Friday Funny- Welcome to the Anthropocene Narcisscene

(A cartoon by Josh follows) Yesterday, Dr. Judith Curry tweeted:

A much needed article, debunks the ‘anthropocene’

…and linked to this article:

Welcome to the Narcisscene

Returning Humans to the Center of the Cosmos

By Mark Sagoff

At a conference in Amsterdam in 2001, the International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and affiliated scientific groups issued what its authors called “the historic Amsterdam Declaration on Earth System Science.” According to this historic declaration, “A new system of global environmental science is required.”1 Although the IGBP eventually closed in response to changes in the funding landscape, its most historic act was to propose the concept of the Anthropocene, a new geologic epoch that would emphasize and draw public attention to the degree to which humanity has altered the “Earth system.” Paul Crutzen, who then served as IGBP vice chair and had earlier won a Nobel Prize in atmospheric science, is credited (along with Eugene Stoermer) with introducing the concept of the Anthropocene and advocating its adoption by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), which is responsible for naming and dating geologic periods, eras, and epochs.

In view of the glacial pace of geologic events and the time it takes for things to turn into rock or become encased in it, you might think there would be no hurry to name a new geologic epoch, especially because the current one, the Holocene, started only about 11,500 years ago. You would be wrong. In 2002, Crutzen published an article in Nature magazine, “Geology of Mankind,” which called on geologists “to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch, supplementing the Holocene — the warm period of the past 10–12 millennia” and the beginning of which roughly coincided with the advent of human agriculture.2The idea of the Anthropocene, which Earth system scientists initiated and advocated, landed like a meteor, setting off a stampede among academics. Nature followed with an editorial that urged that the Anthropocene be added to the geologic timescale. “The first step is to recognize,” Nature editorialized, “that we are in the driver’s seat.”3

In response to the clamor, the ICS convened an eclectic Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), including Crutzen and many other Earth system scientists, to present a recommendation. The working group struggled to agree on a demarcation between the Anthropocene and the current Holocene: for example, the Columbian Exchange, the industrial revolution, or the detonation of the first atomic device. But the outcome of AWG deliberations — to declare a new epoch pour rendre hommage à l’Homme — was never in doubt. “We’re not so puny, after all,” one climate scientist remarked. “We are becoming players in geologic time.”4

If the ICS declares the Anthropocene as a new epoch, it will reverse at one stroke three great humiliations science has inflicted on humanity. First, it will restore humanity to the self-importance it knew when people believed that the Earth and humanity were created at about the same time. The Anthropocene, as Erle Ellis and colleagues have written, “will divide Earth’s story into two parts: one in which humans are a geological superpower — an epoch called the Anthropocene — and the other encompassing all that came before our species had a major influence on Earth’s functioning.”5

Second, it will redress the humiliation imposed by Darwin, who saw humanity as a minor twig on the tree of life, by recognizing Homo sapiens as a colossus so powerful that it is relocating tens of thousands of species and causing as many extinctions as the world has ever known. Third, it will return the Earth to its Ptolemaic position. Ancient astronomers thought of the cosmos as an orderly system that revolved around the Earth, which they saw as tempestuous, turbulent, intemperate, violent, ferocious, and capricious. Earth system science turns the Earth into the cosmos — an orderly, self-regulating system that revolves around a capricious humanity. It accomplishes a counter-Copernican revolution.6

The Anthropocene makes humanity great again.

Read the entire article here

I sent the article to our resident cartoonist, “Josh” and he was immediately on the case.

Of course, I still like his previous effort on this topic, “The Adjustoscene.”

Just a short note to readers- Josh has done hundreds of climate related cartoons over the years, and never charged me a dime for them. He’s advanced our viewpoints via humor, and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude. I suggest you buy him lunch or a beer, by going here to his tip jar.

PayPal or credit card accepted.

Thanks, Anthony


NOTE: The cartoon has been updated to correct a grammar error “Whose” is now correctly “Who’s”.


80 thoughts on “Friday Funny- Welcome to the Anthropocene Narcisscene

  1. Less than ten years ago, I happened to be on the banks of the Rio Tolten in Chile, with two lovely young ladies from Hood River, Oregon. They were wind surfers and artists.

    Naturally, they were convinced that humans were ruining the world, which is what had been drummed into them. But promptly, without further discussion, one of them responded to me by saying, “Yes, we humans greatly overestimate our ability to affect the Earth”. Without any scientific training beyond her bartending experience in the wind-surfing capital of the planet, this 20-something young woman showed far more profound understanding of physical reality than the whole CACA Team mafia combined.

    • Bartending is a very serious science… Without bartenders, I never could have finished college or gone on to a successful 37 year career in oil & gas exploration.

      • Without bartenders, it wouldn’t have taken me 37 years to finish college.

      • Dave, The Geology Club at the University of Manitoba, which to outsiders sounded like an august body indeed (1960s), negotiated a good discount on beer for the Club at the local off campus hotel pub on the highway for an ex-officio meeting on Thursdays 4 to 6pm. I think it was The Geology Club that may have given the large pitcher of draft to the world. IIRC, Thursday was chosen by the publican to fill in a quiet night for the bar.

    • I bartended for two years while earning my doctorate degree. The bar is a great place to share verbal logic puzzles, sharpen your BS detector, and of course, wet your whistle.

      • Ever hear of the Beaker Culture which spread across Europe starting in 2900 BC. All of a sudden, all these large beakers start showing up around this date.

        The word now is that traders were selling these nice new beakers around Europe but what they were really selling is how to make beer in them. It dominated early Europe for over 1,000 years afterward.

  2. It is worth noting that the name means ‘intoxicated’ and the word ‘narcotic’ comes from the same root, literally and figuratively.

    It is therefore a most appropriate label, and as labeling is the most popular pastime in this era, let the label stick, or shtick, if you have a sense of humour.

    The era of the intoxicated indeed! Drunk on power, influence and other people’s money (OPM – the most popular drug of choice).

    I agree with the edit: Narcissocene. Long may it flavour your coffee.

    Thanks, Josh, for making my day happier. I will try to pay it forward as you often do. Best wishes from sweltering Beijing.

    • I agree, it rolls off the tongue easier.

      In my long experience an “O” always rolls off the tongue easier. 😉

      (Mods: feel free to delete the comment if considered too rude)

    • I suggest Narcissisocene. Now it’s really rolling off the tongue.


      noun: narcissism
      excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.
      synonyms: vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, self-centeredness, self-regard, egotism, egoism
      “his emotional development was hindered by his mother’s narcissism”
      antonyms: modesty
      extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
      self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

  3. There is a remarkable similarity here with the concept of the Earth being the center of the solar system as held prior to Galileo.

    “ Humanity as the center of Climate Change”

    I must admit it has a simple and attractive ring to it.

  4. hmm yes
    I find the idea that everything has a price…and we humans must pay it, mighty offensive
    but they/warmists are the wanna be gods who set the price, and take the taxes n funds..

  5. These narcissists that continue to salivate over and clamour into yet more ways to control our lives, without a shred of proof they can do anything positive, must be asked a couple of questions:

    Who the F do you think you are and how do you think you could possibly make me do it?

    Failure to respond adequately in any way will see your carcasses dragged out in the street as a spectacular laughing stock, then your misdeeds and failed prognostications will be permanently etched into your tombstones. You won’t escape so easily.

  6. Holy Bleep! Crutzen actually did win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He with Dr. M. Molina and Dr. F. S. Rowland won the prize for discovering that CFCs contribute to ozone depletion. Of course there’s some doubt about that theory. link

    Once politics enters Nobel prize territory, things get stupid. Environmentalism is nothing if not political. Ozone depletion is an environmentalist’s wet dream … such a wonderful excuse for tampering with the economy.

    • Crutzen et al are an insult to past Nobel laureates in chemistry: Marie Curie, Rutherford, Arrhenius, Fischer, Ramsay, Baeyer, Ostwald, Haber, Nernst, Soddy, Aston, Bosch, Langmuir, Urey, Joliot-Curies, Hahn, Pauling, Seaborg. Alfred Nobel will rise from his grave to haunt the Nobel committee who awarded the clowns

      Sallie Baliunas debunked the ozone myth back in 2000

    • “Lu agrees that CFCs are responsible for destroying the ozone layer…”

      Some doubt? You mean by you, right?

        • No, it is not in doubt. Your link shows that CFCs are the base reason for the depletion. You’re going to have to read your own links next time.

          • If they can’t agree on the mechanism it’s pretty clear that they don’t know what’s going on.

  7. Various meanings of Anthropocene abound, mostly greening Vernadsky’s Noosphere.
    In his Anthropology of Astronautics, German space pioneer Krafft Ehricke wrote of three fundamental laws:
    “1. Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe [can] impose any limitations on man, except man himself.
    2. Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar System, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.
    3. By expanding throughout the universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself.”

    Clearly the Psychozoic epoch (Vernadsky’s much better term) is not bound to this geological planet.Hanson, Schellnhuber, et al. have major psychotrauma with Law 1, 2, and 3, are effectively outlaws.

    What would Sagoff say about these 3 fundamental Laws? His book :
    is pushing pantheism, that old Roman nature god the enviros call Gaia.
    I’m afraid the Pope has succumbed too with Laudato Si.

  8. Josh has never asked for any money because his wallet’s so fat from all that Big Oil money he’s always getting.

  9. My advice to this group of people anxious to be known for Something Special:

    1 – Stop naming -Cene epochs right now.
    2 – Go sit in the corner on the timeout chair
    3 – Get some professional help with your problem
    4 – Shush! Just shush!

    That ‘jumped right on the bandwagon’ is like watching people waiting for the doors to open on Black Friday Shopping Day at Walmart. Just get out of their way and avoid the place until the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day. I can almost hear the thundering hooves and the mooing.


    • “Cenes” are geologic epochs within the Cenozoic Era. From the Paleocene, to the Eocene, to the Oligocene, to the Miocene, to the Pliocene, to the Pleistocene, to the Holocene… There are definitive geological boundaries between each -cene. I take that back… There really isn’t a -cene-worthy boundary between the Pleistocene and the Holocene.

      So, technically, the Holocene shouldn’t be a -cene. It should have been called the Anthropomonian interglacial stage of the Pleistocene… Because human “dominance” or Earth is the only thing that differentiates the Holocene from previous Pleistocene interglacial stages.

      So… The compromise should demote the Holocene to a stage from an epoch and name it after humans. So… give the anthropocentric narcissists an “anthro” geologic time period along with a demotion.

      That said… I seriously doubt that the ICS will adopt an Anthropocene epoch… I don’t even think the Anthropocene Working Group will ever deliver a coherent recommendation.

  10. An exercise in narcissism as Jordan Peterson would have it.

    The Narcissoscene, indeed. Or rather, simply the Obscene?

  11. This is a kind of modern psychosis. The key phrase demonstrating it is “save the world”. Save the world? Really? When we can “save” ourselves, plus everyone in our immediate family and friends, plus our entire local neighborhood, then we can move on the our county, state, country, continent, hemisphere, etc, etc. Until then, “saving the world” is an example of self-righteous narcissism, of monstrous hubris, of an illusion of massive grandeur.

    • Agreed. I don’t think we could destroy this planet even if we tried, and we couldn’t save it even if it truly were in trouble.

      The problem with “But i’m saving the planet” is that it automatically tries to win the argument by invoking moral superiority. Nobody wants to “destroy the planet” so by saying that you want to “save the planet”, you put yourself in the moral highground where if somebody tries to argue against you they look like monsters and you look like an angel. Left especially likes to play these word games. They seem to think that mere intentions are somehow enough and that the end result doesn’t really matter. And if 100 years later turns out that these people were wrong, nobody cares anymore. They are long dead and already got their money, power, and good feelings.

    • I think it’s part of something bigger. The whole Social Justice /eco crazy collective seems to be a fundamental mindset that is about permanent and ever-escalating victimhood as a choice.
      As best I can understand or describe it, they seem to be so lacking in real problems or connection to anything meaningfully productive or positive in their lives that they seek out things and people to “feel bad for”.
      I get that it is a lot easier than actually choosing self empowerment and motivation but it seems like such a sad and empty existence to just endlessly obsess over whatever bad things one can search out. They must actively ignore or dismiss everything positive and hopeful in their worlds.
      There is a strong connection in this to the school system as well, up to and through university, which needs to be examined. Perhaps 12 to 15 years of being told what to do when the actual work is so trivial and menial isn’t the best way to empower people.
      I think we need a huge social re-think.

  12. Excellent!
    A great ‘send off’ by Mark Sagoff combined with a hilarious ‘mirror-mirror’ juxtaposition parody by Josh!
    It’s like a great cup of coffee with a dollop of clotted cream to top it off!
    Thanks for the grins, fellas!

  13. Biology was the first of the sciences to be iдеоlоgiскly corrupted and impaired, long before post normality reduced the other sciences to their present miserable state. It is a descriptive, cataloguing science which, from time to time produces a genius like Darwin who brought an exciting, transcending holistic dimension to this “bookkeeper science”, although he could never had had the idea if he wasn’t a 19th century multidisciplinary scientist with the geologist’s knowledge of paleontology as a foundation.

    Their corrupted training has a strong misanthropism built in that confounds their ‘opinions’. As a an endeavor,
    biology is a linear thinking science and is the poorest equipped in world view and dimensionality to forecast the fate of the earth and life upon it. Yet, all the sensational distopian prognoses have been made by this group and all have been monumentally wrong.

    Perhaps Cook’s 97% consensus has a ring of truth to it as a general guage of non objectivity – no more than 3% of the population of any group are truly objective and base their findings on good evidence. Dissidents in the USSR were certainly in such a small percentile. That geologists – the Sherlock Holmses of Science- would throw their lot in with biologists to come up with a misanthropic geological epoch tells me what has or is becoming of the most beautiful science of them all.

  14. In H. Beam Piper’s books, years were all Post Atomic, dating from the day the control rods were pulled back in the world’s first fission reactor.

  15. “This halcyon Holocene provided practically a Garden of Eden for humanity until it tasted of the fruit of technology, which it ate at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and gorged on after the Second World War. This led to the Great Acceleration that cursed the Earth and produced the Sixth Mass Extinction and other global catastrophes, including famine, drought, plagues, floods, and the war of each against all. Everyone who was not a science denialist agreed about this.”

    “When the ICS recognizes the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic/geochronological epoch (preferably during Advent or perhaps Easter), it should also sort the geologic time scale into three eras: creation, fall, and redemption. This kind of revision is the logical or conceptual consequence of the annunciation of the Anthropocene. Earth system science shall redeem future generations from the sins of their ancestors.”

    It is the story of the Bible. The ancient story of good versus evil. Of heroes fighting dragons so that we can be redeemed. What is good is that it is the unknown. If it were known, we could fix the problem and it would be dragon gone. But we have a perpetual dragon, as permanent as the devil. We have the agents of the devil. The Holy scriptures have been replaced by science. While some excavate ancient scrolls to find meaning, others look back into time using paleo to find meaning. The Book of Revelations is replayed.

    We have placed CO2 at the apex of the hierarchy. It replaced Nature. We have assumed the apex which we misguidedly believe is our rightful place. But man and CO2 are deranged as Pharaoh was and false Gods as well. The argument is that we have sinned and this one was a doozy. The counterargument is that we have not, or that it isn’t that bad. The reply to that is, It’s really bad and here’s some Book of Revelations science from our Bible of Science.

    • The Enlightenment drove the Industrial Revolution.
      And the printing press, invented to make copies of biblical scripture more available, drove the Enlightenment.
      Making scripture available in written form was done for many centuries by Monks, trained to read and write in Latin, who painstakingly hand scribed scrolls by candlelight, until the printing press came along.

      The printing press. Now we have the internet. Slaying the darkness of climate alarmism.
      One blog post at a time.
      Judith Curry
      Anthony Watts
      Roy Spencer
      Tony Heller
      Willis Eschenbach
      Paul Homewood
      Roger Pielke, Jr.
      … the list goes on.

  16. I still favor “egocene” as an appropriate label for the times, because, at the heart of all these climate concerns, is the delusion that humans are so self important that we can overpower natural processes of the climate to change it in our favor. We are so filled with self importance that we cannot consider the possibility that we are still very, very small in relation to these particular processes.

    If we think that we are self important enough to overpower natural climate forces, then we attribute power to ourselves that can cause unpleasant changes, which WE then can fix, because we caused them. The prospect that we did NOT cause these changes is even more alarming than the prospect that we did, because then this removes our ability to FIX it. We are at the mercy of natural processes, out of our control. We cannot center on ourselves anymore as a solution, because there is something BIGGER than us in control. Our egos demand that we be in control, and to be in control, we have to be the cause of problems whose SOLUTIONS we control.

    Don’t get me wrong — I still believe that humans can have, and do have, harmful effects on the air, land, and water, but I do NOT believe that so called “greenhouse gas pollution” is one of those harmful effects.
    By focusing on this non-problem that many people have falsely amplified into the crisis of our time, we have distracted ourselves from REAL problems, thereby pissing away our time and resources for the wrong reasons, based on erroneous beliefs.

    But our egos demand that we create these falsehoods to make ourselves feel in control.

    Ergo, egocene, … where the “ego” part is curiously similar to “eco”. One letter separates arrogance from real environmental concern.

  17. That is hysterically funny! With my daughter spending hours on snapchat and Musically, I have to recommend a video of “Myself I shall Adore” from Handel’s Semele:

    • Delightful and apropos. Opera is acting, and that’s a stellar example. But I kept imagining various AGW personalities in place of the singer, wondering who gave them a magic mirror that created such a firm belief in that egocentric universe where sun, moon and stars rise and set around their own fundament.

    • Is there an equivalent take on “For we like sheep” from the Messiah?

  18. Out of curiosity, I once calculated if you piled all the humans in the world in one large cube, what its size would be. Using reasonable assumptions, I came up with a 0.4km cube. That’s the amount of meat that’s throwing the global climate cycle out of whack.

  19. I’m more inclined to call it the “Plasticene”. It’s malleable and can be forced into any definition you want.

    Also, it appeals to the juvenile emotional hostility of alarmists when their theory is questioned.

  20. Ive been arguing, without anyone taking me on, that Clisci has been almost exclusively a шнутмаиs pursuit although since climategate, гнуте young women have been filling up the classrooms in graduate schools. Judith Curry was a notable exception but she got forced out when she began to change her mind about the power of CO2 This ‘science’s”enabling of old Europes redux of marksbrothers political economy and glобвал gоv makes it a partner in neocolonialism. How do these guys get a pass in the diversity pardigm? They pay off third world despots to do as they are told – witnees clearing of jungle and brutal expulsion of indigenous forest dwellers for palm oil plantations and preservation of wilderness.

  21. The ego of intellectuals when they get their hands on power is staggering.
    And government will always select the theory that enhances its power and wealth.
    This why Keynes’s theories about intrusion in the financial markets became dominant.
    The ego is that a gifted committee can “manage” a national economy. The problem is that there is no such thing as a discrete national economy. Nada! Canada’s economy is isolated from the US!
    Then, the next great objective.
    “They” could not find a way to make money out of the mania for global cooling, so when AGW came along, it was Manna from heaven for grants. From governments eager for power.
    It has become the greatest promotion in history.
    As is the audacity. The ego that really believes it can set the temperature of the nearest planet is astonishing.
    Sagoff’s article is timely and the comparison to the ego that required the solar system to revolve around the Vatican is appropriate.
    Mark me as a supporter of the “Egocene”.
    Bob Hoye

  22. The use of “NoB” on the medal was deliberate? In English we use the slang word nob or knob to describe someone who is a goof, a moron etc. Very apt IMO.

  23. People think that the world and how it’s maintained, balanced, optimised, is all about us. This is self-agrandising nonsense.

    Don’t they realise that it’s all about ME?


  24. All this science, and all we know is that the earth is definitely warming and that CO2 is the largest forcing. When are we going to be able to determine if it’s going to rain in Philadelphia on September 2?

  25. Humanism was always about putting humans at the center of the universe. Darwinism was only about removing God so man could take center stage. AGW and the anthropocene are predictable outcomes of the ideology of humanism.

  26. I find this Anthropocene era idea to be more ironic than humorous.
    The Anthropocene should be called the Hubriscene.

  27. The names ‘Anthropocene’ and ‘Narsiss(o)cene’ are in a sense equivalent as only human beings are giving names to epochs. The names of latest epochs are referring to the present. The suffix -cene is from ‘kainos’, meaning ‘recent’. From Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene to Holocene the names mean few, less, more, most and whole recent.
    ‘Holocene’ is in two ways an improper name. You would not expect another epoch after the most recent one and an interglacial does not deserve to be called an epoch.
    Besides the classification of the recent past belongs to archeology, the name ‘Anthropocene’ makes no sense. Presumably a better name would be ‘the Carbon Event’ as possibly in future geological strata a spike of carbon related material can be detected.

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