WELCOME TO THE ANTHROPOCENE

I just couldn’t resist posting the image above. It came to my attention through a post on Google+ by a scientist critical of compromises in the EU’s recent effort to set better carbon reduction goals.

The appearance of the image seemed a bit more than coincidental to me.  Yesterday while stopped at an intersection a parade of big yellow school busses passed before me. Many kids looked wistfully out the windows. Lately when I see scenes like that or infants in strollers being pushed down a sidewalk something like this runs through my mind: “Kids, welcome to the Anthropocene. And, by the way, you may witness the sixth great species extinction in the history of life on Earth.”

Also yesterday the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a 40-page summary of it’s conclusions about climate change. The climate future and concomitant societal effects they foresee aren’t good, to say the least. Unlike me, today’s children will live to see it all play out. Are they being prepared?

I do see a slim ray of hope. The cross-country climate march (ClimateMarch.org, @climatemarch) reached Washington, DC, yesterday as well. I mentioned the march in a recent blog post because I admire what these young people are doing. Kelsey Juliana of Eugene, OR, was one of the long-haul marchers, and an interview she did with Bill Moyers is embedded in that post. I congratulate them on their initiative and on completing the long march.

The march was not huge in numbers, but it is one more public action that, hopefully, will become common enough to spur the politicians to action. One of the board members of the organization I worked for in the ’70s was an African American civil rights activist since the 1940s. She had a slogan about getting change: “You got to put your feet in the middle of the street.” That’s as true now as it was back then.

 

 

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