Slow Knowledge


The Anthropocene, or “the age of man, is a proposed new geological epoch, marking the period from which human civilization has an irreversible and profound impact on Earth’s ecosystems. The beginning of the Anthropocene is most often associated with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Some scientists originate it from the invention of the steam engine, while others derive the advent of a new era from the rise of civilizations based on agriculture. Nuclear experiments during the Second World War and the first nuclear explosion (Trinity test) also marked a significant leap forward in man’s becoming a geological factor. The concept was coined by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer in the 1980s, and was widely adopted when the Nobel Prize winner atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen published his article The Geology of Mankind (2002) at the beginning of the 2000s. The concept of anthropocene has also become well established in the human sciences, but the official use of the term in the field of earth-system sciences has not yet been accepted. More on the critique of the Anthropocene narrative –> capitalocene