I recently read a book, “Deep Time Journey” by British writer Robert McFallan. “Deep time” is a geological concept of time, referring to “the dizzying long history of the earth.” In this book, the author goes deep into underground mines, the depths of caves, and the interior of glaciers and other underground spaces, looking at tens of thousands of years, hundreds of millions of years, and re-examining human activities from a deep perspective.
”Deep Time” is the year of the underground world. We know that the life of the earth on which humans live is not calculated in years and months, but in units such as cosmos and epochs. These are geological chronology, and the time span is one hundred thousand years or millions of years. Even hundreds of millions of years. All the endless phenomena on the surface cannot be the record carrier of life on earth. The only records that can record it are rocks, glaciers, seabed sediments and drifting crustal plates. The previous assertion was that we are living in the Holocene of the New Generation Quaternary Period. But this concept is changing. In 1999, at a seminar on the Holocene in Mexico City, Nobel Prize winner and atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen pointed out that the term “holocene” is no longer accurate. According to the traditional geological point of view, the Holocene began 11700 years ago and continues to this day. But Kruzen believes that the entire world has undergone drastic changes, and humans will become the most important factor affecting the geology of the earth in the next few thousand years or even millions of years. We need a new word, the Anthropocene. We human beings have become the creatures of the Anthropocene and are also its creators.
People should take a certain dose of “nature”, the top of which is a trip to the wilderness every one to two years.
Don’t think that the creator is a good word here. We can think about what marks will be left on the strata of the Anthropocene. Since the middle of the 20th century, resources have been exploited in large quantities, population and carbon emissions have surged, species invasions and extinctions are occurring on a large scale, and metals, concrete and plastics have been continuously produced and discarded. The relics of the Anthropocene will include radioactive fallout from the atomic age, destroyed foundations of cities, millions of ungulate spine that were intensively farmed, and plastic bottles with an annual output of billions.
McFallen wrote in the book that he saw a wide variety of plastic garbage on the beaches of the islands on the northern edge of Norway. These are typical Anthropocene substances. They were not born in nature, nor can they be degraded and changed in nature. It has become something that cannot be digested, and there is no way to grasp it as a whole. Our continuous activities even created a new kind of rock called “plastic polymer rock”. It is the melted plastic produced by people burning beach garbage with bonfires, and it condenses with gravel, shells, wood and seaweed to form a kind of hard polymer, which is called plastic polymer rock. This kind of rock has a special structure and is very durable. It is likely to become one of the landmarks of the Anthropocene strata. There is a sentence in the book that is very impressive, so it is said-plastic, the bones of pigs, cows and sheep, and lead-207 are longer than ours. Lead 207 is the stable isotope at the end of the decay chain of uranium 205. We can understand it as nuclear waste.
The concept of “Anthropocene” is a blow to us in the deep time.
Tim Better, an urban planner at the University of Virginia in the United States, once proposed a concept called the “natural pyramid”. He said that people should take in a certain amount of “nature”. The top of the pyramid is once a year or every two years. Wilderness journey, “Those places will reshape our core, inject you with a deep sense of awe of nature, and allow you to reconnect with the wider crowd and reconfirm your place in the universe.” On the next level, go to the forest, seaside, desert, or mountains once a month. On the next level, I go to the park and riverside once a week to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of the city and stay in nature for at least one hour. Then, the bottom layer is the nature of our daily interactions, including the birds, trees, fountains, pets at home, green plants, natural light, fresh air, blue sky and white clouds in the community. These are similar to daily vegetables and can help you ease. Stress, improve concentration, reduce mental exhaustion. I hope you can read the “Deep Time Journey” at the top of the pyramid after one hour of contact with nature every day.