Welcome to the Anthropocene!


The Anthropocene has been put forward as a new geological epoch, one in which humans have come to rule the world's natural systems and processes. In an age of increased environmental awareness, the term has captured the public imagination. But what is the Anthropocene? When and where did it start? Is it a terrifying global phenomenon or just a buzzword invented by Western-centric scientists? This talk presents two different perspectives on this new epoch by taking a look at the history of human impacts on the environment, from geological to historical records. For those of you in the dark, paleoecologists are concerned with ancient environments and the things that lived there, while climatologists want to know what the weather was like. These guys dig up mud, rocks, and ice, and slice up trees and other plants, and use these to argue about what the earth was like and what it might be like in the future.

Starts: April 12, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Alderman (upstairs) 134 Lygon St, East Brunswick
Format: Presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes

Anthropocene denial: The challenge of communicating climate change

April 12, 2014

Dr David Holmes: Communications and Media (Monash)

What can the past tell us about the future of climate change in Australia?

June 11, 2014

Dr Simon Connor: School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment (Monash) Dr Joelle Gergis: School of Earth Sciences (Melbourne Uni) The Anthropocene has been put forward as a new geological epoch, one in which humans have come to rule the world's natural systems and processes. In an age of increased environmental awareness, the term has captured the public imagination. But what is the Anthropocene? When and where did it start? Is it a terrifying global phenomenon or just a buzzword invented by Western-centric scientists? This talk presents two different perspectives on this new epoch by taking a look at the history of human impacts on the environment, from geological to historical records. For those of you in the dark, paleoecologists are concerned with ancient environments and the things that lived there, while climatologists want to know what the weather was like. These guys dig up mud, rocks, and ice, and slice up trees and other plants, and use these to argue about what the earth was like and what it might be like in the future.

Hearing but not listening: Time, technology and the inevitability of the Anthropocene

Nov. 12, 2014

Dr Robert Hassan: School of Culture and Communication (Melbourne Uni)

Oceans and Climate Change

Nov. 13, 2014

Dr Will Howard: School of Earth Sciences (Melbourne Uni)

Ice, fire and flood: Science fiction and the Anthropocene

Nov. 20, 2014

Professor Emeritus Andrew Milner: English and Comparative Literature (Monash)

Australia in the Anthropocene: Climate change, coal, and crisis calls

Nov. 27, 2014

Dr Lauren Rickards: Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (Melbourne Uni)