Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Planet Under Pressure 2012

Welcome to the Anthropocene from WelcomeAnthropocene on Vimeo.

The Planet Under Pressure 2012 conference, which released the stunning video found above, is running from March 26-29 in London. Program information and access to the livestream are here. For those trying to sort out the time issue, Fredericton (Atlantic Time zone) is four hours earlier and, for our American friends, the Eastern Time zone would be 5 hours earlier.

The conference has a variety of interesting outreach mechanisms in addition to the livestream. They are nicely summarized, with relevant links, over at Resilience Science.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. An emerging consensus is that this current period of global warming began with the Industrial Revolution in the late 1600s. Some scientists say the Anthropocene started when Homo Sapiens began agriculture and thus exponentially increased its population and land use over the entire planet. If I remember correctly they said the Halocene climate period began with the introduction of human agriculture. I used to think that humans began impacting the climate when we started using tools and hunting--Homo Habilis. But I read recently that they now have evidence that Homo Erectus used fire, over one million years ago.

    My emerging notion is that we humans have been impacting the earth's climate ever since we got here. I think instead of saying that we have to engineer the reduction of carbon emissions in order to slow down climate change (which is all we can do at this point), we need to understand that we have a direct and dynamic relationship with the climate of this planet. Everything we do affects the climate, air, land, water. We have to begin to respect this relationship. We have to realize that our very survival depends on tuning in keenly to our relationship with the climate, and altering our ways of life to create a climate that is beneficial to us and to all the species that live with us. This is a profoundly different way of understanding the Nature/Human relationship.

    We are Nature. But we are Nature that is aware and intelligent and we have to use our awareness to create a climate that is supportive of the future survival of our species. We need to begin not with engineering, but with a finely-tuned sense of our relationship with the planet. We need to do AS LITTLE AS IS NECESSARY to create this climate, by tuning in, rather than by 'engineering out.'

    Thus to assert that the current pattern of climate change is "not induced by human activity" is to deny the last one million years of the dynamic relationship between humans and the climate. We have been impacting the climate ever since we emerged as a human species. We need to respect this relationship, and apply our keen intelligence and awareness to creating a mutually beneficial climate.