You might have missed it between all the Twitter trends, VMA coverage, and Pokemon Go hunting—but humanity may have just reached a new geological epoch. The Anthropocene Epoch.
The last epoch was like for the last 12,000 years and called the Holocene. It started when around the Ice Age ended, and was marked by more or less having a stable climate—the better to develop human civilization in.
But we might not be so lucky in this new epoch because—and you might have sussed this out by the root word, “anthro”—we humans have sort of messed everything up in our environment. Or at least according to the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA), who yesterday strongly suggested to The International Geological Congress that the new epoch be officially declared.
And so the Anthropocene, beginning in 1950 a little after the dropping of the first nuclear bombs, would be marked by such achievements as getting microscopic particles of plastic in our water and bodies and in the bodies of the animals we eat, and pretty much damn near everywhere.
Also: chicken bones. Tiny domesticated chicken bones, in the billions of billions in landfills and lying in the parking lot of the fast food joint next to my house.
Let’s not forget the extinction of possibly 75% of all the species on earth in the next couple of hundred years. Or massive emissions of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere, the highest rate since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
And so while the idea that we are getting a front seat to the shiny new geological epoch might have at first seemed pretty rad…it actually feels sort of meh. Like, if it was announced 30 years into the future when I’d be much older and not really care or be likely to have that much of a future…that would have been perfect.
Anyway, it’s not nearly as important to humanity as some politician sending a nude selfie to some rando chick—so I think our media can be forgiven for the relative lack of prime news coverage.