In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Earth ‘entering new age of geological time’

Posted by seumasach on March 30, 2010

Population growth altering the earth’s geology in such a way as to create “a catastrophic mass extinction”. With our carbon footprints we’re pummelling out new rock formations. They’ve said it before and they’re saying it again: there are just too many of us for this delicate little organism, this Gaia, this mother earth. Let the culling begin and what better way than to use electromagnetic pollution to eliminate the bees and pollinators and then get our scientists to be absolutely baffled by it, so that before we know it it’s too late. We can get our most prestigious journals like the NY Times to post articles explaining that there’s nothing to worry about and food supplies won’t be seriously affected.

Of course, human intervention is behind the coming crisis, but are we  talking about human development in general, or the intervention of certain elites intent on preserving their monopoly of power and wealth at the expense of the rest of us? We at ITNT go for the latter interpretation. The great danger lies not just in the domination of the media by these people but in their control of the “expert”-in the co-optation of the scientists and the transformation of science into a tool of oligarchy.

We cannot highlight sufficiently the centrality of the Malthusian agenda to the Anglo-American elite: it lies at the black heart of their anti-humanist agenda and by definition puts all our lives at risk.

Telegraph

27th March, 2010

Humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes on the planet that we may be ushering in a new period of geological history.

Through pollution, population growth, urbanisation, travel, mining and use of fossil fuels we have altered the planet in ways which will be felt for millions of years, experts believe.

It is feared that the damage mankind has inflicted will lead to the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth’s history with thousands of plants and animals being wiped out.

The new epoch, called the Anthropocene – meaning new man – would be the first period of geological time shaped by the action of a single species.

Although the term has been in informal use among scientists for more than a decade, it is now under consideration as an official term.

A new working group of experts has now been established to gather all the evidence which would support recognising it as the successor to the current Holocene epoch.

It will consider changes human activities have brought to Earth’s biodiversity and rock structure as well as the impact of factors including pollution and mineral extraction.

It is hoped that within three years, their case will be presented to the International Union of Geological Sciences, which would decide whether the transition to a new epoch has been made.

The theory has been proposed by a group of scientists, including Paul Crutzen, the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

They conclude: “The Anthropocene represents a new phase in the history of both humankind and of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces became intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other. Geologically, this is a remarkable episode in the history of this planet.”

Dr Jan Zalasiewicz, of the University of Leicester, co-author of the paper, added: “It is suggested that we are in the train of producing a catastrophic mass extinction to rival the five previous great losses of species and organisms in Earth’s geological past.”

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