A small ray of sunshine in the dismal swamp of science journalism from, of all places, The Atlantic…
The Anthropocene Is a Joke
On geological timescales, human civilization is an event, not an epoch.
PETER BRANNEN AUG 13, 2019
Humans are now living in a new geological epoch of our own making: the Anthropocene. Or so we’re told. Whereas some epochs in Earth history stretch more than 40 million years, this new chapter started maybe 400 years ago, when carbon dioxide dipped by a few parts per million in the atmosphere. Or perhaps, as a panel of scientists voted earlier this year, the epoch started as recently as 75 years ago, when atomic weapons began to dust the planet with an evanescence of strange radioisotopes.
These are unusual claims about geology, a field that typically deals with mile-thick packages of rock stacked up over tens of millions of…
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