The Age of Anthropocene… – by Lauralouise Duffy

10 Mar

“The Age of Anthropocene” – a new name for what some scientists call a geologic epoch, whereby Man is responsible for the catastrophic changes on the planet, particularly in agriculture and water.

According to a recent article in National Geographic, it is not the building of magnificent cities or the innovative technologies of the last 25 years that scientists will remember thousands of years from now.  Rather it is the massive impact that humans have on the planet that will leave a sign for future geologists and scientists.

Human impact on the world has become a lot more obvious in the last 150 years in part because the population has quadrupled to nearly 7 billion people.  Additionally, affluence has clearly led to greater consumption of energy and other resources, while technology provides new tools for exploiting and consuming.  These factors have compounded since 1900.  The threats are widespread..

Ocean acidification is a global threat to sea life and coral – representing a major cause for extinction.  As carbon dioxide warms the planet, it also seeps into the oceans and acidifies them.  Bi-products of oil such as plastic and other chemicals are toxifying our oceans and creating dead zones where no sea life can survive.

Extinction of plants, animals and habitats is happening at a rate hundreds of times higher than during most of the past half billion years, according to geologists.  Three top reasons for animal extinction are:  Deforestation, Destruction of Habitat & Global Warming.

Agricultural Waste:  Nitrogen runoff from fertilized land causes dead zones at the mouths of rivers and poisoning freshwater resources worldwide.

Waste & residue from harvesting of coal and oil results in destroying freshwater supply.

Leveling of the world’s forest changes the ecosystems and is a major cause of extinction for animal and plant life, erosion and global warming.

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As scientists debate what our planet looks like as a result of the Age of Man (now being coined the Age of Anthropocene), perhaps it is time for Mankind to write our own history. 

I agree that it is time to focus on the consequences of our collective action in the here and now.  Human actions have an undeniable impacts on our planet’s water, food and natural resource supplies – all of which are essential for life on Earth.

By Lauralouise Duffy, CEO of Global Fund Exchange


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