People are now in charge of the Earth and we are destroying it. Robert Krulwich writes that Planet Earth is Under New Management. We are no longer in the age of the Holocene.
Earth is being dramatically changed, and the changer, this time, is us: humankind (“anthro” in the Greek). “We are no longer in the Holocene,” he told the group. “We are in the Anthropocene.” It’s a coinage he may have borrowed from biologist Eugene Stoermer, but here’s the logic: The Earth is no longer being shaped mainly by natural forces, forces that operate on their own with a logic of their own. Our little blue dot is now, increasingly, sculpted by one of its inhabitants. This is our planet now. We’ve taken over.
After five frustrating days, and with the help of a really smart consultant, I’ve figured out the problem at this site. I was unable to post without mangling the home page. That, combined with problems getting my backup service to perform a bona fide restore, caused me to put the site on hold.
I’m looking forward to posting again . . .
If you need drones, we’ve got drones. Apparently, this shoudl be our new national motto, according to this NYT article:
“Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by the C.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.”
In this thoughtful article at Pro-publica, Charles Ornstein discusses our need to come to grips with end of life decisions:
[T]he high cost of end-of-life care is an issue worthy of discussion. About a quarter of Medicare payments are spent in the last year of life, according to recent estimates. And the degree of care provided to patients in that last year — how many doctors they see, the number of intensive-care hospitalizations — varies dramatically across states and even within states, according to the authoritative Dartmouth Atlas. Studies show that this care is often futile. It doesn’t always prolong lives, and it doesn’t always reflect what patients want.