Being part of the age of MAN is great. We’ve got fighter jets and shit. Back in the day, say in like the Cambrian Era, there were no such thing as fighter jets.
And with these fighter jets, alongside the internet and space travel and carbon pollution, it is clear mankind has asserted complete DOMINANCE over Mother Earth. That’s right mom, fuck you. Don’t try and tell me I can’t put my cigarettes out wherever the hell I want.
But long ago, man did not spend his time actively destroying the Earth. He did not spend his days raising CO2 levels by commuting to work and testing nuclear bombs.
No, man lived in harmony with the planet.
So when precisely did we make Gaia our bitch? For the longest time, no one could agree on an exact moment. Was it the advent of nuclear fission? The invention of the combustion engine? What about agriculture, when dudes settled down, no longer remained nomadic, and started to have the time to figure out how to make fighter jets.
According to two scientists, the Anthropocene Era, also known as the “Human Epoch,” can be pinpointed to 1610. That’s when man started crushing it day in and day out. Via The Independent:
[Two] scientists have made a case for 1610 because this is the year when a “golden spike” can be seen in the global geological record indicating that humans had made an irreversible change to the earth’s biology and chemistry.
It also coincided with a massive and irreversible change in life on Earth because of the sudden increase in the trade and transport of animals and plants across the Atlantic Ocean which had separated the New and Old Worlds for millions of years, they said.
Basically, ships and dicks. We could send everything everywhere, and our dude dumbasses thought it wouldn’t harm the planet one bit. Oh and also transporting horrible, horrible communicable diseases.
Simon Lewis, an ecologist at University College London, and geologist Mark Maslin of Leeds University said that the two global signatures of human activity emerge in 1610 – the appearance of pollen from imported New World crops in Europe and a dip in global carbon dioxide levels caused by the abandonment of native farms across the Americas following the deaths of millions of indigenous people in the aftermath of European colonisation.
Fifty million to be precise. A lot of people. These scientists think that in the future, 1610 will be considered the pivotal movement in human history, when we irrevocably fucked everything up.
In a hundred thousand years, scientists will look at the environmental record and know something remarkable happened in the second half of the second millennium,” Dr Lewis said.
“They will be in no doubt that these global changes to Earth were caused by their own species. The anthropocene probably began when species jumped continents, starting when the old world met the new,” he said.
Good work, Bros. We owned this shit. Then we wrecked it.