Anyway, Zalsiewicz and Wiliams' paper looks at the degree of environmental change brought about by man's activites, takes the idea first proposed by the Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen and suggests ideas for formalising a specific epoch of geological time to cover the period of human influence on earth.
The slightly depressing thing that came to my thoughts when reading this piece was that we humans and our relatives have only been around for a few hundred thousand years and are already making a good job of orchestrating our own demise. Yet the good ol' dinosaurs were the dominant vertebrate from the Triassic through to the end of the Cretaceous! That's a whopping 160 million years!?! That makes man's tenure seen pretty short term. And we like to think of ourselves as intelligent? Sorry, but making such a 'pig's ear' of everything in such a short (geologically speaking) space of time makes us look pretty dumb! That said, rapid increase followed by sudden extinction is not at all unusual. Let's hope we can turn things around before its too late.
Cheers for now!