When counted in Earth-seconds, our human history is a story of a few minutes or hours.
Source: Terraformer’s Dépêches — weekly edition!
The world is running out of drinkable water, and putting a price on the stuff won’t work. But we are well on the way to building a circular water economy
What are our moral and civic responsibilities to water?
What’s Prometheus doing today?: Human Niche & Citizen’s Geoscience: Why „citizen geoscience“ or „citizen earth scientists“ should be a feature of modern geosciences? Why is opportune to…
When ‚geoethics‘ (i) „consists of research and reflection on the values which underpin appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system“, and (ii) „deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience education, research and practice, and with the social role and responsibility of geoscientists in conducting their activities“ (quote from IAPG’s outline of „geoethics“) then ‚geoethics‘ is as much about citizens as it is about geoscientists, their various lifestyles and different professional conducts, respectively.
Geoscience know-how is firmly knotted into many day-to-day activities of modern societies and the design of contemporary production systems and consumption patterns.
Examples to illustrate this perspective of engineering a human niche are many, such as (i) Civil engineering is about building visible intersections of the geosphere and economic activities; e.g. dredging a waterway, building a bridge or constructing a hydropower plant; (ii) a less visible intersection is the design of production systems and consumption patterns, which couple human activity and the bio-geosphere through fluxes of matter and energy; (iii) urban dwellings may serve as a further example; they are a visible intersection with the bio-geosphere and on they are coupled with the bio-geosphere through massive fluxes of matter and energy; e.g. receiving drinking water and ejecting waste water, receiving electric power or fuels and ejecting heat, receiving food and ejecting manufactured goods that at the end of their life-cycle are discarded or recycled elsewhere on the globe; (iv) as more as technology evolved as more convoluted get the involvement of geosciences, such as renewable energy from the wind and solar, local weather forecast of thunderstorms, sea wave forecast for shipping, or global position systems shielded against solar storms.
by Jennifer Mae Hamilton and Astrida Neimanis
Welcome to the Anthropocene! Although this geological era is still to be officially included in the Chronostratigraphic Chart, members of the Anthropocene expert working group agree that we humans are interfering in planetary systems in consequential and irreversible ways. As a result, many are thinking about the current geological epoch as the Age of Man [sic].
None of this is news. Some have, hopefully, been sobered by the idea of the Anthropocene. The concept raises important questions about the impact of human activity on the earth and offers an apocalyptic image of a planetary future in which the only trace of human existence is a curious and toxic layer of rock and chemical sediment. The flipside of sobriety is, of course, intoxication. And, just as the idea can be humbling or cautionary, it can also lead to celebration of an…
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