Does humanity exist in the world?
How many people can the earth withstand?
What do scientists mean by the "Earth Age of Humanity"?
Since around the turn of the millennium, scientists have been discussing whether the human influence on the earth is so great that one should speak of a new age. Many researchers believe that the Holocene has come to an end, and the time between the Ice Ages is practically over. You see clear evidence that humanity has changed the earthly systems in such a way that they will shape all subsequent generations. Specifically, supporters of the idea of the "age of mankind" date the beginning of the Anthropocene to the year 1800, when industrialization led to a measurable increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Which areas of the earth does the "Anthropocene" affect?
Humans have changed the earth in many ways. For example, researchers cite the increase in the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through industry. Today there is more carbon dioxide and methane in the air than in 1800. The global climate is warming rapidly as a result. Another example is the massive transformation of landscapes. People not only seal large areas for urban development, they also clear huge primeval forests or dry bogs all over the world. This brings about the third change: the extinction of numerous animal and plant species. The animal welfare organization WWF puts the decline in global biodiversity between 1970 and 2007 at 27 percent. That would mean that more than every fourth plant or animal species would have disappeared since then.
How many people can the earth withstand?
Fears that humanity could become overpopulated and thus destroy its own foundations have existed since the 18th and 19th centuries. Earlier estimates of how many people the food is enough for, however, repeatedly turned out to be wrong. An intensification of cultivation methods made it possible for more and more people to have enough to eat. It was also shown that high birth rates are never permanent, but only represent a short phase. Wherever the standard of living rises as a result of industrialization and medical care improves, the birth rate is falling again rapidly. Damographers therefore now assume that the growth of the world population will come to an end by the middle of the current century at the latest and that the number of people will then decrease again.
Is Mankind's Survival at Risk?
Critics of the concept of an "age of mankind" point out that the man-made influence on the earth - the accumulation of plastic waste in every last corner, the global distribution of radioactivity through nuclear tests or the destruction of habitats for other species, sooner or later also survival of people themselves threatened. The "Anthopocene" could take place pretty soon without people, if they have destroyed their own livelihoods.
How can we change this development?
Economists like Pavan Sukhdev advocate no longer seeing environmental protection as the opposite of economic use. In his opinion, economy and ecology should no longer remain opposites. While on the one hand the preservation of intact habitats should also represent an economic value (since the survival of mankind depends on the diversity of the flora and fauna being preserved), on the other hand people should also pay attention to how the habitats they create can become friendlier for other species.
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