Extinction Event

David Nichols Blog Post

Longtime readers of The Economist, and you know you're out there, may recall the magazine's May 2011 cover story “Welcome to the Anthropocene.” The essay introduced many readers both to a neologism and to a new idea: that human beings have so profoundly altered the Earth's atmosphere, soil chemistry, and fossil record as to have left permanent physical evidence of their presence. Half a billion years from now, when humanity's other works have fallen to dust, alien or post-human scientists can look at the planet's geological record and say with certainty “Oh, yeah, those guys. Drama queens, the