Some scientists and scholars are calling today's era the Anthropocene, a unique geological age where human activity, not natural processes, is the principal driver of planetary change. Nate Berg interviewed Felix D. Pharand, about his map exemplifying the Anthropocene, above, featuring population centers, transportation routes and energy transmission lines:
The biosphere is made out of living matter. … It is a world where humans appeared only recently. Now, indeed, our species and its 7 billion people is still growing inside it, converting ever more wilderness areas into human-influenced landscapes. This world is however finite, unique and fragile. Now is a good time to start thinking of it this way. I believe we are still, in our heads, living in a pre-Copernician world. It’s time to upgrade our worldview.