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…the man-made era…

Physorg has an interesting article up titled: “Earth’s soils bear unmistakable footprints of humans”

The article talks about how half of the earth’s soil is being used for cultivation, grazing, or periodical logging…and goes on to question whether we have entered the anthropocene. A good read and–I believe–a good observation.
Future generations–if there are any–will look back at desertification and terraforming as the beginning of the anthropocene.

Edit: CNet has more information including links to the GSA Journal which actually started this whole conversation.

Some place the beginning of the Anthropocene as early as the invention of the steam engine.  Others argue that it is not really an epoch, but only an era (a bunch of eras make an epoch).