The Anthropocene era started with the invention and later refinement of the Steam Engine. The Steam Engine was the first step in enabling mankind to access and leverage huge amounts of densely sequestered potential energy. Releasing all this stored potential energy, in a relatively short time, had the societal effect of supercharging human activity, technology, mobility, transit speed, and living standard in a parabolically shaped upward trend and trajectory.
What are the side effects of all this activity if any? If you have lived for fifty years or more, and are observant objective and attune to your senses intellect and memory, you should be able to recognize signs and indicators that the environment has degraded to some extent over that time period. It’s a tremendous risk for us as a species to be unable to recognize and acknowledge the side effects of our own actions and activities.
Let’s break it down;
–An invention allowed human beings to supercharge their activity
–Many people have enjoyed the benefits (the upside) in the form of improved prospects and living standards
–All this activity occurred without consideration for side effects
–Without having to look all that hard you can easily see signs of some serious environmental degradation that occurred over your lifetime
–Much of the damage done to date will be irreversible
PCB’s, Mercury, Dioxin, Mirex, PFC, Chlordane, Dieldrin…
The poisonous relics, detritus, and after effects of recent human activity are too numerous to mention; most people don’t want to acknowledge the wasteful side effects of their own existence. Its human nature that people would enjoy the immediate upsides without even considering the potential for a future-downside.
What to do about it?
-The current trajectory (and the dissonance about such basic facts and issues) has to burn itself out, rationalization needs to become realized, and the pain of adjustment needs to be endured (if it can).
-Change the value system
-Become longterm and pragmatic about our activity
-Realize we are reliant on the “earth-system”
-Change how we organize ourselves and our things