Welcome to the Anthropocene

I LIVE IN A SUPERFUND site. So do you, no matter where you live. Despite environmental laws older than I am and the migration of U.S. heavy industry overseas, the toxic impacts of modern human life touch every inch of the U.S. And it’s not just the U.S., it’s North America, it’s Asia, it’s Antarctica, every inch of everywhere really — even the organic detoxification spas across California. Welcome to the Anthropocene, or “age of man.”

We move more earth and stone than all the world’s rivers. We are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere all life breathes. We are on pace to eat to death half of the other life currently sharing the planet with us. There is nothing on Earth untouched by man — whether it be the soot from fossil fuels darkening polar snows or the very molecules incorporated into a tree trunk. Humanity has become a global force whose exploits will be written in rock for millennia.

We can think of our Anthropocene… Read the rest over at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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About David Biello

I am an award-winning journalist writing primarily about the environment and energy. I am working on a book about whether the planet has entered a new geologic age as a result of human impacts and, if so, what we should do about this Anthropocene. I’ve been writing for Scientific American since November 2005 and have written on subjects ranging from astronomy to zoology for both the Web site and magazine. I’ve been reporting on the environment and energy since 1999—long enough to be cynical but not long enough to be depressed. I am the host of the 60-Second Earth podcast, a contributor to the Instant Egghead video series and author of a children’s book on bullet trains. I also write for publications ranging from the L.A. Review of Books to Yale e360, speak on radio shows such as WNYC’s The Takeaway, NHPR’s Word of Mouth, and PRI’s The World as well as host the duPont-Columbia award winning documentary “Beyond the Light Switch” for PBS. I also happen to think Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species is a surprisingly good read.
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One Response to Welcome to the Anthropocene

  1. David Biello
    I don’t know how to contact you – so sending this as a comment, although it is not relevant to he post above.

    I need help. I am indeed a rank amateur. I wrote an article opposing nuclear power for Australia – got heaps of flak.
    Then the flakkers wrote an article showing what a dill I am.
    Now the editors have asked me to write another article in reply.

    I find that the flakker’s article is very persuasive, even convincing.

    “The importance of facts in research: the IFR” http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13746

    My own amateurish effort was “Answering Barry Brook on Australia’s nuclear power future” http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13726

    I intend now to have a go at the article. If you could point me to any information source that might shed doubt on IFRs that would be great.
    Noel Wauchope – (via Christina Macpherson)

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