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Unraveling and reweaving the tapestry of life in the Anthropocene

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Human Futures. April 2020: 12-16.


The Anthropocene got off to a rough start. Looking back on the 2020s and 2030s, it felt as if the tapestry of ecological and social life was beginning to unravel, slowly at first but then picking up speed. Most of the "unravelling" was driven by climate disruption. World leaders had failed to act decisively -- or at all -- to curb greenhouse gas emissions and make the transition to sustainability earlier in the 21st century. As a result, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continued to climb and Earth’s average surface temperature edged steadily towards two degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels. The initial slowness of climate change, with its effects emerging gradually over decades, lulled many into complacency. Our collective failure to exercise foresight intelligence came at a high ecological and human price.


Bengston, David N. 2020. Unraveling and reweaving the tapestry of life in the Anthropocene. 2020. Human Futures. April 2020: 12-16.

Last updated on: May 24, 2022