Photo by Cristian Grecu on Unsplash

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Planet by Humans

John Green’s recent book called The Anthropocene Reviewed speaks about the creations that aren’t natural but feels natural to humans because of their overuse and convenience. Things like the Internet, Soda, Air Conditioning seems natural since they are just not a part of the infrastructure that we work in, but also, we are born to use them to survive. Along with that infectious agents like viruses just haven’t been diverse, meaning you’ll get so many kinds of them now than 50 years ago, but have also grown smarter in terms of their strategy for survival. Additionally, 2020 marks a pause in the world due to COVID, the event has always led to the discovery of drugs and vaccines for public health and safety. So, he even thinks bacterial infections like the ones caused by Staph aureus aren’t just commonplace but also current antibiotics don’t work against it. Therefore, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are both man-made and affected by humans.

Additionally, John added personal contexts while explaining the topics and instances from his life that helped him dig deeper into his thoughts while writing the book. He says that we worry about the end of the world, and we think of when the world would end. With all the movies about Apocalypse and predictions, we have proven wrong to predict the end of the world, neither did we think there will be a pandemic in 2019.

John mentions, “You can’t see the future coming — not the terrors, for sure, but you also can’t see the wonders that are coming, the moments of light-soaked joy that await each of us.” That is why he thinks life is something to live and enjoy, something to look forward to each morning since there is a possibility. “For me, finding hope is not some philosophical exercise or sentimental notion; it is a prerequisite for my survival.” According to John, hope is the element for life. It keeps people going and feeling motivated towards life when everything else goes wrong.

Through the events that we have done in the past hundreds of years, Humans have thought to believe that we have created the planet, and it is ours to live. But the reverse is true. As John mentions,

“Humans are not the protagonists of this planet’s story. If there is a main character, it is life itself, which makes of earth and starlight something more than earth and starlight. But in the age of the Anthropocene, humans tend to believe, despite all available evidence, that the world is here for our benefit.”

Throughout the book, he connected his experience to his thoughts, which made the book a big circle, what John speaks of as labyrinths of life. John feels that sometimes you cannot find the meaning of life, the logic behind events, and the focus of life. He says, “Life is never simple paths- only dizzying labyrinths folding in on themselves”




I’m a PhD Student in Biochemistry and Structural Biology at Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY and a writer at heart. I hope to connect facts with stories.

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Shreyoshi Chakraborti

Shreyoshi Chakraborti

I’m a PhD Student in Biochemistry and Structural Biology at Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY and a writer at heart. I hope to connect facts with stories.

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