The Anthropocene: Bye, bye, humans

Sometimes we humans are so focused on individual issues, like the barbaric acts committed by the butchers of ISIS, that we don’t see the bigger picture.

Such as the fact the human race may not be around for much longer, making everything else pretty much irrelevant — for us, at least.

Scientists have been warning recently that we, as a species, have pretty much butchered the planet to the point that we now face extinction if we don’t make some radical changes.

But those changes won’t happen, because greedy exploitative capitalism has too much of a hold on the human race, the vast majority of whom are living for today with no thought for the people of tomorrow.

To put this in more concrete terms: We have now entered a new epoch dubbed the Anthropocene, “meaning that human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment,” writes Roger Annis in a piece on the Rabble site.

I think we all know that the relative climate stability of the past 12,000 years or so — called the Holocene — is over. We’ve been seeing growing signs of that in the past decade.

Mr. Annis reports on the findings of a recent Working Group on the Anthropocene, who presented their paper to the International Geological Congress on Sept. 5 this year. (There are several other reports about this on the Web.)

Here is an excerpt from his piece:

  • The findings and recommendations of the Working Group on the Anthropocene should serve as a giant wakeup call to human society. They signal that the changes to the Earth’s biosphere by human industrial activity are alarming and a threat to the very existence of the human species as we know it.
  • The findings should set in motion emergency measures to reverse society’s suicidal march of destruction — despoliation of the air, waters, forests and soils; and global carbon emissions causing rising global temperatures, ocean levels and ocean acidification. But that will not happen because the world’s economy is dominated by the capitalist mode of production, which is the source of the crisis in the first place. Inherent to capitalism is its relentless expansion dynamic, creating endless growth and endless, wasteful production and consumption.[1]
  • The Industrial Revolution and the subsequent rise of imperialist capitalism have left a terrible legacy of ecological destruction in their wake and now the party is over. A wrenching social revolution is needed to take political and economic power out of the hands of the capitalist classes of the world and begin to plan an alternative, socialist economy based on social and environmental justice. New institutions of popular democracy are needed to ensure that emergency responses do not leave anyone behind and are as thorough as they need to be.

Of course, you know and I know that the capitalist classes will continue to have their way with Mother Earth, until they have raped her to the point that she can no longer support us and, perhaps, the rest of the animal and botanical kingdoms.

Sorry to be so gloomy today, but there is virtually no way we, as a species, can avoid the karma coming our way. One has to wonder if the millennials of today will see old age — and if their infants will see their 20s.

It would be silly to think Mother Earth herself will die as a result of mankind’s selfish and thoughtless indiscretions. She will shake us off long before that. And then she will regenerate herself without us.

— Jillian

7 thoughts on “The Anthropocene: Bye, bye, humans

  1. It is the “nature” of the beast. Because that’s what we is. Darwin was not Darwin for naught. And Shakespeare didn’t write Hamlet for naught either. “Alas poor Yorick, I knew him” %|


      1. Funny . . . I was going to mention that cockroaches might be the only live creatures left — not to mention worms and such that live below the surface. But then I wasn’t even sure if the roaches would make it . . .


  2. I sometimes feel like Cassandra: having to warn against the coming catastrophe but unable to do anything about it. I’d rather try to be like Hari Selden of the Foundation books, but there may be other Seldens out there, gathering people and knowledge to survive and rebuild in better ways after the coming Fall. We may lose many of our 7 billion people, but I don’t think all of us will be lost. There’s enough love, light and learning out there to pull many of us through.


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