The Anthropocene – meaning the proposed geological timescale of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems – was the hot topic that Gaia Vince discussed when she met pupils at Taunton School.
Six Year 11 students (Alice McVicar, Tamsin Peto-Dias, Jess Stacey, Josh Cummings, Stephen Cao and Daniel Lloyd-Jones) had the opportunity to ask questions to the environmental and science journalist in the school theatre, and received far-reaching and thought-provoking responses. Discussions included the possibility of using geo-engineering (mirrors on Earth or in space) to reflect the sun’s incoming radiation.
Year 11 student Jessica Stacey commented that: “It was a new and intriguing experience that very much changed my view on the modern world.”
Daniel Lloyd-Jones added: “I was fascinated by the fact that evolution is happening as we speak, since animals are adapting to live in man-made habitats such as cities.”
Prior to the talk, Gaia hosted a workshop for selected Year 10 and 11 students, which delved a little deeper into the conflict between tourism and conservation in the Anthropocene (centred on a village on the pacific Costa Rican coast called Ostianal). The students were treated to first-hand knowledge by Gaia and also took on the challenge of a role-play activity simulating some of the issues with great gusto.