Newsflash: the epoch has ended. Seriously.

Goodbye holocene (the epoch in planetary history that started 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age).

Welcome anthropocene.

It isn’t often that you can really claim, as a journalist, that a true “era” has ended… and usually that’s reserved for things like the close of Katie Couric’s term as a network television anchor.

This talk on TEDx Canberra outlines an amazing meta-view of the planet by  Will Steffen, the executive director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute.  It contains some of the arguments now being raised that we have moved into not only another era, but an entirely new epoch: the epoch of human beings.

Andrew Revkin of at the New York Times has great coverage of what this all means: it re-frames the conversation about the great risks we’re facing (climate change being only one of many). The new focus could be one in which we begin to delineate and respect the planet’s boundaries. We, as humans, must learn how to live within them.

So ends our ‘teen-style resource binge’, says Revkin. “We no longer have the luxury of ignorance.”

The evidence and arguments to establish the anthropocene are going through the various processes now, so it will take a couple of years to shake this all out.

But you heard it here first. 🙂 Talk about the scoop of the cent… well, you know.


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Filed under admirations, journalism, science

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