The the beginning of the Anthropocene— a new, human-dominated age—was a new concept that was introduced to me during Tuesday’s lecture. It appeared odd to me that there we may consider a new age of humans, and only of humans. The argument was that a ‘new age of human dominance’ has arrived because human activity is altering the planet on a scale that is comparable with some major events in the past. However looking over a span of millions of years, have we really had that big of an impact on the planet, enough to create a new epoch of ‘human dominance?’
As I was doing some research on the debate over the Anthropocene, it was interesting to notice that there are split opinions between environmentalists and geologists. Environmentalists popularized the idea of the Anthropocene, however geologists seem to criticize this idea. Geologists argue that in order for you to define an age boundary, you need to find evidence in the rock strata, and the evidence of an Anthropocene simply cannot be found in the rocks.
I am not trying to argue that the changes that humans have brought to the planet is something we should ignore. However, I wanted to allude to the fact that ‘the Anthropocene’ still appears to be an idea that is hotly debated among groups of people.
“Anthropocene: The human age” Nature (2015) http://www.nature.com/news/anthropocene-the-human-age-1.17085
“What is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?” (2013) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-is-the-anthropocene-and-are-we-in-it-164801414/?no-ist
“Climate change: Learning to think like a geologist” (2008) http://www.paulmacrae.com/?p=62