The environmental crisis is global but its impacts are local. In recent years, many parts of the United States and United Kingdom have suffered devastating floods and droughts, and degraded air and water quality as the result of poor planning, outdated infrastructure, climate change and simple greed. Unfortunately, politicians and business leaders have generally failed to address the challenge. Leadership will therefore have to come from the people and communities most affected.
Anthropocene Alliance assists individuals and communities harmed by environmental abuse and climate change. We give them the tools they need to communicate and organize, and help them get support from elected officials, government agencies, and voluntary organizations.
Our initiatives are premised on three key principles: 1) Resilience to current and anticipated climate change; 2) Mitigation of future risks by reducing the emission of global greenhouse gasses; and 3) Fair distribution of public and private resources. Because low income and minority communities are generally the first to suffer from climate change and environmental abuse, they should receive primary support.
Who We Are
Anthropocene Alliance is a nonprofit based in Chicago. It was launched in April 2017 by the British environmentalist Harriet Festing and her husband, the American professor and activist, Stephen F. Eisenman. Its Staff and Board of Directors includes distinguished scholars, scientists, engineers, artists and designers. A London-based nonprofit affiliate will be established in a few months. We have applied for 501c3 status for Anthropocene Alliance.
What's In a Name?
“Anthropocene” is the name for the epoch in geologic history when earth systems no longer follow their natural course but are instead directed by humans. The geologic markers of the epoch, found across the globe, consist of technofossils (industrial litter deposited by rivers and streams) and radionuclides (from atomic blasts). Before it is officially part of the geologic time scale, the name must be formally adopted by the International Union of Geological Sciences.
But regardless of its official acceptance by geoscientists, Anthropocene has entered our vocabulary and is here to stay. The reason is that it clearly summarizes what so many people have understood for at least two generations: that humans have decisively changed (for the worse) the physical and biological nature of the planet. The degradation of air, water and soil, the disappearance of habitats and extinction of species, and the growing threat to human civilization itself, all combine to make ours a unique and perilous time in global history.
The solution to the crisis is not obscure. It is simply humans acting in concert – in alliance – to first protect vital air, water and land, and to end the use of fossil fuels and other sources of global warming. But to do that requires significant changes in how we live, where we travel, and what we eat. Anthropocene Alliance was formed to advance this essential work of self and community transformation.
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