Video: Erle Ellis on the Anthropocene

On 2 May, Erle Ellis gave a lecture on the Anthropocene at the Environmental Humanities Center, in cooperation with the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you missed the event, you can now listen to the lecture here, thanks to Erle Ellis’ generosity and Tim Renders‘ efforts in recording sound and image.

From Pleistocene to Anthropocene: Why Humans Transformed Earth and Climate

Humans have profoundly transformed Earth biosphere and climate. To understand why humans gained this unprecedented capacity to transform an entire planet requires a deeper evolutionary understanding of human social processes and their reshaping of ecology. By engaging with these evolutionary processes, and the economies of scale offered by an increasingly global human system, it may yet be possible to shape a better future for both humanity and non-human nature in the Anthropocene.

Erle Ellis is an environmental scientist and professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a leading theorist of what scientists increasingly describe as the Anthropocene, the age of humans. Ellis has described the extent of humankind’s impact on the planet, from extinctions and massive landscape changes caused by hunter-gatherers to the trend of growing agricultural productivity in response to population pressures.

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