Welcome to Earth Day, 2000s edition. The decade of 9/11, foreign wars, tech takeovers and financial ruin.
As we entered the 21st century, the world increasingly understood climate change. From natural disasters to failed diplomatic initiatives, we describe some of the most defining environmental developments of the 2000s below. It was yet another disappointing decade, book-ended by economic turmoil, but chock-full of discouraging occurrences that called into question our global commitment to addressing environmental degradation.
Next, check out our final review, a survey of environmental developments during the 2010s.
Table of Contents
2000: Paul Crutzen Anthropocene
In 2000, scientists convened for a conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Eventually, frustrated by repeated mentions of the term Holocene to refer to modern times, geologist Paul Crutzen exclaimed that humans have made a geological and ecological imprint sufficient to mark a separate epoch, which he deemed the Anthropocene.
Crutzen was not the first to use the term – limnologist Eugene F.