The following blog was written in response to the March 24th Noons for Now teach-in on The Ecological Crisis and the Great Acceleration with Jesse Vermaire.

Born Into a Dying World: Human Health vs Ecological Stability

Noons For Now hosted another teach-in with guest speaker Jesse Vermaire a couple of weeks ago, on Thursday, March 24. A professor at Carleton in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Vermaire spoke about the scientific and analytical elements of the Great Acceleration—the fuel for our current ecological crisis. He began by stating that despite how planet Earth has been able to adapt in the past, this current global climate change is occurring at a faster rate than Earth can keep up. Many phenomena that influence the increasing global temperature are simultaneously responsible for maintaining a balanced global economy. The result is “positive human well-being and negative ecological effects,” according to Vermaire. Of the nine planetary boundaries (excluding two with missing information), Vermaire points out that four (climate change, biosphere integrity, land system change, and biochemical flows) are either within or beyond a zone of uncertainty. He spoke on a few of these creations, such as the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the phosphorous cycle, and the plastic cycle, all of which have a significant and increasing risk for human populations. These creations have each skyrocketed in the last century. The result is the emergence of a new era: The Anthropocene, in which human beings thrive off a dying planet. With the help of natural and social science, humanity could come up with a solution that ensures the benefits of human well-being are in place while maintaining a healthy climate.

written by Emma Cantlon.

Emma is a first-year student at Carleton University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political Science. Emma entered politics to study the role of government in the climate crisis, and specifically the effects and possibilities of globalization in tackling climate change. Their focus outside of school is finding and testing eco-friendly alternatives to miscellaneous necessities and advocating for the importance of individual efforts in dealing with the climate crisis.