UMBC GEOGRAPHY and ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PROFESSOR ERLE ELLIS tells us to wake up to a new “post-natural” environmentalism in an Op-Ed in Wired Magazine:
Nature is gone. It was gone before you were born, before your parents were born, before the pilgrims arrived, before the pyramids were built. You are living on a used planet.
Yes, nature is still around ― back-seat driving, annoying us with natural disasters from time to time, and everywhere present in the background ― but definitely in no position to take the wheel. That’s our job now. Don’t blame nature for global warming, sea level rise, invasive species, mass extinctions, crop failures and poverty. That’s our thing.
Society needs to learn from recent scientific efforts to explain changes in greenhouse gases and the biosphere during the Anthropocene. Three lines of evidence demonstrate that we live on a planet reshaped by humans for thousands of years.
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