Every living thing affects its surroundings. But humanity is now influencing every aspect of the Earth on a scale akin to the great forces of nature.
There are now so many of us, using so many resources, that we’re disrupting the grand cycles of biology, chemistry and geology by which elements like carbon and nitrogen circulate between land, sea and atmosphere. We’re changing the way water moves around the globe as never before. Almost all the planet’s ecosystems bear the marks of our presence.
Our species’ whole recorded history has taken place in the geological period called the Holocene – the brief interval stretching back 10,000 years. But our collective actions have brought us into uncharted territory. A growing number of scientists think we’ve entered a new geological epoch that needs a new name – the Anthropocene.
Probably the best-known aspect of our newfound influence is what we’re doing to the climate. Atmospheric carbon dioxide may be at its highest level in 15 million years. But this is just one part of the story; we’re changing the planet in countless ways. Nutrients from fertilizer wash off fields and down rivers, creating stretches of sea where nothing grows except vast algal blooms; deforestation means vast quantities of soil are being eroded and swept away. Rich grasslands are turning to desert; ancient ice formations are melting away; species everywhere are vanishing.
These developments are all connected, and there’s a risk of an irreversible cascade of changes leading us into a future that’s profoundly different from anything we’ve faced before. Little by little, we’re creating a hotter, stormier and less diverse planet.”
The next step in human evolution is awareness. Awareness of how completely destructive our relationship with our host planet has been since the industrial revolution. The wake up call is now, the question is what are you and I are going to do to make it to what might very well be the most important step in human evolution. We have evolved to a point where technology is omnipresent, we live in a world where it is easier to have a cellphone or internet access, than to have access to clean drinkable water. Our duty is to leverage the power of technologies and use its incredible forces to connect to create projects bigger than ourselves to re establish a symbiotic relationship with our planet.