• BertramDitore@lemmy.world
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    4 days ago

    I get why geologists might be hesitant to add a whole new epoch named after us, they deal in absurdly long timescales. That said, I’ve read a number of climate and environment papers going back at least 5 to 10 years where Anthropocene is used without a second thought.

    We did this, so it’s only fitting that we at least take the inconsequential step of calling a spade a spade.

    • 14th_cylon@lemm.ee
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      3 days ago

      there is also plastic age…

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/04/plastic-pollution-fossil-record

      After bronze and iron, welcome to the plastic age, say scientists

      Plastic pollution is being deposited into the fossil record, research has found, with contamination increasing exponentially since 1945.

      Scientists suggest the plastic layers could be used to mark the start of the Anthropocene, the proposed geological epoch in which human activities have come to dominate the planet. They say after the bronze and iron ages, the current period may become known as the plastic age.

      The study, the first detailed analysis of the rise in plastic pollution in sediments, examined annual layers off the coast of California back to 1834. They discovered the plastic in the layers mirrors precisely the exponential rise in plastic production over the past 70 years.

    • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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      3 days ago

      Well, there’s also the point that the holocene just started 11,700 years ago. That’s basically yesterday, in geology terms. We can be the dominant occurence of the holocene. We don’t need to give it a new name, just because we’ve now entered industrialization and whatnot.

  • supersquirrel@sopuli.xyz
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    4 days ago

    I think it is darkly hilarious and ultimately wonderful symbolism that geologists rejected the Anthropocene label only for everybody else to laugh at them and keep using it anyways.

    At this stage in the game acting like there isn’t enough proof that we are in the Anthropocene is something you only believe if you hope to one day get a cushy job at an energy or oil company :)

    • sping@lemmy.sdf.org
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      3 days ago

      We’re not in the Anthropocene because the next epoch hasn’t taken shape yet. What humanity has done is create a transition from the holocene to whatever epoch will come next, the nature of which is unknown though we can predict some aspects. The idea that this right now is the new geological epoch is absurd hubristic misunderstanding of what a geological epoch is.

      It’s not an epoch any more than the crash that totaled your car is your new car.

      • blindsight@beehaw.org
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        2 days ago

        I mean, I guess? But regardless of what comes next, we know that humanity is having a global impact on geology, so calling it the anthropocene seems reasonable. Even if we reverse anthropogenic climate change and use science and technology to live in a climate utopia, that’s still man-changed. Or if we cause our own extinction, then we were the cause of the next geological epoch. Regardless, “anthro” works.

      • spidermanchild@sh.itjust.works
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        3 days ago

        This article touches on the idea of an event, which aligns with your language around a transition. That seems appropriate to me, e.g. the industrial revolution would be the event that kicked off the next epoch. Considering the profound impact we’ve had on the planet since the industrial revolution, it seems like a reasonable place in time to assert that a new epoch has begun, however. It has clearly started to take shape. We have already done 1.5C of warming, with all signs pointing to much more to come. Biodiversity is already plummeting and will continue to drop. It’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that we’ve created a deviation from the Holocene normals and are simply calling this new thing something else, something undefined but clearly underway and likely to be as disruptive as any epoch change in the past. It’s an observation that we’ve fucked things up, but it’s not surprising that geologists aren’t ready to make the leap to a formal name, especially one randomly invented by a dude in an off the cuff comment and not through the scientific process.

        • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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          3 days ago

          Many of the geological epochs ended with a mass extinction event like we’re currently seeing. It’s perfectly reasonable to declare the Holocene as the time period from the rise of the humans to their extinction. After we’re gone/unimportant, something else will take over and then that’s a new epoch.

          • spidermanchild@sh.itjust.works
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            3 days ago

            This feels like semantics though, of course there is an end accompanying the beginning of the next one. So we’re on track to cause mass extinction (I’m talking biodiversity in general, not human), i.e., the end of the Holocene by your logic, and something new is starting, which some folks are calling the anthropocene. The question is whether the industrial revolution and it’s carbon consequences are enough of a step change to define the end of the Holocene and start of something new. I think what we’ve caused is likely as consequential as exiting the last ice age, which is the start of the Holocene. And the Holocene wasn’t ever defined as the age of humans, so tying the extinction of humans to it seems silly - you seem to be creating an entirely new definition of the Holocene here.

            • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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              3 days ago

              Well, the way I see it, the current mass extinction cuts off the food chain that we sit on. I doubt, we’re going completely extinct, but I don’t think many humans will still be around in 500 years. In that case, calling the epoch that follows the mass extinction as anything with “human” in the name, isn’t very fitting.

              And I’m not saying that the Holocene is currently defined as being about humans. I’m rather saying if people feel like there should be an epoch declared, in which humans altered geology, then I would declare the Holocene as such.
              It only started 11,700 years ago. Since then, we’ve been dropping tools and treasures onto the ground, cultivated farmlands, built pyramids and castles, dug mines and quarries, dammed off rivers and oceans, and so on.

              But ultimately, I rather think the post-industrialization time frame is a geological event, not an epoch.

  • Rhaedas@fedia.io
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    4 days ago

    Naming things, whether it be periods in time or species, has always had a lot of disagreement. What this era we are now in is called isn’t as important as the fact that we have changed the world so much it is/will leave a clear mark for millions of years to come. I prefer to call the leading transition period as the “fucked around” era, and the one we’re now traveling in the “finding/found out” era.

    • cm0002@lemmy.world
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      3 days ago

      As the shimmering blue haze of the alien reconstitution field dissipated, the ruins of Earth’s last data center flickered to life. The leader, Z’kar, watched as fragmented data streams danced across the screens. The final days of humanity were illuminated in a chaotic cascade of, what are now known as “memes”, desperate pleas, and a strange acronym that pulsed through the digital ether: “FAFO.” “F-A-F-O,” Z’kar mused aloud, puzzled. “It seems to be a crucial concept in their final communications.” The translation matrix whirred, delivering a rough interpretation: “Fucked Around and Found Out.” The alien research crew exchanged glances, their scales shimmering in perplexity and intrigue. “It appears,” Z’kar concluded, “that humans were issuing a dire warning. They experimented recklessly, and this was their way of acknowledging the catastrophic consequences.” The team pondered the enigmatic human spirit, a mix of defiance and fatalism, now just echoes in the vast void they once called home.

    • cerement
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      4 days ago

      now just Latinize it and you’re good to go – “Fornicaricene” (?) and “Inveniecene” (?)

  • kwomp2@sh.itjust.works
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    4 days ago

    I prefer Capitalocene because Antgropocene implies a human subject writing history while in fact we have not reached that self-determination/subjectivation. We’re still object of the organizational structure that emerged from our history. It is the determination of capital to accumulate that steers our decisions over planet manegement

    • spidermanchild@sh.itjust.works
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      3 days ago

      This seems like an attempt to shift the blame to another group you don’t identify with. We collectively did this. Humans have been clearing forests and altering ecosystems for millennia, and the only thing that really changed is industrialization and the ability to easily extract massive amounts of fossil fuels from the earth. Technology made that possible, and once the cat was out of the bag it became very difficult to put it back in. Sure capitalism sucks and all that, but humans, organized by country and loosely in competition with each other, were bound to fuck this all up regardless of whether the Soviet Union or the US or the British Empire or China was “in charge”. It’s a prisoners dilemma stacked on expectations of comfort. And sure a global authoritarian government exclusively focused on sustainability could pull this off, but people sure as shit wouldn’t like it, so here we are. Capitalism and it’s effects to undermine solutions in the name of profit are absolutely making it worse, but to place exclusive blame on capitalism seems naive and ignores human nature itself.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190829150702.htm#:~:text=Humans in these time periods,land clearance and selective breeding.