Humans have proven to be masters of the earth, but is that for better or worse? Like every geological period, the Anthropocene is marked by extreme environmental change: “We are the only species to have defined a geological period by our activity—something usually performed by major glaciations, mass extinction and the colossal impact of objects from outer space, like the one that defines the upper boundary of the Cretaceous. Humans were inevitably going to be part of the fossil record. But the true meaning of the Anthropocene is that we have affected nearly every aspect of our environment—from a warming atmosphere to the bottom of an acidifying ocean.”
In the space of a month, the centre of gravity in the world has shifted back to the Middle—to Egypt and other young societies across the Middle East and North Africa, says history professor Mark Levine.