Journey into the Anthropocene

In my book “Anthropocene” I was one of the first book authors worldwide to present, explore and interpret this epochal idea. The book was published by Riemann-Verlag in 2010 and was presented to the public at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin by the then head of the UN Environment Program, Achim Steiner. It has since also been published in French and English. The book brought me into close contact with Paul Crutzen, the Nobel laureate in chemistry who coined the term “Anthropocene.” The book gave rise to the “Anthropocene Project” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and a special exhibition at the Deutsches Museum, both of which I helped to organize. A formal scientific recognition of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch is to be expected.

About “Anthropocene” (Menschenzeit) 

Christian Schwägerl’s book is a striking example of the power and potential that lies in the idea of the Anthropocene. A skillful narrator with many years of journalistic experience, Schwägerl describes how a single species, to which you and I belong, is transforming Earth’s biological, geological and chemical processes to an irreversible extent and thus, the very basis of our existence. The results of two hundred years of industrialization testify to humanity’s powers of creation–but also to its perilous powers of destruction. For the first time in Earth’s history, the future is being profoundly affected by both the conscious and unconscious actions of Homo sapiens. Christian Schwägerl’s book analyzes in detail diverse phenomena of our times that have reached crisis point. It is also a rallying cry to recognize our chance to become a lastingly viable, creative and freedom-loving civilization. This book is like a navigation system for the new world of the Anthropocene that lies before us.
Prof. Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry and initiator of the “Anthropocene” idea

„Christian Schwägerl’s book shows us that we humans turn our relationship with Nature upside down. Over millennia we were rebels against a more powerful force. Now it is us who decide what will be Nature tomorrow and after, e.g. by determining the climate and altering the oceans. ,Living in the Anthropocene‘ is an intellectually exciting book and at the same time the work of a father who tries to tell his children what’s happening with planet Earth.“
Achim Steiner, Execuctive director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)

„One of the most intelligent how-to-save-the-planet books in a long time.“
DIE ZEIT Science Magazine

„,Living in the Anthropocene‘ is full of facts, yet very graphically written. It doesn’t stop with analyzing how we destroy nature. Schwägerl screens science and technology for solutions, draws on philosophy and the history of culture for orientation. It’s a book that allows to look behind the ,apocalyptic curtain‘. And it’s an invitation for everyone to become part of a new movement – a permanent environmental summit.“
Ulrike Heckmann, North German Radio NDR

„This book is skillfully investigated. It invites us to join a dawning Age of Men, where total responsibility is fundamental in our value system.”
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder, Free University Berlin, former director of the Berlin Natural history Museum, in Tagesspiegel newspaper

„There are so many doomsday books that one is skeptical of new titles about the environment. But Christian Schwägerl takes a fresh approach. His book lacks the usual fundamental skepticism about science and technology. He shows how they can contribute to saving our planet.“
Deutschlandradio Kultur (German National Radio)

„Schwägerl asks for a radical cultural shift. The goal is a globally connected eco-hightech-society. Science from the West, moderation from the Far East combine to a new value system: the matured primate Homo sapiens learns how to live sustainably.“
3Sat Kulturzeit (National cultural TV)

„Schwägerl interprets the Anthropocene not as apocalypse, but as an overdue modernization of our sinful consumerism….He develops a breath-taking planetary vision, a green and just utopia.“
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung