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Homo sapiens’ War Against Nature

  • Andrew Y. GliksonEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences book series (BRIEFSEARTH)

Abstract

Nature includes species whose activities are capable of devastating habitats, examples include toxic viruses, methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S)-emitting bacteria, fire ant armies, locust swarms and rabbit populations. Parasitic host-destroying organisms include species of fungi, worms, arthropods, annelids and vertebrates, cf. oxpeckers and vampire bats. The mastery of fire has enabled the genus Homo to magnify its potential to harness and release energy by orders of magnitude, increasing entropy in nature on a scale unprecedented in the Cenozoic (since 65 Ma). From the mid-20th century, the splitting of the atom allowed humans to trigger a chain reaction potentially devastating much of the biosphere. Once a species has developed sources of energy of this magnitude the species would need to be perfectly wise and responsible if it is to prevent its inventions to get out of control.

Keywords

Sulphur Aerosol Land Clearing Asteroid Impact Mass Extinction Event Temperature Rise Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and AnthropologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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