The Anthropocene: The Inconvenient Truth of Man’s Dominion over Nature

Anthropocene in Action: the modern night lights of Europe represent the extent of our impact on Earth Source:

Global change is happening in more ways than you think, especially in climate change science.

Humanity has made enormous progress since our hunter-gatherer times. Recently, this ‘progress’ has been procuring particular academic interest in environmental science. The developing phenomenon known as the Anthropocene, offers a new scientific front to ‘bust the bubble’ of climate change deniers.

Humans have seized the reins of planetary change from nature. While this controversial and momentous idea may have been ridiculed in the past, it has grown a solid support base in the academic realm. So much, in fact, that scientists are on the verge of classifying a new epoch, or segment of time, on the planetary timeline of Earth, known as the Geological Time Scale.

This new epoch recognises the global impact that Homo sapiens have wrought. Appropriately, the Anthropocene literally translates to “age of man”.

The origin of the Anthropocene is not an easy one to deny considering it is more history than science.

The official beginnings of the Anthropocene are owed to the Industrial Era which was sparked with the invention of the engine. Until that point in history, human society had faced an ‘energy bottleneck’ of progress. The engine effectively shattered this bottleneck by unlocking the potential of the abundant rock known as carbon, transforming the nature of energy.

More recently, however, the pinnacle of the Anthropocene to date has been exploited through what is known as the ‘Great Acceleration’ marked by the last 50 years of human growth. The Great Acceleration has been hailed as the most phenomenal rate of human progress in our history. This recent and radical explosion of growth in wealth and prosperity has reinforced a global fetish for human progress.

As a result, the environment has suffered relentlessly through exploitation from – you guessed it – humans. The Anthropocene is seeing the Earth’s life support system quite literally disintegrating under our feet.

People need to wake up to their senses.

The Anthropocene tells us we are heading towards the Earth’s next mass extinction. And if that’s not something that raises concern, then there are grave concerns for you and humanity. The Anthropocene is providing the backdrop to all of the human-derived, environmental catastrophes past, present and future.

But we are not doing enough to curve our behaviours.

As the dominant force on the surface of this planet, we have a new onus to safeguard all life on Earth. Today we need to recognise that shift in responsibility for humanity.

He who fails to plan, plans to fail. We must not ignore the inconvenient truth. Now is the time to plan our response to the Anthropocene. After all, where do you think the environment is?

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