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What Does It Mean to Live in the Age of the Anthropocene?

Photo by possan | CC BY 2.0

It’s another day in the age of the Anthropocene where a global game of musical chairs continues to play out.

As humans continue to plunder and pillage the earth in a global economy that thrives on converting the living to the dead, more chairs get removed from the game.

The game doesn’t care about your race, gender, or class it just needs your chair so those that think they are watching the game from afar can enrich themselves at the expense of the living. What these game managers do not know is they are part of the game as well.

The only living organism that gets to see the end of the game is Mother Earth, and it will squeeze humans and most other living beings on this planet out of existence. These psychopathic oligarchs are nothing more than a pimple on Mother Earth’s ass.

Many experts believe the age of the Anthropocene began in 1950 shortly after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Japan. The Anthropocene is the age in which humans are causing massive changes to the planet which can include mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altering the atmosphere.

The Anthropocene epoch will also be known as the time of the decline and fall of the United States as the world’s global superpower. It will be a time where the global superpower torch will be passed to China. Some critics of U.S. Imperialism will gush at this passing of this torch, and continue to compliment China’s “New Silk Road” ambitions and their investment over intervention strategy.

While I long and fight for an end to U.S. Imperialism, as well as, the U.S. ceasing to be the planet’s superpower, I will not celebrate the successes of China.

China’s global model still includes converting the living planet to the dead that contributes to global consumption using global markets.

China’s New Silk Road is going to cost roughly 900 billion dollars. This New Silk Road includes a “One Belt and One Road” mantra which will include land and maritime trading routes to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe.

China calls this a new era of globalization where it will lend 8 trillion dollars in infrastructure to 68 countries. They believe this will add a third to global GDP. Basically, they are looking to find ways for more people to consume more products to speed up the destruction of the living planet which will accelerate ecological collapse.

This investment versus intervention strategy by China includes investing in a South American railway that would cut into the middle of the Amazon rainforest that houses the lungs of our planet.

Indeed, many geopolitical analysts are taking note of China’s investments in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. But are they taking note these investments are in natural gas pipelines, mining, roads, rails, infrastructure, and ports are an investment in accelerated human consumption, which has already led to 52% of the world’s wildlife vanishing from 1970 to 2010?

Are these analysts noting China can’t even clean up their own backyard? This past October, data showed only four of 28 northern Chinese cities met their air quality targets in October and air quality in 338 Chinese cities worsened.

While investors may be very “bullish” about a 460 billion dollar investment into Artificial Intelligence, are they “bullish” about China using minerals from the earth that destroys the habitat of actual intelligent beings to create this artificial intelligence?

More people are voicing their concerns at the income inequality exhibited throughout the world. It’s great people are voicing their displeasure that the planet’s richest 1% owning half of the world’s wealth.

It’s also great that it’s being pointed out 1,542 billionaires have accumulated 6 trillion dollars of combined wealth which is up 17% from last year. But as many people rail against billionaire oligarchs do they realize out of the 195 new billionaires in 2017, 76 came from China? How many political pundits tell us this 76 were the most new billionaires from any other country this year?

The Age of Anthropocene will be synonymous with words like “unprecedented”, “extinction”, “migration”, “collapse”, “ignorance”, and “greed” to name a few. It’s an age where global systems implemented by humans will have global impacts on all life on Earth.

One has to wonder will this be the age that humans will finally shift their focus from global to local? Is this the age humans stare down the harsh reality of their future?

The answers to these questions are yes, but it’s a matter of doing this by force or by choice.

In this age, humans we will have to confront the sickness of our species. The vast majority of humans have been inflicted with a disease of subduing the environment they live in instead of harmonizing with it. This is a disease our species has carried with us for thousands of years.

Thousands of years ago Earth was inhabited by giant species such as saber-tooth tigers, 4,500-pound bears, woolly mammoths, and wombats. This is a class of species known as the megafauna. A club in which you must weight at least 97 pounds to be able to join. So where did these giant beasts go?

A majority of scientists believe that as humans left Africa, and first entered Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America they took these beasts down to subdue their newfound land. As humans moved around the planet, this coincided with a wave of extinctions as these giant beasts encountered humans for the first time.

This is a symptom of the human disease to subdue rather than harmonize.

We also must look to the Middle East. When one thinks of the Middle East do they think of wide sections of pine and cedar forestswhere hippos and lions once thrived? What happened to this region, and why does it consist of mainly desert? A symptom of our subduing disease includes urban sprawl, which is what has subdued wildlife in the Middle East.

In the Anthropocene humans will have to deal with the consequences of their history of violence. And while we have a history of violence toward one another and the environment, we will have to rely on communities for survival and guidance in this age.

I hope we will have the ability to befriend various surrounding communities we live near. I hope that as we shift toward local communities we will not lose our sense of self. I hope that we can have relationships with several communities and it doesn’t mean our worldview has to subscribe to x, y, and z mantras to join these communities.

But with all this “hope” what I really hope for is that in the Anthropocene we redefine what “hope” means.

The definition of “hope” is to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment. Hope and fulfillment have been linked together for too long. Fulfillment means there are solutions to our problems and it’s our desire for fulfillment that drives our consumption of the planet.

Instead of wanting something to happen, we must shift our focus to understanding what is happening.

When we redefine “hope” in the Anthropocene it must not include having solutions to our problems. It must include being able to live with problems we are facing that have no solutions. And that despite the problems our species is up against we must find a better way to live so we can have brighter days in thought and action. In this redefined “hope” we will know that everything isn’t going to be alright, and that we are a flawed species. Despite knowing these things there will be a shift in thought and consciousness.

This shift will be celebrating the cultivation of life and not the accumulation of possessions. It will be a shift of focusing on how hard you live and who you share your life with. This is what it will mean to live in the age of the Anthropocene.

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