Dean Rohrer

Werden wir das anthropogene Zeitalter überleben?

In den vergangenen drei Jahrhunderten sind die Auswirkungen des Menschens auf die globale Umwelt explodiert. Mehr noch, aufgrund unserer CO2-Emissionen können globale Klimamuster sogar für viele Jahrtausende von ihrem natürlichen Verlauf abweichen.

Die Bezeichnung „anthropogen“, als Ergänzung zum Holozän, erscheint durchaus angemessen für die aktuelle geologische Epoche der Erdgeschichte, die in vielerlei Hinsicht vom Menschen geprägt wird. Die anthropogene Periode hat, sagen wir, im späten achtzehnten Jahrhundert begonnen, als Analysen von im Polareis eingeschlossener Luft auf eine wachsende globale Konzentration von CO2 und Methan hinwiesen. In diese Zeit fällt auch die Erfindung der Dampfmaschine von James Watt im Jahr 1784.

Der wachsende Einfluss des Menschen auf die Umwelt wurde bereits 1873 erkannt, als der italienische Geologe Antonio Stoppani von der „anthropozoiden“ Epoche sprach, die von einer „neuen tellurischen Kraft geprägt ist, die in Macht und Universalität durchaus mit den größeren Kräften der Erde vergleichbar ist“.

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