There are those who say that human beings aren’t responsible for the effects of global warming or various other environmental issues.
A German strip mine. Image by Ekem.
But according to some scientists, humans have affected the world so much that we actually need to change the name of the current geological era to reflect our impact.
We’re currently living in what is called the Holocene. The period started with the end of the last major ice age in 9600 B.C. It’s name translates to €œentirely recent€ in Greek. Several geologists at the University of Leicester and the Geological Society of London, however, want to change the name of this epoch to the Anthropocene (anthro for human) to reflect the effect of humans on the landscape.
The scientists have lobbied the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the international body in charge of naming geological epochs. They argue that humans have physically altered planet Earth and its ecology so markedly that a difference between pre- and post-industrial periods must be drawn.
There isn’t a single place on Earth that remains unaffected by the human impact. Over 40,000 visitors a year, mostly tourists, visit Antarctica for example, one of the most remote places on the planet. Even deep in the Amazon jungle, deer rifles and beer bottles are providing entertainment to the natives.
It’s unbelievably sad when you think about it, because it reveals something about human nature. It is very easy for us to become addicted to civilization. Everything we do is geared towards it, which is really just a heap of marbles we’ve managed to pile up with spit and bubble gum. We’re all living on one of these marbles in this heap, in our own little worlds with our own little agendas and programs. All the marbles are connected and intertwined, stuck together with spit and bubble gum and technical wizardy, all of it dependent upon piling up even more marbles ever higher.
We’ve built a giant pyramid of these marbles, but the entire thing is shaking to it’s foundation and is about to fly apart. The crash this is going to make will be devastating. I truly cannot describe how horrifying this is going to be.
We are three generations of people who do not understand anything else, totally insulated and removed from our environment and the effects we have had upon it. Our little marble worlds we live in only permit us to see just a little bit of what’s really going on, and it’s so big, that when we actually get a glimpse, we recoil with sheer shock. We’re totally stupefied, we don’t know what we can possibly do to stop this.
The Anthropocene era won’t last much longer. As we devour every known resource and energy supply, our population levels will crash terribly; this is what we call “die-off”. It’s a natural cycle in nature, humans will also suffer from the same fate. Our horror will be knowing what is happening to us and that we are the reason it is occurring. Kind of like taking a slow poison that interacts with your nervous system and starts shutting down vital organs. You’re watching yourself die, bit by bit, but your totally incapable of doing anything about it.
There is no antidote, no cure. The only cure is to kill the cause – us.
I’m not trying to sound morbid, but there is a harsh and painful truth headed our way. Our addiction to civilization is killing us by degrees and that of the planet. The cure is to let civilization die along with most of humanity.
The shaking has already long started, but it’s now showing up in the average American home. No job, no retirement, for some already, no home. The homeless lines are already getting longer, foreclosures are way, way up and going to get worse very soon (March), the economic outlook across the entire globe is headed for disaster.
And we’re still very, very busy, assembling our marbles, polishing them up and sticking them together as fast as we can while we suck the remaining world’s resources dry, still refusing to admit that all of our spit and bubblegum can’t possibly keep this pyramid of ours assembled forever. The warning signs are everywhere, but we’re just too busy to really notice.