Anthropocene declared officially

The offical declaration of a new geological epoch is reported in a number of press articles at the end of August 2016:

The Anthropocene Is Here: Humanity Has Pushed Earth Into a New Epoch

The epoch is thought to have begun in the 1950s, when human activity set global systems on a different trajectory

The Anthropocene Epoch has begun, according to a group of experts assembled at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa this week.

After seven years of deliberation, members of an international working group votedunanimously on Monday to acknowledge that the Anthropocene—a geologic time interval so-dubbed by chemists Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer in 2000—is real.

The epoch is thought to have begun in the 1950s, when human activity, namely rapid industrialization and nuclear activity, set global systems on a different trajectory. And there’s evidence in the geographic record. Indeed, scientists say that nuclear bomb testing, industrial agriculture, human-caused global warming, and the proliferation of plastic across the globe have so profoundly altered the planet that it is time to declare the 11,700-year Holocene over.

Here is a reflection on the above news. It raised the issue that humans are now co-creators of the planet that gave rise to organic life. The passengers of Spaceship Earth are now unwittingly re-making their spacecraft through their expansionist behaviour designed to satify their passion for growth, irrespective of the long-term consequences for future generations.

This is a more recent article from Oct 2017

The Restorative Economy

The Earthbound Report

Restorative-EconomyOne of my most interesting freelance jobs over the last couple of years has been a series of background papers for a new Tearfund campaign. I’ve been waiting to see what would come out of it at the end of the process, and last week the campaign finally launched. It’s called ordinary heroes, and it brings together the development and sustainability agendas in a new and important way.

There is much to celebrate about the number of people lifted out of poverty, rising global life expectancy, and the spread of education. But as long as climate change and other planetary boundaries are in overshoot, those gains remain fragile. What’s more, the billion or so people who haven’t yet shared in the gains of the last half century may be locked out. To finish the task, development agencies need to talk to us in the rich world too.

The campaign…

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Climate change denial’s new tag

Brexit was a tag that led to a vote for the UK to leave the EU. Now the doggedly persistent climate change deniers have coined their campaign “CLEXIT” which is a catchy tag that they hope will  advance their desire to curb concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and anthropgenic global warming and to ‘exit’ from policies designed to ameliorate emissions from fossil fuels generally thought to  be responsible for climate disruption. See this link to  their dissenting views.

But for a definitive look at the wealth of data and modelled projections see  Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis – the International Panel on Climate Change’s compilation of baseline & modelling data. It includes accessible summaries, FAQs and short videos.