Freelance writer and photographer with an interest in science communication. Always looking for new experiences and discoveries! Find out more at www.lagom.com.au
Has Earth entered a new epoch?
Anthropocene takes us on a journey through Earth's epochs, from the very beginning to today's Holocene which begun nearly 12,000 years ago. But has Earth entered a new epoch? And if so, would it be the Anthropocene, or 'Age of Man'? '
To build this picture, the documentary presents statements by seven members of the Anthropocene Working Group plus a representative from the Institute of Environmental Decisions. The interviews are interspersed with graphics and footage, particularly from the post WWII era.
There are differing view-points about when the Anthropocene may have started. Then it must be geologically proven that humans have irreversibly (and globally) effected the planet. According to the working group, evidence for this could be found in the industrial revolution, the advent of artificial fertilisers and agriculture, the population expansion and rise of consumerism, nuclear weapons testing, or the human induced changes to Earth's carbon cycle. Will the impacts of our plastics, concrete, bricks, harbours and cities leave a sufficient geologic trace to be classed as a new epoch?
Finally, the documentary asks where to from here, leaping to the concept of geo-engineering briefly, then exploring human resilience. Are we now in the driver's seat or are we actually very vulnerable? Either way, Anthropocene puts it clearly that humans need to change the way they live.
There are points when the documentary does feel a little too tedious and fails to hold the audience's attention, mind you we are covering 4.5 billion years. Still, Anthropocene could easily lose 15 minutes or so without effecting the story. Despite the lack of variety in speakers, the argument is thought-provoking and each member brings some independent opinions on Earth's future.
You can view the film and attend a panel discussion featuring Alex Kelly (Impact Producer, This Changes Everything) and Dr Angus Hervey (Political Economist, Future Crunch). The event will take place Thursday 3rd March 2016 at 7pm at Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon St Carlton. Tickets are available online.