[Marxism] Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene - NYTimes.com

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Nov 12 06:41:32 MST 2013

There’s a word for this new era we live in: the Anthropocene. This term, 
taken up by geologists, pondered by intellectuals and discussed in the 
pages of publications such as The Economist and the The New York Times, 
represents the idea that we have entered a new epoch in Earth’s 
geological history, one characterized by the arrival of the human 
species as a geological force. The Nobel-Prize-winning chemist Paul 
Crutzen coined the term in 2002, and it has steadily gained acceptance 
as evidence has increasingly mounted that the changes wrought by global 
warming will affect not just the world’s climate and biological 
diversity, but its very geology — and not just for a few centuries, but 
for millenniums. The geophysicist David Archer’s 2009 book, “The Long 
Thaw: How Humans are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s 
Climate,” lays out a clear and concise argument for how huge 
concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and melting ice will 
radically transform the planet, beyond freak storms and warmer summers, 
beyond any foreseeable future.


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