The Recent History of Life on Earth: The Anthropocene

1970G [CRN: 15843]

This seminar will explore ramifications of the concept of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene has been proposed as a new human-driven geologic age that began with the increased exploitation of fossil fuels in the late eighteenth century. Its proponents emphasize transformations through anthropogenic climate change, but we will also consider the effects of population growth, pollution, habitat destruction, and extinction. To assess the historical validity of the concept, we will discuss the impact of humans on the environment before 1800, the extent of transformation since 1800, and whether human-environmental interactions can be usefully generalized to our species as a whole. WRIT M
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