the holocene went ‘holoholo’: on to the anthropocene

green economist jeffrey sachs gives reith 2007 lectures

Leave it to BBC to bring us some of the most compelling webchats of our time.

And thanks to Climate Change Action for bringing these Reith Lectures by Jeffrey Sachs to our attention.

Sachs is the closest thang to high priest in sustainable development, and he keeps pushing the envelope.

He is also one of the leading practitioners of large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change, as Director of the Earth Institute.

Wudja believe Sachs is pushing a new name for our fatefully foibled epoch?

Yup, let's call it the Anthropocene, says Sachs, in #2 of the 2007 Reith Lectures (from Peking University). Kewl.

In fact, notes Sachs:

"Anthropocene is a "spectacularly vivid, a term invented by one of the great scientists of our age, Paul Crutzen, to signify the fact that human beings for the first time have taken hold not only of the economy and of population dynamics, but of the planet's physical systems."

Anthropocene meaning a human created era of Earth's history, says Sachs.

As Sachs notes, "the geologists call our time the holocene --the period of the last thirteen thousand years or so since the last Ice Age -- but Crutzen wisely and perhaps shockingly noted that the last two hundred years are really a unique era, not only in human history but in the Earth's physical history as well."

In a nutshell, says Sachs, "the Anthropocene is the period when human activity has overtaken vast parts of the natural cycles on the planet, and has done so in ways that disrupt those cycles and fundamentally threaten us in the years ahead."

Ya gotta check out this webchat series to learn how Sachs thinks we're gonna handle this "bursting at the seams."

The lectures were taped at the Royal Society (London), Peking University (Beijing), Earth Institute (New York), SOAS (London)
, and the Scottish Parliament (Edinburgh). That's a ride, all by itself!

Oh, and, in Hawaii, 'holoholo' means to go for a ride.

Got your seatbelt fastened?

Published by Ken on August 7th, 2007 tagged Climate Change, Systems Thinking

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