Anthropocene Epoch: The Age of Man

According to a Time magazine section (12 Mar 2012) titled “10 ideas that are changing your life,” it is possible that we are no longer living in the Holocene epoch:

Human activity now shapes the earth more than any other independent geologic or climatic factor.  Our impact on the planet’s surface has become so powerful that scientists are considering changing the way we measure geologic time.  Right now we’re officially living in the Holocene epoch, a particularly pleasant period that started when the last ice age ended 12,000 years ago.  But some scientists argue that we’ve broken into a new epoch that they call the Anthropocene:  the age of man.  “Human dominance of biological, chemical and geological processes on Earth is already an undeniable reality,” writes Paul Crutzen, the Nobel Prize-winning atmosphereic chemist who first popularized the term Anthropocene.  “It’s no longer us against ‘Nature.’  Instead, it’s we who decide what nature is and what it will be.”

The author of the article, Brian Walsh, continues:

. . . Managing the Anthropocene . . . will mean promoting the sort of technology that environmentalists have often opposed, from nuclear power–still the biggest carbon-free utility-scale energy source, despite the risk of accidents and the problem of radioactive-waste disposal–to genetically modified crops that could allow us to grow more food on less land, saving precious space for wildlife.  It will mean privileging cities, because dense urban developments turn out to be the most sustainable and efficient settlements on the planet.  And if we prove unable to quickly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we may be required to consciously fiddle with the climate through geoengineering, using artificial clouds or other planetary-scale technology to reduce the earth’s temperature directly.

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This entry was posted in Environment, geoengineering, Technology, transhumanism. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Anthropocene Epoch: The Age of Man

  1. Jason Porter says:

    Indeed, and with this, Anthropologists have found themselves thrown upon and hung by the horns of this dilema: To celebrate the entre to an apropriately named geological epoch that provides credance and relevance to their profession–Or– Be completly disolved into a mass depressive nihilism and self-loathing state from the illumination by scientists outside their profession of what anthropologists have known deep down inside all along, that is to say, and it looks like the data is quite clear about this, that Humans, indeed, without arguement, SUCK at being good neighbors to the rest of the world in its various spheres of existence.

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