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The Anthropocene Epoch - Welcome To Your World: The Effects of Human Activity on the Planet


DonRocks
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Eon > Era > Period (unless you're talking about my ex's) > Epoch

We're currently in:

The Phanerozoic Eon (the past 541-million years) - this is the Eon in which abundant plant and animal life exists.

The Cenozoic Era (the past 65-million years) - this is the Era in which mammals are abundant, started when a mass extinction occurred.

The Quaternary Period (the past 3-million years) - this is the Period featuring modern animal life and significant climate change including continental ice sheets.

The Holocene Epoch (the past 12-thousand years) - this is the Epoch that includes the current "warm period" which began after the last Ice Age.

Note that there is no evidence, one way or the other, to either support or refute the Holocene Epoch being a "resting period" between Ice Ages, or a permanent end to the previous Ice Age.

All of the above is what you'll read in textbooks.

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Now, however:

"The Anthropocene - Hard Evidence for a Human-Driven Earth" on sciencedaily.com

You've probably never heard of the Anthropocene, and that's because it's a newly discovered geological Epoch that *we're in right now* - in other words, the Holocene Epoch might be over.

The characteristics of the Anthropocene Epoch, which seems to have started after World War II, are the preponderance of materials such as aluminum, concrete, plastic, fly ash, and nuclear fallout.

For the sake of your great-grandchildren, you can hope that the worst-case scenario won't happen, but it's already happening.

At this point, I'd like nothing more than to offer you a solution, so here goes: Pray, and hope there's a God, because if there isn't, we're fucked.

I'm going to back up this website onto external storage, and pay someone to shoot it into outer space.

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On 1/9/2016 at 8:28 AM, Al Dente said:

Remember when Senator Inhofe found snow outside and made a snowball?

Where was he when it was in the 70's over Christmas?

If the (still-)hypothetical existence of the Anthropocene Epoch bears the test of time, history books will look back and note that it went completely undetected by most everyone for decades, i.e., people didn't even know it had begun. Back in the 1970s, we schoolchildren were taught that "air pollution" and "water pollution" were Bad Things, but nobody ever said why they were bad. I suspect even back then, there were some theoretical scientists that were looking into the future, seeing "this" as a possible result, but I don't remember hearing of any pollution apocalypse (granted, I was in my early teens); still, I think I'd remember if I'd been told that mankind was in danger of becoming extinct. We used to practice crawling under our desks, and marching down the hallways to bomb shelters, and nuclear war is what I remember fearing would kill us all.

About those history books - again, assuming the Anthropocene Epoch bears the test of time, there may be (*may* be) one sentence about how there were a couple decades of disagreement, before everyone came around to the same conclusion; unless the book is a detailed American political history, I doubt the words "Republican" or "Democrat" will be used at all, because they're not important.

As the years are going by, I clearly see more-and-more agreement about - well, certainly about the *existence* of climate change, but also about mankind's role in contributing to it. Being on the "cutting edge," and having known about this since, say, 1995; as opposed to slowly relenting over the decades and grudgingly accepting things in 2020, isn't going to matter all that much.

Let's wave our magic wands, and have all the world's political leaders, right now, right this second, agree that mankind is contributing to climate change. Then what?

Was there some type of critical "25-year window" between 1995 and 2020 (I'm pulling these dates out of thin air; feel free to choose your own), where, had we acted (whatever "acting" entails) during that window, everything would have corrected itself? And since it took that extra twenty-five years to reach consensus, did that lag doom mankind? I think that's going to be a pretty tough sale - I'm not saying it isn't possibly true, but even after a worldwide accord is reached, what do you do about the problem? Immediately ban the use of petroleum products and plastics? Order the shutdown of all smokestacks? Ban chemical production?

There are always going to be people more reluctant to change than others - this is part of the classic, non-political definition of "conservative" and "liberal," which has absolutely nothing to do with "Republican" and "Democrat" - two terms which, as far as I'm concerned, the world would be better without. Every issue should be treated independently, with an open mind, and allegiance to one's "fraternity" should have nothing to do with anything short of where to get your next keg (which, in this case, happens to be a powder keg).

When people - and I mean a large majority - learn to think independently, and with an open mind, then we can begin solving our world's problems. And if anyone sees that happening right now, they have better vision than I do. The rapid acceptance of gay marriage was a pleasant surprise, but a surprise it was - that's one thing that gives me the faintest glimmer of hope; on the other hand, there are still countries in this world - members of OPEC - that are putting people to death for being in love with someone of the same sex. We are, despite our wealth, a small blot of land on this planet, and not quite as influential as we were thirty years ago.

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