The Anthropocene: Beyond the Natural

The Anthropocene: Beyond the Natural

Dr. Rolston argued to a packed audience that human beings will always hold back the world’s natural growth to make way for our own. Gilbert Cisneros/UVU Review

Dr. Homes Rolston III recently explored humankind’s responsibility to the planet.

 

When it comes to the wellbeing of our planet, human beings are incredibly selfish, or so said Dr. Holmes Rolston III in his guest lecture titled “A New Environmental Ethics.” Rolston, who is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Colorado State University, gave a lecture on “Anthropocene,” which he defined as “the period in which humans have a major impact on the global environment.”

 

The validation of this new time period is still controversial among scientists, mainly because it has yet to be accepted into the Geological Time Scale. Currently, the Geological Society of America uses the term to describe the era in which humans now live, but it has yet to be accepted by the Geological Society of London.

 

Despite the controversy among scientists and academics, Rolston argued in favor of using the term Anthropocene because the evidence of human beings’ technological advances altering the environment has been proved for generations. Rolston proved this by speaking about human impact on the biosphere.

 

Standing on the front of the stage in the library auditorium, he took on the idea of a “technosphere,” a biosphere created by man’s technology and expansion. Rolston discussed the effects that mankind’s technologies, buildings and other innovations have on the planet.

 

He posed the idea to the packed library auditorium on whether or not man can now control the future of this planet.

 

After giving evidence of both sides, he ultimately concluded that humans have a huge impact on the re-growth of nature and the sustaining of it. He later went on to mention that as soon as humans disappear, nature will eventually reclaim most of what has been built by them. However, as long as humans exist, they will hold the world’s natural growth patterns back to make way for their own.

 

By Matt Skaggs
Staff Writer

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