Journey into a man-made epoch

In my work as a journalist, I have witnessed burning rainforests, visited uranium mines and hiked on smelting glaciers. I have seen human ingenuity at work in some of the world’s leading research labs. I have interviewed top politicians, managers and scientists. I have participated in many UN climate conferences since “COP1” in Berlin 1995 and have covered German federal ministers for environment, energy and research. All these experiences helped me to grasp the significance of the Anthropocene idea. In my book on the Anthropocene, which came out in German in 2010, I have tried to relate my experiences to this grand new idea of humanity’s place in Earth history. The book has brought me in close contact with Paul J. Crutzen, the Nobel laureate who helped to coin the word and shape the Anthropocene idea.It also has inspired the “Anthropocene Project 2012-14” by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Deutsches Museum and IASS Potsdam as well as the special exhibition about the Anthropocene at Deutsches Museum (German Technology Museum) Munich, for which I have served as a co-leader (HKW) and co-curator (DM). In 2015, I was part of a group of scientists to write a review paper called “The Anthropocene Biosphere“. The Anthropocene idea is gaining ground and critical attention world-wide. I support the critical and careful enquiry of this far-reaching hypothesis and will contribute to it with new publications and projects.


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