Age of the Very Bad Things

ERM discussed two articles that address the cultural and physical impacts of our consumption culture. Here are a few key quotes, but they’re both worth the full read.

“Age of the Anthropocene”

By Elizabeth Kolbert, National Geographic

Dubai, Nat Geo

“It’s a new name for a new geologic epoch—one defined by our own massive impact on the planet. That mark will endure in the geologic record long after our cities have crumbled.”

“Crutzen, who started the debate, thinks its real value won’t lie in revisions to geology textbooks. His purpose is broader: He wants to focus our attention on the consequences of our collective action—and on how we might still avert the worst. ‘What I hope,’ he says, ‘is that the term ‘Anthropocene’ will be a warning to the world.'”

“1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame?”

By Joel Johnson, Wired Magazine

“The nets went up in May, after the 11th jumper in less than a year died here. They carried a message: You can throw yourself off any building you like, as long as it isn’t one of these.”

“To be soaked in materialism, to directly and indirectly champion it, has also brought guilt. I don’t know if I have a right to the vast quantities of materials and energy I consume in my daily life. Even if I thought I did, I know the planet cannot bear my lifestyle multiplied by 7 billion individuals.”

The Reading and Media Group meets on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the MU Student Center. Check the Sustain Mizzou calendar for details.

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