Dean Rohrer

Peut-on survivre à l’ère  “Anthropocène” ?

Les effets de l’homme sur l’environnement planétaire se sont intensifiés durant les trois derniers siècles. Mais surtout, nos émissions de dioxyde de carbone risquent de modifier considérablement le cours actuel de l’évolution du climat global, et ce pour des millénaires.  

Il semble approprié d’utiliser le terme “Anthropocène” pour désigner l’ère géologique actuelle, dominée à plus d’un titre par l’humain, supplantant l’ère Holocène, période chaude qui a duré entre 10-12 millénaires. On peut dire que la période Anthropocène  a commencé vers la fin du 18ème siècle, comme le montrent les analyses d’air provenant de la calotte glacière et qui indiquent une accentuation de la concentration de CO2 et de méthane. Il se trouve que cette période coïncide avec la conception du moteur à vapeur en 1784 par James Watt.

L’influence grandissante de l’humanité sur l’environnement fut déterminée pour la première fois en 1873, lorsque le géologue italien Antonio Stoppani fit référence à “l’ère anthropozoïque,” définie par une “nouvelle force tellurique comparable, en énergie et en universalité, aux plus grandes forces de la terre.”

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