Paul Crutzen popularizes the concept of the Anthropocene

The theory of the Anthropocene is based on the assumption that, due to the effects of increased population and economic development on the global environment, humanity should be considered a major geological and geobiological factor on Earth. Along with other scientists, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, who coined the term, argued human-induced changes in the earth system were of such deep impact and long duration that one could speak of a new epoch in Earth’s history. In addition, the Anthropocene concept argues for a new, holistic view of the role of humans in shaping natural systems. As such, it does not follow only a declensionist narrative, but also points out the cultural, technological, and ecological achievements of human societies, as well as their potential in enabling the sustainable use of natural resources. Thus, the Anthropocene provides a more comprehensive perspective by highlighting all the possible impacts of humanity’s past, present, and future actions. Today, environmental scholars see the concept as a good approach to combining protective measures with mitigation and adaptation strategies in addressing global and regional change.

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