#Anthropocene #Capitalocene #epoch #terminology
Debate has been going on in recent years, in academic and specialized circles, about renaming of the current epoch (or geological time scale) that is known as the Holocene and began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age. Geologists measure epochs by looking at the earth’s strata relative to time for evidence of events from the past such as ice ages or major shifts in biology, via fossils. As of the Industrial Revolution and the Nuclear Era, we now have records of humanity’s impact in the layers of the earth globally that include the “footprint” of radiation (nuclear fallout) and chemicals such as chlorine and plastics. In 2015, a group of members of the Anthropocene Working Group proposed to rename the current epoch “Anthropocene,” with the start year corresponding to the Trinity nuclear test on July 16th, 1945, they generally agree that it should begin in the mid 20th Century.
On a much smaller scale, another term has been proposed by environmental historian and sociologist Jason Moore to rename the current epoch as the “Capitalocene.” This term is more directly critical and points the finger at capitalism as the root cause of the existential issues current generations face. Looking at consumption and production, systems of power and culture, finance, and collapse, Moore provokes and assigns blame at economically-connected countries as a unifying global impact causing climate collapse.