The future, for all its inevitability, always seems to me vague and hazy – until it no longer seems. (p.28)
The work Anthropocene: Notes on Life on Earth is a book written by John Green, an American novelist and vlogger, author of the best-selling book “The Fault is of the Stars” and many other famous works that permeate the universe Young Adult. The fact is that this work is not a fiction like the others. In Anthropocene, John Green reflects on themes ranging from Super Mario Kart and the sunset to cave paintings and the habit of Google-searching strangers, the insightful and humorous essays brought together in this collection are a genuine celebration of human capability. to fall in love with the world and something that draws a lot of attention is the fact that he analyses, brings a background informative, memories of his own life and evaluate with a note the moment or the thing that was the object of his observation. It's an interesting view of the world and through John Green's statements, many things are clear. The book is published by Intrinsic Publisher.
The book has a fluid language and is divided into short chapters on different themes, but in the narrative line they balance very well. Written in part during the world pandemic of Covid-19 and based on his successful podcast, Anthropocene: Notes on Life on Earth guides us through the subtleties of this new reality and gives us the assurance that we may not even know the path we are following, but we are certainly in good company. The book carries a reassuring sense that everything has a motive behind it and carries a story, a struggle, a shard of hope.
One of the most beautiful chapters is about “Lascaux cave paintings” that through a cave with several paintings, the friendship of a group of friends who suffered from the horrors of World War II, survived and managed to preserve the cave. These are important memories that remind us of our ancestors and how evolution has progressed so far. Here, Green uses his sensitivity and discernment and does not use half-words, he is objective in delving into the issues and openly says what is necessary and what we already know, but sometimes we don't care.
In addition to portraying the moments that bring us joy, it also recalls unfortunate moments in the passage of human beings on Earth, such as the chapters “Teddy bear" and "The Penguins of Madagascar” which are recount fragments of his life interspersing situations where the evil of human beings affects defenseless animals like lemmings and this makes us reflect on how we can face the absurdities of the current geological age?
However, whenever I watch the The Penguins of Madagascar, I think about how invisible we are to penguins most of the time, but still, we are their biggest threat – and also their biggest hope. In that respect, we are a kind of god – not a particularly benevolent god. (p.157)
According to the website InfoSchool, the geological age Anthropocene (anthropoid = human from greek + scene = recent from Greek) does not have a well-defined start date (probably somewhere in the middle of the 20th century), but is distinguished from the Holocene by anthropogenic geochemical signatures, in the planet's sediment, climate and other life forms. Many international geological studies bodies still do not accept the term as official, but a significant number of research groups have already started popularizing the Anthropocene as a new geological era.
The term was first proposed by the Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen. An expert in atmospheric chemistry – he won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for his studies of the ozone layer – Crutzen was familiar with how human activity was changing the composition of the atmosphere. The constant use of automobiles and the high rates of emission of substances and fumes have changed the composition of carbon in the atmosphere, causing a temperature increase of 1°C, glaciers melting and sea levels have so far increased by 20 centimeters. Furthermore, human beings have been physically modifying the planet constantly, such as the construction of dams thus affecting river basins.
Large cities are an example of the impact caused by human action. According to an article published by the site Era, many cities can disappear due to weather conditions and erosion over the years. However, others will be fossilized because they are sinking like Amsterdam or Shanghai. Another very important detail is the percentage of radioactive elements present on the planet, thanks to explosions of more than 2,000 atomic bomb tests, this rate has been modified. According to the British researcher Jan Zalasiewicz, the date of the beginning of the anthropocene could be July 16, 1945, the day of the first test of the atomic bomb in history.
A parallel that we can draw together with the book written by John Green is that more than ever we are aware that our species has failed to protect our planet, our home. Much has been discussed in relation to the environment. Guidelines on Sustainability, Decarbonization, ESG and how governments, companies, populations and even technology can help preserve our home, our fauna, our flora. Of course, we can be sure that we have entered a new geological epoch. The challenge will be to adapt this new space to keep us well and so that the next generations don't suffer so much. In the chapter “kentucky blue grass“Green talks about the amount of water that is wasted to keep the grass beautiful and how this generates other impacts that many already feel, such as the water scarcity that affects approximately 40% of the world's population and, according to estimates by the United Nations It's from world Bank, droughts could put 700 million people at risk of displacement by 2030.
There are roughly 163,000 square kilometers of lawn in the United States, more than the size of Ohio or all of Italy. Nearly a third of all the water in the nation's homes – clean, potable water – is used for lawns. To grow, kentucky bluegrass often needs fertilizer, pesticides, and a complex irrigation system, all of which we offer you in abundance, even though it cannot be consumed by humans or used for anything other than serving. as a surface for walking and playing. (p.232)
Since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020 many “end of the world” have existed for someone. Today the number of 598 829 is not just another number, it symbolizes people, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins, people who died and die due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) which is a disease infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But the world doesn't just end up dying, sometimes the meaning of "end of the world" can have other connotations such as a broken heart, being unemployed, in short, countless possibilities that at the moment may seem like the end of the world - for me, it would be lose my mother. But over the years, we've gone through trials and we've recovered, and the pills about John Green's life that he tells us so willingly reinforce the need for hope.
Out of curiosity, the word 'pandemic' was already part of the life of John Michael Green or simply John Green who was born in Indianópolis, United States, on August 24, 1977. Consecrated by The Blame It's the Stars, he is one of the most successful authors today. Graduated in English and Religious Studies, Green, in addition to being a writer, is a highly successful vlogger, owner of a YouTube channel with over 1 million followers. His most successful books also include Paper Cities, The Katherine Theorem, and Who are you, Alaska? And just like us mortals, he also had the feeling of “end of the world” with the discovery of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, the famous OCD. But if you think he or any writer has a stronghold to protect himself from the apocalypse, you're wrong. While the world empties the shelves of supermarkets and grocers - it even lacked toilet paper?! - John Green stocked up on cans and cans of his favorite soda “Diet Dr Pepper” — and the quirky-named drink has a chapter dedicated just for itself.
For someone who has spent four decades worrying about pandemics, you don't even know how they work.” – Hank Green, brother of John. (p. 29)
Famous for teen stories, Green left anonymity and became a teenage pop star. In his stories, Green always sought to write and at the same time give his characteristics, but the work that made him tell the world about his disorder is "Turtles Up There Down", a 2017 plot starring a teenager with OCD and then most saw the work as an autobiography disguised as a novel. This was not the first misconception associated with the writer's image. Before becoming the darling of teen pop star, Green had to face the wrath of conservative parents as he disseminated sexual content…what do you mean? The success of "Who Are You, Alaska?" was so big (a while later, actually) that it was adapted by the Hulu and today it is in the catalog of HBO. But the game turned with the release of "The Stars' Fault" and if Green was considered "famous", he became a fever teen ambulant and world-renowned.
Despite the ups and downs he went through, John Green sought to stay active during the pandemic. It is a difficult time for many people and to understand that it is part of the evolution process of every human being is to understand that everything passes. Sometimes it's a collective feeling or not of hope that keeps you going, but sometimes it's just your rational conscience telling you that you need to react. In Anthropocene: Notes on Life on Earth we see a breath of hope and faith in Green's words. Although it is a compilation of reviews and critiques on various topics, each chapter reflects on something that is part of our reality and the way we face the successes and misfortunes of life, shows us that we will not always be willing to fight. But we learned to let our guard down today and to stand up and fight the next day. A work of nonfiction that lends itself to the analysis not only of life in the present moment, but with hints caught in the past, we are heading towards a future with more courage and we know that one way or another, it will work out in the end.
As I get older, I discover that I am in love with the world. (p.17)