Tag: Anthropocene

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Anthropocene

Electronic Gadget Cemetery in Ghana

We love buying shiny new gadgets every now and then, but have you ever wondered where your old device ends up when you get rid of it? Agbogbloshie in Ghana is one of the places where electronics, such as computers, mobile phones and televisions, go to die.

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Anthropocene

Anthropo-scene #10: From Thoughts to Geology

It’s more than two years since I have started this exploration of the Anthropocene for Next Nature for you. We have visited many places together, places I have traveled to as a reporter, author, biologist: we have entered a graphite mine, where ancient algae are turned into high-tech gadgets, we have discovered a former military training areas that has become a neo-natural ecosystem, we have encountered plants and birds that try to live and thrive in the new geological epoch we are about to name after ourselves, the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene will not be a smooth ride, but an exciting one.

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Anthropocene

Anthropo-scene #9: Sense, Sensors, Sensitivity

In 1928 Alfred Döblin, one of Germany’s great authors, wrote a book that in my eyes should become part of the official intellectual ancestry of the Anthropocene. It’s called “Das Ich über der Natur”, the Self Above Nature. But it’s not about human arrogance and domination of Earth, quite the opposite. Döblin describes ways how to immerse ourselves in Nature.

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Anthropocene

Anthropo-scene #8: Anthropocene Rabbit

I was on my bike, cycling to Berlin’s Gleisdreieck area to attend Re:publica, Germany’s hip and cool digital culture event, when a pile of rubble caught my attention. “Gleisdreieck”, or “rail track triangle”, has in recent years become a hotspot of urban development. For decades, the area had been a kind of inner-city wilderness, an urban savannah with little formal use.

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Anthropocene

Anthropo-scene #7: Anthropocene Bird

What does it mean to be a bird in a world massively altered by human actions? This White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), a beautiful raptor, is finding it out while hovering above Baylands Park near Palo Alto, California.

Humans have made not only the Dodo, but dozens of bird species, vanish from Earth in the past decades, through hunting, habitat destruction and the spread of cats, rats and dogs with the help of ships. Globally, 1300 out of a total of 10,000 bird species are seriously in decline. Other birds have learned to live with humans and profit from their presence.

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Anthropocene

Anthropocene: the Shrinking of Aral Sea

The Aral Sea in Central Asia was formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, with an area of 68.000 km2. As a consequence of a massive water diversion project to irrigate surrounding areas it is drying up. Today, not much is left.

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Anthropocene

The Anthropocene Explosion

 

Biologically, there is nothing remarkable in the fact that humans are agents of ecological change and environmental upset. All species transform their surroundings. The dizzying complexity of landscapes on Earth is not just a happy accident of geology and climate, but the result of billions of years of organisms grazing, excavating, defecating, and decomposing. Nor is it unusual that certain lucky species are able to outcompete and eventually entirely displace other species. The Great American Interchange, when North American fauna crossed the newly formed isthmus of Panama to conquer South America three million years ago1 is just one among countless examples of swift, large-scale extinctions resulting from competition and predation.

What is remarkable, however, is the stunning speed of human adaptation relative to other species, and that our adaptation is self-directed. From sonar and flight to disease immunity, humans can “evolve” exquisite new traits in a single generation. The Anthropocene represents a catastrophic mismatch between the pace of human technological evolution and the genetic evolution of nearly every other species on Earth. As with many other geological epochs, the Anthropocene has been heralded with a mass extinction, one which is generally accepted to be the sixth great one to occur on Earth.2

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Anthropocene

Spend Eternity As An Artificial Coral Reef

Coral reefs are suffering degradation from a number of natural and human-induced causes. American company, Eternal Reefs, had a peculiar idea to help preserve, protect, and enhance the oceans’ health.

They offer to their clients the possibility – after death – to have ashes made into a rock to form the base of an “eternal memorial reef” to provide a habitat for sea-life.

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Anthropocene

A Plan to Eliminate Predators

Should humans intervene and phase out Earth’s predator species? Some futurists think we should! British philosopher David Pearce, in particular, believes we have to stop animals from hunting and killing other animals.
He wrote a Blueprint for a Cruelty-Free World to create a biosphere without suffering. How to achieve this goal? Re-engineering the ecosystem and reprogramming predators through genetically-driven behavioral modification.

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Anthropocene

Salmon Cannon Shoots Fish Over Dams

Artificial water constructions, such as dams, can pose a threat for wildlife, and for salmon in particular, blocking their migratory path towards rivers. To solve this problem Whooshh Innovations designed a fish-launching device: a sort of cannon that sucks salmon up and “shoots” them out in a different body of water.

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