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It’s all over for the Anthropocene, the official geologic period of human-caused climate change

It’s all over for the Anthropocene, the official geologic period of human-caused climate change

We have tagged this article as as it imposes a serious spin on the topic.
If not more explanation provided, this article is included as propaganda because it shows clear manufacture from a government controlled dialectic, where a topic is misdirected by some actors in order to mislead people during early stages of a narrative.

A committee of experts voted down a proposal to officially declare the start of a new interval of geologic time, one defined by humanity’s changes to the planet.

By doing so, the two dozen or so scholars brought to an end nearly 15 years of debate about whether to declare that humans had transformed the natural world so thoroughly as to have sent the planet into a new epoch of geologic time called “the Anthropocene.”

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The Anthropocene Epoch was a proposed geological epoch that dates from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth until now. It was characterised as the time in which the collective activities of human beings began to substantially alter Earth’s surface, atmosphere, oceans and systems of nutrient cycling. The name “Anthropocene” is derived from Greek and means the “recent age of man.”

The term Anthropocene was coined in the 1980s.  Some argued that it should follow the Holocene Epoch, which began 11,700 years ago, and begin in the year 1952. The marker was radioactive fallout from hydrogen bomb tests.

The grandly named chapters of our planet’s history are governed by a body of scientists, the International Union of Geological Sciences (“IUGS”). The organisation uses rigorous criteria to decide when each chapter started and which characteristics defined it. The aim is to uphold common global standards for expressing the planet’s history.

In a 2018 article, Mark Sagoff explained how the concept of the Anthropocene began.  Paul Crutzen is credited, along with Eugene Stoermer, with introducing the concept of the Anthropocene and advocating its adoption by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (“ICS”), a commission of the IUGS which is responsible for naming and dating geologic periods, eras and epochs.

In 2002, Crutzen published an article in Nature titled ‘Geology of Mankind’ which called on geologists “to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch, supplementing the Holocene – the warm period of the past 10-12 millennia.”

“The idea of the Anthropocene, which Earth system scientists initiated and advocated, landed like a meteor, setting off a stampede among academics,” Sagoff wrote.  “Nature followed with an editorial that urged that the Anthropocene be added to the geologic timescale.”

In response to the clamour, Sagoff said, the ICS convened an eclectic Anthropocene Working Group, including Crutzen and many other Earth system scientists, to present a recommendation. However, the working group struggled to agree on a demarcation between the Anthropocene and the current Holocene.

Since Curtzen first began using the term, Anthropocene has increasingly defined our times as an age of human-caused planetary transformation, from climate change to biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, megafires and much more, Science Alert noted.

Last autumn, the Anthropocene Working Group submitted its proposal to the first of three governing committees under the International Union of Geological Sciences (“IUGS”): the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (“SQS”), the International Commission on Stratigraphy (“ICS”) and finally the IUGS. Sixty per cent of each committee had to approve the proposal for it to advance to the next.

Amending the chronology to say we had moved on to the Anthropocene would represent an acknowledgement that recent, human-induced changes to geological conditions had been profound enough to bring the Holocene to a close.

As The New York Times noted: “The declaration would shape terminology in textbooks, research articles and museums worldwide. It would guide scientists in their understanding of our still-unfolding present for generations, perhaps even millenniums, to come.”

However, to qualify for its own entry on the geologic time scale, the Anthropocene would have to be defined in a very particular way, one that would meet the needs of geologists and not necessarily those of the anthropologists, artists and others who are already using the term.

SQS members submitted their votes starting in early February 2024.  Members who voted were not only weighing how consequential this period had been for the planet. They also had to consider when, precisely, it began.

Earlier this month all the votes were in. The SQS voted not to declare that the Earth had entered a new epoch of geological time: neither now nor in 1952.  And the ICS and IUGS agreed.

With SQS, ICS and IUGS rejecting the proposal that the Anthropocene Epoch had begun means it’s official. Our planet, at least for the time being, is still in the Holocene Epoch, which began 11,700 years ago with the most recent melting of the ice sheets.

“This is quite significant; it means science and hard data have triumphed over ideology and it means that a central plank of the Climate Catastrophism theological doctrine has failed,” Jamie Jessop wrote.

However, some are not willing to give up the fight just yet.  “Discussions of an Anthropocene Epoch aren’t over yet,” Science Alert wrote. “But it is very unlikely that there will be an official Anthropocene Epoch declaration anytime soon.”

In a joint statement yesterday confirming the decision, the IUGS and ICS acknowledged they cannot stop others using the term: “Despite its rejection as a formal unit of the Geologic Time Scale, the Anthropocene will nevertheless continue to be used not only by Earth and environmental scientists, but also by social scientists, politicians and economists, as well as by the public at large. It will remain an invaluable descriptor of human impact on the Earth system.”

In other words, “the Anthropocene” is not science; it’s activism, and it’s politics.

Sources for this article include:

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