Adventures in the Anthropocene, by Gaia Vince

"On the geological timescale, humans have only been around for the blink of an eye. Yet since the end of the last ice age roughly 10,000 years ago, we’ve risen to control the planet in every conceivable way. Gaia Vince argues we have now entered an entirely new, human dominated era, the Anthropocene."

Adventures in the Anthropocene, Gaia Vince

HUMANS ARE MAKING SUCH CHANGES NOT ONLY TO INDIVIDUAL SPECIES, BUT TO ENTIRE LANDSCAPES. (JOHN FINNEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

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Tags: Anthropocene, changes, landscapes, species

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Comment by Joan Denoo on August 4, 2014 at 3:40pm

Randy, I have a hunch that as you observe the consequences of present practices, you are more aware than you were five or ten years ago, of the need to take the environment into consideration when you make your choice of what to eat, and how to manage your purchases. Awareness is the first step to thinking and acting with the Earth in mind. 

I also am optimistic because you and your family grow food fit for human consumption. 

Comment by Randall Smith on August 4, 2014 at 7:44am

I plead guilty to feelings of contempt towards a plethora of worldy things, many of which you mentioned, Joan, but include the obese, conservatives, hypocrites, even "believers". Admittedly, I'm ashamed of my feelings, but they're alive and well. I also admit to "ostrich behavior". What mankind is doing to our planet is disgusting and scary, but I choose to ignore it and do nothing more than give money to environmental organizations. Thanks YOU for speaking out and being involved. The earth needs fewer people like me and more like you.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 3, 2014 at 9:26pm

That said, I stand in judgement of the criminals of the financial markets, in disdain of the wimpy people who follow along like camels with rings through their noses, and  scorn for those from the Supreme Court down through the ranks of lawyers, and law enforcement who violate basic human rights. I hold in contempt those pharmaceuticals who jack up drug prices and the insurance companies that add a layer of profit on top of the already spiraling cost of health care. I speak out against the institutions that maintain and perpetuate violence in our homes, schools, health delivery system, work places and challenge those who exploit and manipulate others. I stand in opposition to those who support GMO and who do not realize the long term impact of GMO foods on heirloom seeds. We have already seen that GMO corn is inferior to hybridized corn that have been developed over the eons of time. If we lose those strains because of monoculture, we will not be able to regain them. Heirloom seeds are different from genetically modifying seeds and can become extinct.

Heirloom varieties grow extinct as overuse of herbicides creates monster weeds. 

'Superweeds' emerge to challenge farmers

"overreliance on Roundup accelerated the spread of weeds resistant to glyphosate. After the first few years of remarkably clean fields, farmers began to notice that they needed to apply Roundup earlier in the year, when weeds were no more than 3 or 4 inches tall. Then, some fields began to need two or three applications a year for effective weed control.

"Weeds that were resistant to glyphosate survived, flowered and seeded. In fields that used the herbicide year after year, the weed populations skyrocketed."

There are many people who are concerned about global warming, troubled by the need to get off fossil fuels, those who are working to preserve fossil aquifers that are not replenishing. Some are taking on the GMO struggle, others seek better education to prepare our young for a life very different than we have now. A noisy group strives to end wars and killings and destroying of whole cultures.

I am optimistic because there are enough people such as yourself and many others who live, work, belong and think with a vision of a future for the coming generation. If we are not too polite, or too silent, or too inactive, maybe we can meet the challenges of the hedonists.  

 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 3, 2014 at 8:32pm

I have kind of a different image of future generations and their memory of us. Not all of our generations are narcissistic and nihilistic, nor are we all driving those damn SUVs, eating a burger every day, commuting to work and play.

Take yourself, for example, you work hard, you find pleasure in the simple things of life, you raise chickens and fruits and vegetables and find pleasure in them. You are a vegetarian out of concern for the treatment of animals by producers of meats. I don't know what kind of car you drive, but I do not imagine it to be an SUV. You make pickled foods, preserve some others, you bake, and cook, you plan for changes to take in the changing climate. You live a lifestyle that is not the "christian" style, and you have a healthy, loving relationship with your partner. You make no apologies for who you are and stand with pride, self-respect and dignity. I can't think of a better example for future generations. 

 

Comment by Daniel W on August 3, 2014 at 10:23am

We are clearly in a geological era with global climate repercussions of the cleverness and fecundity of Homo sapiens.  Our descendents will see if there is also wisdom.  I doubt it.

I have this mental image of the reversal of ancestor worship.  For the first time in human history, we really KNOW that we are screwing up the future for those who follow.  We are being narcissistic and nihilistic in our response.  This is willful ignorance.

Past religions have had people bringing food and gifts to ancestors' shrines, flowers to our parents' graves, caring for cemeteries and tombs.  I visualize future generations using cemeteries as cesspools, piling on excrement and garbage, cursing the ancestors for their vast selfishness.  People will use the graves as urinals, literally pissing on their parents and grandparents for their epic selfishness.  People will use their predecessors as legendary examples of insatiable avarice.  We will be regarded as being like popes and priests, kings, evil generals.

Rather than invoking the ancestors' for blessings, the ancestors will be called upon to curse the enemies. It will be the opposite of ancestor worship.

And all to drive those damn SUVs, eat a burger every day, commute to work and play.

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