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Weekly Reading #1
Student I.D: 213905146
The article is about the Anthropocene, which denotes the current geological period where human activity has been the dominate influence over climate and the environment. It is a common word heard in international geoscience groups, and has taken control of the attention of various social scientist and humanists. What started off as a small endeavour, has grown into a massive stream of publications authored by humanists about the Holocene’s end. The Holocene means the end of a recent era.The Anthropocene concept may soon be one of the key signifiers that frame the thinking of societal decision makers.
The Anthropocene has grown steadily more visible outside the humanities and has afforded some scholars the chance to pursue their existing inquiries in a new, encompassing and seemingly sympathetic frame hailing from the Geosciences. This term, as well as the older notion of ecocide, meaning the destruction of the natural environment, especially when done intentionally, are terms that designate actualities that require a critical and felt response, while recognizing that these words might amount to little more than “idle chatter”. There is a suggestion that our era necessitated the need for restrictions on practices such as individual and group freedom. Geoscientists are producing concepts and evidence that virtually demand a societal response worldwide.
Interdisciplinary programs have brought together earth and environmental scientists in order to better understand biophysical change on a planetary scale and humans as causes and subjects of such change.
Leading members of the international geoscience community have been vocal on four points. First, some are insistent that ours is a “planet under pressure”. second, many are dismayed that decision-makers appear unwilling or unable to grasp the serious consequences of the scientific findings. Third, a number of geoscientists are inviting more social scientists and humanities scholars to join them in trying to understand anthropological change. Lastly, there are calls within the global change research community for it to get better at producing actionable knowledge, as part of a social contract.
The concept of the Anthropocene sharpens the focus on an over-arching long-term goal for humanity - keeping the earth’s environment in a state conducive for further human development. It has inspired some geoscientists and environmental humanists to share a platform in a bid to find workable solutions for climate change.
Monday, September 26, 2016