DACOR: Living in the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene is both a proposed name for a new epoch in the geologic history of the Earth as well as a condition of the planet (increased CO2 in the atmosphere, higher atmospheric temperatures, acidification of the oceans, and decreased species diversity) that has not been present for millions of years. And this "condition" is the result of the actions of a single species: humans. These changes in the physical and biological aspects of the Earth are having profound effects on the social, political, cultural, and economic status of our communities, states, and nations. The effects of the massive changes in the Anthropocene are extremely varied and complex. Although climate change was originally considered a scientific problem, it is now clear that the effects of climate change on human culture, social organization and economics expand the problem to the social and political sciences as well. No one discipline and no single solution can fix the problem. Altering the impact of humans on the Earth and on ourselves will require that we address the problem from multiple directions and multiple perspectives. Dr. W. John Kress is Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This event costs $25 and includes lunch.