coinage claim for "Anthropocene"

Erin McKean editor at VERBATIMMAG.COM
Tue Sep 9 13:36:32 UTC 2003

There's an interview with climatologist and Nobel Prize winner Paul
Crutzen in the 5 July 2003 New Scientist, where he claims to have
coined the term "Anthropocene."

Q. Your latest find is more of an invention: the new geological age
of the "Anthropocene."
A. This happened at a meeting three years ago. Someone said something
about the Holocene, the geological era covering the period since the
end of the last ice age. I suddenly thought this was wrong. In the
past 200 years, humans have become a major geological force on the
planet. So I said no, we are not in the Holocene any more: we are in
the Anthropocene. I just made up the word on the spur of the moment.
But it seems to have stuck.

(p.47, col 1)

Erin McKean
editor at

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