Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Watching this consensus develop from her seat as an editor at Nature, Gaia Vince couldn’t help but wonder if the greatest cause of this dramatic planetary change—humans’ singular ability to adapt and innovate—might also hold the key to our survival. And so she left her professional life in London and set out to travel the world in search of ordinary people making extraordinary changes and, in many cases, thriving.
Part science journal, part travelogue, Adventures in the Anthropocene recounts Vince’s journey, and introduces an essential new perspective on the future of life on Earth.
and innovative environmental analyst. At the beginning of the Holocene 10,000 years ago, that figure was just 0.1 %. Megafaunal biomass (that’s anything weighing more than 44 kg) is greater now than at any time since humans evolved 200,000 years ago, despite our voracious hunting of everything from giant sloths to North American bison to Serengeti elephants. And that’s because of the recent huge population expansion of humans and the creatures we’ve created, whose sole purpose is to be our food.
1% of the nation’s urban population is breathing air considered clean by European Union standards, a 2007 World Bank study found, although much of the report was redacted by the Chinese, who feared social unrest.8 Visiting Beijing in springtime, I was struck by the eerie absence of the sun. The pollution, which stung my eyes and throat, shielded the sun so thoroughly that although the cloudless days were light, the source of this light was impossible to see. And that was the city after its
lack of data on impacts to key natural habitats in and outside of national parks, local communities, biosphere reserves of global importance, wetlands and aquifers. However, with the two powerful companies behind the projects – HidroAysén and XSTRATA – enjoying the backing of Chile’s right-wing president, Sebastian Piñera, plans for the dams have rolled on undaunted. Over the past few years, the plans have been approved, appealed, thrown out, reappealed, reapproved, and so on. I’m in Coyhaique
build its resilience through improved infrastructure and social investment, and also through bolstering the health of the naturally protective ecosystems, including mangroves and reefs, that can delay erosion. The Maldives coral reef ecosystem is the world’s seventh largest, and it contains two of the biggest natural atolls – Thiladhunmathi and Huvadhoo. It is also among the richest in terms of species diversity, hosting over 1,900 species of fish, 187 coral species, 350 species of crustaceans,
Emirates as a royal hunting ground.1 The UAE already operates game reserves on thousands of acres of formerly Maasai land, generating sizeable funds for the Tanzanian government. The Maasai used to range across most of East Africa, grazing their cattle and practising some cultivation, with seasonal migrations in what many scientists consider to be the most environmentally sustainable use of this land. But reduced to ever-smaller patches, banned from hunting, and in many cases from cultivation,