This blog takes its name from a word coined by the biologist E.O.Wilson, who suggested “Eremozoic” as a suitable term for the next era of the Earth’s development. Scientists have divided the immense timescale over which living organisms have evolved into three eras – the Paleozoic, (“ancient life”), the Mesozoic (“middle life”), and the Cenozoic (“new life”). It is this last era in which we are now live, a period characterized by a great increase in biological complexity and diversity.
There have been a number of mass extinctions throughout geological time, the fifth having ended the Mesozoic age around 65million years ago. Most biologists agree that we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction event, this time uniquely due to the activities of a single organism – Homo sapiens. If this is indeed true, it is reasonable to suggest that the Cenozoic era is drawing to a close, and we are entering a new era for life on earth, fittingly called the Eremozoic (“lonely life”).
The human hammer having fallen, the sixth mass extinction has begun. This spasm of permanent loss is expected, if it is not abated, to reach the end-of-Mesozoic level by the end of the century. We will then enter what poets and scientists alike may choose to call the Eremozoic Era — The Age of Loneliness. E.O.Wilson, “The Creation : an appeal to save life on Earth”, 2006.
This blog will aim to consider the crises facing biodiversity – and therefore, inseparably, humanity – as we stand on the brink of the “age of loneliness”.