Science journalist and geologist Axel Bojanowski at the online German Spiegel news weekly comments on the drive by activists to proclaim an “Anthropocene” age because they claim that man has so much altered the planet and is adding a new geological layer in doing so.
It all stems from accusations that man has altered the surface of the earth, its biodiversity, the oceans and atmosphere through its activity, and that this is becoming visible in the earth’s most recent geological layer.
But Bojanowski writes that a number of leading experts are calling such claims erroneous. In the subheading he writes:
Activists, artists and scientists are calling for the heralding of a new age – man has profoundly altered the planet. They’re wrong.”
He writes that these experts view the newly proposed geological designation as “a momentous error and unacceptable influence on research by political activists. It’s the story of a large misunderstanding.”
Already policymakers and leaders are scrambling to adopt the new designation and thus enact laws accordingly, he reports. And why not? A number of scientists and everywhere the media are already using the term.
Even the Scientific Advisory Council to the German government, WBGU — headed by PIK alarmist Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber — liberally uses the term. There is a push to officiailly declare the “Anthropocene” as a geological age. Bojanowski reports that seven years ago 37 scientists began a working group charged with searching out geological evidence to support adopting the “Anthropocene” age: the Anthropocene Commission.
According to the Spiegel journalist, the commission, headed by Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester, will attempt to convince three geological commissions to adopt the age, which supposedly started at about 1950. Journal “Science” has already presented the first results, the Spiegel journalist writes.
But Bojanwski adds that a large number of experts are calling the move “bad science” because it does not meet any of the strict geological scientific standards one typically uses for establishing geological periods.
“Sloganeering in science “
Bojanowski cites James Scourse, ocean geologist at Bangor University in Wales, who says the term is “misleading and useless” and that Earth is shaped by factors well beyond the control of man. Other experts like Whitney Autin of Suny-College in New York and John Holbrook of Texas Christian University call the discussion an esoteric debate, claiming, Bojanowski reports, that today there’s a “tendency towards sloganeering in science” which lead to “dubious terminology” like “Anthropocene“.
Spiegel journalist Bojanowski writes:
From the perspective of critics, the Anthropocene concept violates almost every scientific rule.
He then quotes geologist Sven Egenhoff of Colorado State University:
The Anthropocene mode has only been able to emerge because scientists from other fields have been piling on behind the term. To the contrary, the real experts, i.e. those who specialize in earth layers, see nothing there. The Anthropocene serves as a career promoter for scientists in outside fields.”
Entire Spiegel article in German here.