Heck Yea, Scientists Are All In Agreement: The Earth Has Entered The Age Of Man

In the year 3019 of the Third Age, Aragon, son of Arathorn, was crowned King of Gondor, and ushered in with him the Age of Man. The Fourth Age, as it was also known, was a prosperous time on Middle Earth, as Minas Tirith was rebuilt; elves, dwarves, and men all cooperated; and peace reigned.

So, Age of Man = Good, right?

Only in fiction. On Monday, a group of 35 scientists declared to the International Geological Congress that on Earth, we are officially living in the Age of Man.

The Anthropocene it’s called, and while we certainly can work well with dwarves during it (we have made many reality shows about them, so that it is a start), most everything about the Anthropocene is bad.

Nuclear weapons testing, man-made carbon pollution, garbage destroying the ocean, and a current mass extinction of species.

Also, we never defeated Sauron, so there’s that, too.

The group, known as the Working Group on the Anthropocene, voted 30-3 with two abstaining to declare that the Anthropocene began in 1950.

Other suggestions for the start date of the Anthropocene were 1492, when people began to repeatedly cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the start of the Industrial Revolution. But 1950 won out, because of the dramatic impact of nuclear testing.

The prognosis of the new era is not great.

From The Guardian:

Martin Rees, the astronomer royal and former president of the Royal Society, said that the dawn of the Anthropocene was a significant moment. “The darkest prognosis for the next millennium is that bio, cyber or environmental catastrophes could foreclose humanity’s immense potential, leaving a depleted biosphere,” he said.


“Human societies could navigate these threats, achieve a sustainable future, and inaugurate eras of post-human evolution even more marvellous than what’s led to us. The dawn of the Anthropocene epoch would then mark a one-off transformation from a natural world to one where humans jumpstart the transition to electronic (and potentially immortal) entities, that transcend our limitations and eventually spread their influence far beyond the Earth.”

So really it could go either way.

Good luck to all of us!

[Via The Guardian]