?

Engineer a disease which is airborne, highly contagious and symptom free for the first year or so, then amplifies the next flu each host contracts to a fatal level. The symptom-free time gives the disease time to infect everyone, while its amplification of other pathogens gives it plenty of scapegoats during the subsequent years of mass die-offs.

Each flu season, a massive portion of the population dies while leaving enough survivors to bury the dead. With each subsequent die-off, the total population decreases; slowly whittling humanity down to your target extinction level.

Since everyone catches the flu at least once per decade, all your Mr. People and his wife need to do is stay isolated in their bunker until the humans are all gone, then wait a little while for the carrion hawks to clean up the last to die.

Then the planet is theirs!

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this. But what about the flu? $\endgroup$ – iostreamerX Jan 20 '18 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ Have the lifespan of the airborne stage of the engineered disease limited to a practical timespan, like maybe 24 hours. When a contaminated person breaths, the air around him would be contagious only for a day or two. Then the virus starves off unless it successfully infiltrates a human host. Once all the humans are gone, so is the engineered disease. As long as Mr. Person and Wife are isolated from everyone else while the world dies, they should be fine afterwards because there is no one left to breath on or near them. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jan 20 '18 at 7:32

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