On this planet humans are radically changing the land, air and water. In many cases this is unavoidable. All species have some degree of impact on the environment in which they live, but in the case of humans it is magnitudes greater. We are now the force driving environmental systems which has led to a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene.
During the preceding geological period (the Holocene) the planet’s climate was getting cooler but since human intervention it’s heating up at a faster rate than we have ever experienced before. We are releasing enough greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere that it is intensifying the hydrological cycle, leading to more rainfall in some areas, and making others dryer. But it’s not only the climate we’re changing. Humans are moving around more sediment (silt, sand, gravel etc) than all the rivers, ice sheets and desert winds in the world combined. We are a geological force to be reckoned with. Continue reading →
This is a blog post originally published at http://www.water-energy-food.org following an invitation to write some comments on a talk held at the German Pavillion at Rio+20.
“An avid follower of the Nexus Platform website, I was thrilled to find out about the side event happening at the German Pavillion at Rio+20. This discussion, held in the late afternoon of what was otherwise a disappointing Thursday at the Earth Summit, gave me encouragement on two accounts before I had even arrived.” – Edward Byers
Under Claire’s last post, Martin asked what the feelings were like on the ground at Rio+20 and what could be viewed as successes? In this next post I will address the question of why people left and went to the People’s Summit.
Sitting in the food court at Rio Centro – the hub of Rio+20 – grabbing a quick bite to eat, taking some time to process my thoughts.
The last few days have been great. I must say a special thanks to the Planet Earth Institute for funding this trip for me – it has been an invaluable experience to be here and participate in the conference.