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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I am an award-winning journalist writing primarily about the environment and energy. I have a book coming out in November 2016 about whether the planet has entered a new geologic age as a result of people's impacts and, if so, what we should do about this Anthropocene. It's called The Unnatural World. I’ve been writing for Scientific American since 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 author of a children’s book on bullet trains and write for publications ranging from Foreign Policy to The New Republic, speak on news radio and shows such as WNYC’s The Takeaway, NHPR’s Word of Mouth, and PRI’s The World and appear on television, ranging from The Weather Channel to serving as host of Beyond the Light Switch and the forthcoming The Ethanol Effect for PBS. I also happen to think Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species is a surprisingly good read.

One thought on “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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