The Stockholm Memorandum and the strain of the Anthropocene


The Feb. 27th entry on PaleoTerran presented the debate on whether we have entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene. This week, The Stockholm Memorandum, produced by the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability held Stockholm, Sweden appears to make it official: 

Humans are now the most significant driver of global change, propelling the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. 

Whether this group, or the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), has the authority to name a new epoch is unclear. (The ICS site has not been updated for sometime.)  Nevertheless, the name of the epoch is not the issue; the subject of Memorandum is the strain humankind is placing on the planet. 

Unsustainable patterns of production, consumption, and population growth are challenging the resilience of the planet to support human activity. ...Evidence is growing that human pressures are starting to overwhelm the Earth’s buffering capacity.

In a series of pregnant statements, eight priorities are outlined:

1. Reaching a more equitable world

2. Managing the climate - energy challenge

3. Creating an efficiency revolution

4. Ensuring affordable food for all

5. Moving beyond green growth

6. Reducing human pressures

7. Strengthening Earth System Governance

8. Enacting a new contract between science and society 

While the challenge is clear and daunting, the document also serves as a roadmap for future entrepreneurs.

To learn more, download The Stockholm Memorandum.  

Related Post:

Welcome to the Anthropocene: Humankind's layer on Earth