"The first stage of solving our damaging relationship with our environment is recognising it." To begin I would like to start by recognizing that although I am going to explain how awful our actions are in regard to our natural surroundings, it is also important to note how remarkable these same actions are. We have been able to put ourselves in power to build amazing new landscapes of steel and concrete, construct huge structures to block the flow of water, develop the technology to grow a fruit thousands of miles away and transport it to us and still have it taste fresh, and even learn how to combine genes in fish with strawberries. As controversial as these developments have become, they still are amazing accomplishments. With that being said, it is now time to recognize that those ideas are becoming outdated and are destroying the very environment they need to survive: I mean, what is a dam without a river? Now, we must accept the fact that our power over the environment has gotten out of hand and we must use our amazing knowledge and technology to create even more incredible feats, such as plants that can desalinate the oceans with very little energy so we can provide freshwater to the billions of people who need it, artificial vertical farms that use very little water to produce enough food without waste to feed the world's population, and maybe even creating new environments like coral reefs and jungles not specifically for our benefit but just to give back to nature. Personally, as a prospective urban planner, there is no stopping the rise of cities, but to live in the anthropocene is to connect those cities with the environment, not to pit them against each other; to know we have the power to dominate nature, but to choose not to.
I agree with you that there is no stop to the rise of cities. It's so ingrained into our society and world no one would ever expect it too. But the fact of the matter is, we have power and technology that could be put to good use of finding cleaner and more environmentally friendly ways of expanding. We need to re-evaluate our damaging and careless outlook on the environment and instead work together with it.
I agree. Although these achievements are grand, it's time to take notice and make some modern changes that will help protect this world
These things that human build are great but they hurt our environment greatly.
When normally thinking about era's and epoch's in our global history, it usually consists of an immense change in our environment and possible grand extinctions (like the Triassic epoch in which it started and ended with immense extinctions of organisms like dinosaurs and a huge loss of biodiversity). To compare this to our time era we are currently living in, is not ridiculous. The current expansion of humans is having immense effects on the earth as we all now, and one of the most prominent effects is the loss of biodiversity. To me, I am ashamed to be compared to the meteorite that came 251 million years ago (killing 95 percent of all species, 53 percent of marine families, 84 percent of marine genera, and an estimated 70 percent of land species such as plants, insects and vertebrate animals). Our geological power is so impactful that we are Earth-changing in our actions. We need to take this power and use it for good and not be so careless with our actions.
I completely agree that it is shameful that are actions are equivalent to a meteorite disaster. The question simply is how far will we go? Will are actions cause the extinction of 95% of species or more? Will we effectively kill all but ourselves? Will we too go down in our own conflagration? It's hard to say but, personally, I'd rather not get so far in the first place to find out the answer.
The sub patios of the article really got my attention. My question is, if scientists saw this coming, why did we not head their warnings? I'm not sure how I feel about the article portraying this event in a light way. Yes we bought a new epoch, but it's not something we should be proud of. However, according to the article, we have made the first step in fixing the problem, recognition. I still believe that people must understand that we are responsible for the change that has bought about this new epoch.
I totally agree Jake, why didn't scientists give a warning? I also agree that this article should not be portrayed in a good way, because it's not. Thankfully though if humans are able to recognize the problem, then maybe we'll be able to fix it.
It's kinda crazy how much humans have effects the world around us. No other creature on this planet has ever made such an impact. We've crossed continents and created unbelievable technologies, but it's killing our planet. If we put those same skills and problem solving into protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, we might just be able to live sustainably with the world
I agree Tara, we have made some incredible advancements. Our advancments are killing our plant. We need to make changes to save the planet.
I personally feel ashamed to be considered the cause of this new Epoch on Earth. Yes, humans have come along way through technology and new innovations since the 1600's hundreds, but at the same time this new technologies are drastically effecting our Earth. It's also crazy to think that the discovery of the "new world" back in 1492 started all of this. The best thing we can do right now is try to focus all our energy into fixing the problem, that we used to figure out the problem. If Americans are able to recognize what there doing in there daily lives are greatly harming the Earth, and change there ways, we might eventually set a new epoch. Expect this time it will be for the better.
The way humans treat the environment is alarming, we have made such a great impact on the Earth with new technologies and farming techniques, supporting a huge population. However, these advancements are careless. We are using up our resources and destroying our only Earth. This era should not have come as a surprise, we should be more aware of our actions and the harm we have on the environment. I truly hope more people are able to recognize the severity of being a part of this new era.
You are completely right. We only have one planet, and once it is gone, that's it. We need to innovate, create, conserve, and do everything in our power to prevent our impact on the planet from becoming worse than it already is. If this epoch ends the same way that the others have, it means that we as a species will likely go extinct. Hopefully we can prevent this from happening for a couple hundred million years, and not be the source of the ending of our own epoch.
I think that this article really sheds light on how much we are affecting this planet. In the article it says that this new epoch is as much of a change as a meteorite strike. To me this should be a wake up call for people to become more aware of what is happening around them and to make a change in the unsustainable ways we are living in now.
I agree with you Emma. We need to wake up and realize what we are doing to this country and that our actions have potentially dangerous effects on the planet. We need to be aware that we are doing these things and that how we are living now isn't sustainable.
Living in this era means that we have to be aware and be cautious of what we are doing. In this era everything that we do has an effect on the environment and on the world in general. Since the industrial revolution in the 1600s the U.S. as a country has been using materials and performing actions that are affecting our environment. We need to realize that these resources that we are using aren't infinite and that there are consequences for our actions, especially on the environment. The resources that we have been using for hundreds of years are running low and we need to learn to be more sustainable as a country and then as a planet all together.
I agree completely. It is ridiculous that we've been using the same resources for over hundreds of years at an exponential rate knowing that they will not last forever. We need to begin to change our ways if we want the planet to survive
This is very true. The fact that we are still blowing through our non-renewable resources at an exponential rate is absurd. We need to find new methods of power or we are doomed
It was honestly a bit shocking to me that this new epoch began with a dramatic decrease in levels of atmospheric CO2. If anything I would have thought the opposite. That said, the anthropocene has become a terrifying term, as the human impact on the planet can be compared to a meteor impact, or much worse. This epoch spells new things for scientific research on climate change, with the rising CO2 leading to temperature increases so great that even if we put fossil fuel usage to a complete halt tomorrow, would still have irreversible effects on the world climate. This epoch shouldn't just be one about climate change, we should make it the human epoch of innovation. Finding new methods to either significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels and save our planet in despair isn't just an idea anymore, it is a necessity.
I like what you said about making this the epoch of innovation. Hopefully it is not too late to redefine what this epoch means for the world- we certainly cannot reverse what damage has already been done but we can change our ways nonetheless and turn the anthropocene into something more positive (or at least less negative?)
ahh humans are the worst, and of course this whole thing started when Europeans brought smallpox to america, like as if killing millions of natives wasn't enough they had to go and start a new epoch. It stinks we brought about this drastic change and i think the best thing we can do is accept it, be aware of it. It's obviously to late to stop it but what we can do is make environmentally cautious decisions and educate the masses encouraging them to do the same.
True!!!! Imagine if this land was left to Native Americans, how much more well preserved it would be. Education is definitely key
Living in this era obviously has its benefits, and I am grateful to be a part of such incredible advancements. These come at a cost that ultimately outweighs the pros, and that's why I am also ashamed to be living in this era. It is scary to realize how drastically we are changing our planet, and when reading things like this, overwhelming. If we have caused so much destruction, where can we even start? There is so much change that needs to happen in how we live our lives and it needs to happen fast.
I agree Julie that it's shameful how we've treated our planet. And it's difficult to imagine that change can happen but I do have hope. Our generation has all the knowledge about this problem and it's time for people to take action.
I'm not surprised that we've entered a new epoch, caused by us, because scientists have been saying for decades that we've drastically caused a shift to the Earth. In recent years it's been all about Climate Change which has displayed major shifts to our Earth's atmosphere. Yet I am shocked to hear that the beginning of this new epoch dates back all the way to Colinization in the 1600's. Such a shift from old world to new world was life changing yet I didn't believe that it had an effect on our Earth. The death of around 50 million indigenous Americans is certainly a big deal and frankly horrific yet I wouldn't have thought that it effected such things such as CO2 levels. It's sad to think that our lasting marks on the World will be because of how much we've altered and hurt our Earth and not because of the amazing changes our people have brought to the World. I'm embarrassed that this is most likely all our people will be known for; killing the planet.
I, too, was suprised about how this new epoch began with early colonization. It is a amazing that our mere shift from being nomadic people to traders and colonizers is what led us down this path to hurt our planet. I wonder what this world would be like otherwise
I find it rather surreal to think about how much we have impacted the earth- more than rare and extreme natural phenomena, like meteorite strikes. Though it is incredible to see how much humankind has achieved, I feel a sense of shame on behalf of our species that we behave in such a short-sighted way and have been doing so for years and years now. What would be genuinely impressive would be to build a society as rich and complex as what exists currently in a way that was sustainable, gentle on our earth. I think humans "figured it out" without truly figuring it out; we can and should take pride in our accomplishments, yes, but how impressive are they truly when you take into account their negative effects?
I totally agree that it's completely unbelievable that we've changed the Earth so much. Of course we've done incredible things (I saw as I type this on my iPad) but we need to think of our future. Humans need to learn to sacrifice some aspects of our way of life in order to ensure our future and our planets future.
I'm personally ashamed to be part of the same species that caused a new epoch. We've been completely disrespecting the Earth and the other species that live on it. Human beings aren't the only being on this planet, which means we must learn to coexist. Animals have been ripped from their niches that they've had for thousands of years before human beings showed up. The price of innovation is a devastated planet. We need to take all the knowledge we have a channel it into building a thriving natural Earth.
I am glad to be living in this era because this has been the easiest for humans to prosper in. However, our advancement come at a cost and that is what troubles me. We are taking advantage of everything that the planet gives us with little concern for the future. We need to start thinking long-term so that we not only help the human race survive, but that we also keep the earth habitable. We need to begin to understand that every action we have on the earth comes with consequences.
You are right Kyle, this is a very easy time to be alive, as long as you are n
Evan pressed submit as I was typing. Mrs. Anderson, please punish him to the fullest extent of the law. Back to what I was saying: You're right Kyle, it is a very easy time to be alive, especially if you are born into a more privileged society. There really is a lack of concern for the health of the future of the earth. People produce a huge amount of waste, and exploit natural resources. We have done a lot of damage for convenience.
I will deal with Evan......
This is true Kyle. We are killing the world around us by using so many fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources
I defiantly agree with you. Living in this era is very beneficial to us, but not beneficial to the Earth or Earth's future citizens.
This era is all about change. Starting with pollution, deforestation, and industrialization, we humans have changed this planet. However, within this same era, our era, we must also reverse this and change it for the better. That is why this era is all about change. It was once about altering the way we produce things, but we are beginning to realize that we must change our ways for the sake of Mother Earth. I believe the future is bright as more people become educated on our dire need to make our actions harmonious with the Earth.
I was kind of shocked when I read that this era in our worlds lifespan is started off with a decrease in atmospheric carbon levels. It goes against almost everything I know about the trend of atmospheric carbon levels, which is up. It is awful what has happened to our planet. I can't see the situation improving unless every person on earth plants a couple of trees, and then the majority of the population die. We have gotten too big, and there is not enough of anything to support us for much longer. I will say this, I like living in this time period. So far, things have been pretty awesome, possible commercial space flight for example. Oh yeah, the iPhone 7x2 will be pretty cool.
We are now in an new era, where co2 levels are now increasing rapidly. Living in the present, it is now much easier for humans to live longer and easier. Even though we are living longer our environment is facing the consequences.
Over the years, we, as humans have accomplished incredible things. However, many of these accomplishments run on energy we get from fossil fuels. This is causing us to blow through coal and oil an an enormous rate and destroy the earth in the process. If this continues, out world will be uninhabitable in no time.
Excellent point Ryan, continuing our ways will result in inevitable destruction if we do not book it and get some sort of movement going.
Living in this era is enlightening but at the same time frightening. The things we are doing to our planet are not ideal. We are destroying the environment one step at a time. Levels of carbon are obscenely high, but what can we do? As technology ameliorates it is possible we see a more cleaner energy source arise which could help, bu the question I find myself asking frequently is: are we too late, does it even matter at this point? I feel like whatever we do we may have permanently damaged our world and that is saddening.
Yes Lucas, it is amazing what we have done to our planet all over the last 400 years. I believe that we have the technology or will create the technology to fix what we messed up. There is nowhere else to go for us and nothing else to do if we do not fix our planet. I believe in the end that human ingenuity will overcome our destructive nature.
If we don't change our ways, we will inevitably destroy ourselves. We need to look at the big picture, forget about money and power and look at the earth as a community. If we continue on the path that we are going, the latter won't even matter because we won't be here. We will be gone along with the earth and everything that comes with it.
I am honestly not surprised to be living in this era. We were all born into this era, we had no say in the past to tell people to stop building a revolution of industries. Back then, citizens didn't have proper knowledge, they didn't know what they were doing would eventually cause major climate changes and lead to scare natural resources. They barely even knew our natural resources weren't unlimited. It's really no one's right to point fingers at anyone. We were introduced to this lifestyle. By the time we realized this wasn't a suitable thing to be doing to our planet, it was too late. We still barely know where to turn and what to use as a replacement for natural resources. It was necessary for survival to invent and to use and explore our natural resources. The only thing we can do now is cut back on using Earth's resources and try to find a replacement.
The fact that modern day humans have existed for about 200,000 years and everything seems to be happening over the past 400 or so years is what is really frightening. It seems that our impact on the environment is growing exponentially and we must finally do something about it. Now that it is a real and present issue I believe we will find solutions.