The Age of Humans & the Impact on Our Planet

“The 100-year flood will be a 22-year flood,” Lisa J. Graumlich, Dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, said at Forterra’s second Seed & Feed talk on January 15th at which she delivered a stunning presentation on climate change and resiliency in the Northwest. The impact of climate change that we’ll be seeing in these parts? More flooding. A rising sea level. Longer fire seasons. And lighter snow pack.

Dr. Graumlich contextualized these changes within the concept of the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humans – a new geological epoch many in the scientific community are pushing to be recognized and that is evidenced by humanity’s undeniably massive impact on the planet. This impact, she said, can be seen in many things including the ocean acidification that is already affecting some of our local businesses.

But Dr. Graumlich did not stop at the doom and gloom and instead challenged us to work toward becoming a more resilient region, and to take actions here in the Northwest to lessen the impacts of climate change, including:

Dr. Lisa J. Graumlich, Virginia and Prentice Bloedel Professor, is the inaugural Dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. Seed & Feed is a series of talks by acclaimed thinkers addressing critical issues impacting the sustainability of our region. Our next Seed & Feed event will be scheduled for spring. Stay tuned to learn more.

For the full deck of slides from Dean Graumlich’s talk, see below.