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44. What happened to the Anthropocene? (Erle Ellis)

May 2024


Humankind’s transformation of the Earth is embodied in the idea that we are living in the “Anthropocene”. Most people who have heard of this concept were probably unaware that it describes a specific unit of geological measurement - an epoch. A debate has been ongoing for more than a decade about whether to make that designation official - for the Anthropocene to take over from the Holocene epoch. This debate concluded just a few weeks ago with a definitive “no”.

In this episode of The Case for Conservation Podcast renowned Anthropocene expert Erle Ellis explains what happened to the Anthropocene… and why it doesn’t really matter that it was rejected as an epoch. Erle is an environmental scientist who divides his academic time between the university of Maryland in the US, and Oxford University in the UK. He is a prolific author and public commentator on this and related topics.

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