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*What's In A Name?
Anthropocene: noun, An·thro·po·cene | \ ˈan(t)-thrə-pə-ˌsēn , an-ˈthrä-\ – Here’s how to pronounce it.
“Anthropocene” is the name of the epoch in geologic history when earth systems no longer follow their natural course but are directed by humans. Its geologic markers, found across the globe, consist of technofossils (industrial litter deposited by rivers and streams) and radionuclides (from atomic blasts). Before it is officially part of the geologic time scale, the name must be adopted by the International Union of Geological Sciences.
But regardless of its official acceptance, Anthropocene has entered our vocabulary. The reason is it summarizes what so many people have understood for two generations: that humans have changed for the worse the physical and biological nature of the planet. The degradation of air, water and soil, the disappearance of habitats and extinction of species, and the growing threat to human civilization itself, combine to make ours a perilous time.
The solution to the crisis is not obscure. It is simply humans acting in concert – in alliance – to protect vital air, water and land, and end the use of fossil fuels and other sources of global warming. Anthropocene Alliance was formed to advance this essential work of self and community transformation.
Image top: The North Star newspaper, Rochester, New York, edited by Frederick Douglas, June 2, 1848