Less Is More

An epoch is a period of time in history or a person’s life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics. Although not officially approved, a working group has proposed that the world entered a new epoch called Anthropocene, or the human epoch. The starting point is still debated, as some believe it started at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 12,000–15,000 years ago, and others see it starting as recent as the 1960s. One proposal, based on atmospheric evidence, is to fix the start with the Industrial Revolution circa 1780, with the invention of the steam engine.

The human epoch refers to a geological age where human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. As referenced by Wikipedia, the Evidence of relative human impact – such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity, and species extinction – is substantial; scientists think that human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity.

A recent book titled Less is More explores this ecological breakdown and the system that is causing it. Jason Hickel takes a journey through history to shed light on how we got here, where we are, and where we should go from here. Although climate change gets all the headlines, Mr. Hickel paints the complete picture. This from the book:

The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing. Add this to soil depletion, pollinator die-off and fishery collapse, and we’re looking at spiralling food emergencies. This will have serious implications for global political stability. Regions affected by food shortages will see mass displacement as people migrate in search of stable food supplies.


No matter what the topic, it comes down to one major force: Convergence. Each domain – in this case the environment – is converging with domains like Geopolitics to shape a transformative future. Climate change, biodiversity loss, soil depletion, and others are all examples of Catalysts that have forced human action in the past. Each domain requires our attention, for it is the collective that determines our future and the Connections that show us the path. Books like this help us understand these domains, while illuminating the connections. I highly recommend this one and have added it to my Book Library.

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