PUMA
Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Bonatti E. The Anthropocene: of time, mice, and men. In: Rendiconti Lincei-Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, vol. 25 pp. 21 - 27. Springer Verlag Italia - Milano, 2014.
 
 
Abstract
(English)
Establishing an Anthropocene Epoch at the top of the geological column would provide a "certification" of Man having acquired a prominent role in the physical and biological evolution of the Earth. This role is in line with a tradition dominant in the West for over 2,000 years, whereby the World has been made for the sole benefit of Man. Another tradition, important in classical Hindu and Chinese cultures but present also in the West starting with the Greeks, calls for a less dominant position of Man in nature. The two traditions hold different conceptions of Time. The "Man is the Master" ideology privileged linear Time of limited duration, from a Genesis to an Apocalypse/Apotheosis, while in the "Man is not the Master" tradition, limitless/cyclical Time has been adopted preferentially. The "Man is the Master" ideology has stimulated the industrial revolution and the development of technology that have allowed Man's increasing dominance over our Planet and are triggering today the establishment of an Anthropocene Epoch. These developments have been achieved by small subgroups of species Homo sapiens. The future of the Anthropocene is obviously related to the fate of Man; the uppermost limit is the demise of the biosphere due ultimately to a steady increase of solar luminosity. A future super-Anthropocene "Man's Utopia", with unlimited, zero-cost energy available to humans, is tempered by experiments on a "Mice Utopia" carried out by J. Calhoun in the 1970s. 2013 Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
DOI: 10.1007/s12210-013-0256-y
Subject Anthropocene; Earth; Future; Time


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