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The confusion that worries Patrick De Wever is not about temporality but about mixing time scales: The cyclical time of the geological development, in which a million years is just a short period of time, and the linear time of human progress that led to the ecological reality now referred to as the 'anthropocene', in which a hundred or two hundred years is considered a 'long durée' (compared to the piling up of events which is how historical time tends to function) are incommensurably different. In arguing thus, the geologist doesn't deny the global impact of human activities or the urgency of today's environmental crisis. But he is worried that the confusion in time scales might lead to wrong conclusions and overestimation of the potentials of human activity.

expert

  • Patrick De Wever

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

is a geologist and a professor at the National Museum of Natural History. Having always been enthusiastic about geosphere-biosphere relations, he is now very involved in the dissemination of science and protection of the geological heritage at national and international levels.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

is a geologist and a professor at the National Museum of Natural History. Having always been enthusiastic about geosphere-biosphere relations, he is now very involved in the dissemination of science and protection of the geological heritage at national and international levels.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

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