Anthropocene

Some time in the last millennium, we entered the anthropocene — a new epoch defined by the fact that man has irreversibly altered the thin veneer of life on which we depend. If we don’t understand this simple premise, then everything we think we know about our economy, our ecology, and our society will be wrong. The AnthropoZine is your guide to this new reality.

It’s a word that comes from the Greek anthrōpos, which means “human being”, and it echoes terms like “anthropogenic” or “man-made” — as in “anthropogenic climate change” (as opposed to natural climate change). Geologists aren’t so sure it’s the right word, but I can’t think of a better term for framing the environmental, ecological, and societal challenges that we now face.

A Whole Earth Way Of Thinking About The Anthropocene

Before he published his first Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, Steward Brand lobbied NASA to release the first snapshots of the Earth as seen from the moon, according to Wikipedia. “He thought the image might be a powerful symbol, evoking a sense of shared destiny and adaptive strategies from people,” the entry says. The catalog provided “access to tools”,…

The Global Garden

Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Embrace The AnthropoceneIt was a very young Bill McKibbon who introduced many of us to the concept of the Anthropocene in 1989, but he didn’t call it that. He called it “The End of Nature“. “In the past, we spoiled and polluted parts of that nature, inflicted environmental…

Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene

The challenge the Anthropocene poses is a challenge not just to national security, to food and energy markets, or to our “way of life” — though these challenges are all real, profound, and inescapable. The greatest challenge the Anthropocene poses may be to our sense of what it means to be human. A dark November…