The other day I read about the debate whether or not we had entered the Anthropocene epoch, or, that moment in geological time everything became about us, homo sapiens.
It was an article in the The Toronto Star and it made me think: hey! we weren’t the center of attention for much of Mother Earth’s time here on, well…. herself…..
But I digress.
First things first. It seems the Anthropocene isn’t even an official epoch yet, meaning we’re still members of the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period.
Second and much cooler, scientist tell us “it would be the first time a geological boundary could be witnessed by scientifically literate human beings.”
Given our species tendency towards ego-driven hubris, I would have thought we’d named an epoch after ourselves by now, but it seems not.
Later in that same day, I was driving my youngest to school when I saw Mount Popocatépetl in early morning hues of blue, pink and dark coffee-bean brown and it struck me that not that long ago in geologic time anyways el Popo was the geographic reference for Aztecs in Morelos (our state).
Rising some 17,802 feet above the sea level and almost always fuming as if in anticipation of some great show of Mother Nature’s power, El Popo is truly a natural wonder and was most certainly a constant reminder to the Aztecs of who governed who.
When the Spanish came to Mexico all eyes turned to the Church, and things have only gotten more intensely Anthro since.
Of course, the Anthropocene epoch, if it becomes one, would be less than a century old, so we are really just getting going on how we define it. Other epochs, by contrast, were very, very long many millions of years to be exact. Notably however they all ended up rather badly for animals of their age.
Things don’t look good for us sustainability-wise either, and if we don’t get our epochal house in order soon, we might get to be the only “scientifically” literate humans to witness two geological boundaries.
Nature will rule the day as always, and it would seem turning our eyes back to El Popo or the nearest natural wonder in your neighborhood, may be the ticket, the only ticket, to long and happy epoch.
Note in the same edition of the Toronto Star I saw a video on a chimpanzee beating a drone with a stick. Makes you wonder about all our science huh….