Photo via rpongsaj via Flickr CC
The Anthropocene is the name of a proposed geological era coming upon us, and the idea is that we're being ushered from the Holocene (the period that started about 12,000 years ago) into an age where humans dominate the planet's functions. Alex Steffen from WorldChanging analyzes this idea and says we need to not be focused on entering this new age, but preserving the one we're in. With geoengineering ideas popping up right and left and humans somehow trying to take the situation in hand and direct it where we want to go, the Anthropocene idea makes a lot of sense. However, the theory behind it is that humans will actually have control in some way. But...we don't.
I get the utility of using the idea of the Anthropocene to provoke recognition of the mind-bending reality that we are transforming the very planet on which we walk.
Where the Anthropocene as a concept breaks down, it seems to me, is in the implications it raises, particularly among certain crowds who seem to be saying with increasing frequency, "well, dude, we're in the Anthropocene, anything goes."
Steffen takes a close look at the implications of believing we're entering into a new era, and what it might take to save the Holocene. You can catch his full article at WorldChanging.
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