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Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction By Erle C. Ellis (Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland)

Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction by Erle C. Ellis (Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland)

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Summary

Climate scientists, geologists, ecologists, and archaeologists recognize the profound effects of human activity on Earth, though whether and how this should be recognized as a formal geological epoch - the Anthropocene - remains under debate, Erle Ellis describes how the Anthropocene concept is affecting the sciences, humanities, and politics.

Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction Summary

Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction by Erle C. Ellis (Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland)

The proposal that the impact of humanity on the planet has left a distinct footprint, even on the scale of geological time, has recently gained much ground. Global climate change, shifting global cycles of the weather, widespread pollution, radioactive fallout, plastic accumulation, species invasions, the mass extinction of species - these are just some of the many indicators that we will leave a lasting record in rock, the scientific basis for recognizing new time intervals in Earth's history. The Anthropocene, as the proposed new epoch has been named, is regularly in the news. Even with such robust evidence, the proposal to formally recognize our current time as the Anthropocene remains controversial both inside and outside the scholarly world, kindling intense debates. The reason is clear. The Anthropocene represents far more than just another interval of geologic time. Instead, the Anthropocene has emerged as a powerful new narrative, a concept through which age-old questions about the meaning of nature and even the nature of humanity are being revisited and radically revised. This Very Short Introduction explains the science behind the Anthropocene and the many proposals about when to mark its beginning: the nuclear tests of the 1950s? The beginnings of agriculture? The origins of humans as a species? Erle Ellis considers the many ways that the Anthropocene's "evolving paradigm" is reshaping the sciences, stimulating the humanities, and foregrounding the politics of life on a planet transformed by humans. The Anthropocene remains a work in progress. Is this the story of an unprecedented planetary disaster? Or of newfound wisdom and redemption? Ellis offers an insightful discussion of our role in shaping the planet, and how this will influence our future on many fronts. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction Reviews

In this Very Short Introduction, Professor Ellis illustrates the issues of establishing a new epoch beautifully and also gives an excellent history of the Anthropocene's development as an idea. * Jonathan Scafidi, Geoscientist *
This little book provides a refreshing read ... Every geography teacher would benefit from reading this short introduction, not least for the powerful knowledge it lends for understanding human relations with, and actions on, the environment. * Duncan Hawley, Geography Magazine *
[an] excellent, concise and foundational book * Jim Richardson, Eyes on Earth *
Ellis provides us with an authoritative introduction to the Anthropocene ... a fascinating and erudite book" * Leslie Sklair, LSE Review of Books *
An easy-to understand new release offers a compact introduction to the age of man * Tanja Traxler, Der Standard *
Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction provides an exceptionally well-organized, sufficiently detailed, and encompassing overview of why the Anthropocene should be clearly recognized, in some form, as an unprecedented time in Earth history ... My initial reaction after reading Ellis's contribution was to think about just how enlightened our world would be if everyone would read this book. * John Geissman, Reports of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) *
an interesting, succinct and concerning expose that explains both the controversy and the science of the Anthropocene. * GrrlScientist for Medium *
An excellent in"roduction to this still controversial concept * David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer *
Ellis offers an insightful discussion of our role in shaping the planet, and how this will influence our future on many fronts. * Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections *
This is a welcome addition to the Very Short Introductions series and would be a cheap, useful addition as a reference work to anyone concerned as to how we are transforming our world. * Jonathan Cowie, Science Fact & Science Fiction Concatenation *
Ellis's slim book does an excellent job of cutting through the complexity [of the topic]. He has produced an impressive overview of the Anthropocene concept as both a scientific and cultural discussion ... Overall the book is fair, comprehensive, and clearly written. * Nicole E. Heller, Environmental History *

About Erle C. Ellis (Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland)

Erle C. Ellis is Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). His research investigates the ecology of human landscapes at local to global scales towards informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. He teaches environmental science and landscape ecology at UMBC, and has taught ecology at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Ellis is a member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the Subcommission of Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the scientific steering committee of the Global Land Programme, formerly of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), now of its successor organization, Future Earth, and a senior fellow of the Breakthrough Institute.

Table of Contents

1: Origins 2: Earth System 3: Geologic Time 4: The Great Acceleration 5: Anthropos 6: Oikos 7: Politikos 8: Prometheus Further Reading Index

Additional information

NGR9780198792987
9780198792987
0198792980
Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction by Erle C. Ellis (Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland)
New
Paperback
Oxford University Press
2018-03-22
208
N/A
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