I learned the other night that the current geological age is now known as the “anthropocene era” because humans are having such a vast impact on our planet that, a million years from now, (if there’s any intelligent life left on Earth) scientists will be able to look at core samples which will tell the story of when humans began to produce radioactive waste, build huge open cut mines, do intensive farming, cause mass extinctions, etc, etc.
We humans wear huge boots and we stomp and we stomp on the earth and on each other. People tell me that chimpanzees are just as cruel and foxes are just as wasteful but I still think we are out on our own, in a lot of ways. Perhaps our brains take us to the edges of the curve. We exist in superlatives. We are as extreme in our goodness as we are in our incidental terrorism.
When I started writing this blog entry, it was going to be about how hard I find it to be bombarded with advice about how to be a parent. I was going to move from the stomping around on the planet to the stomping around on the current cohort of parents who are just as well meaning and have just as many failings as any previous generation.
But I find that really my objections seem pretty vapid and insignificant when I start thinking about nuclear waste and the global impact of our race. So … instead, let me throw the question open – do you feel proud or fearful of our power to influence the future of the Earth?