What to make of the "Anthropocene"Clive Hamilton says that "Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions"
I'm not sure that I know what "the Earth System" is. What variable do you measure in order to quantify "the Earth System"? Does the "Earth System" have some special emergent property that we can measure? I suspect that there are a great many variables that we would have to measure in order to quantify "the Earth System". Relating a few of these variables to one and other involves many disciplines, so far as I can tell. I do not think that demanding that "Anthropocene" be defined in terms of the Earth system does anything but muddy the waters.
The interesting issues are how different groups of human animals interact with each other and how human animals interact with the many non-human parts of this planet... So far as I can tell, the modern human population has grown huge by using technologies and organizational methods in order to more thoroughly convert earthly resources into human biomass. This is humanity following the Darwinian breeding strategy. The consequences are so numerous that I hesitate to mention only a few: poverty, war, extinctions, ....
In my view, a truly intelligent species would optimize quality of life rather than quantity of life. I say that if we presently live in the Anthropocene then it's a pretty dumb-scene.
Some pseudo-scientists, like Mark Lynas, welcome the Anthropocene. They make comforting claims like:"Globally, a demographic transition is underway in which birth rates are plummeting."Tacitly, the above statement says that continued population growth is problematic. I agree.
On the other hand, the likes of Lynas seem to think that the problem is essentially solved. It isn't. So long as any group of humans continues to grow their population, the problem is not solved. Population growth continues to add about 80 million persons per year. So far as I can tell, the present trends would be more consistent with population ultimately becoming limited by privation than by an intelligent choice to limit births in order to ensure a satisfying life for all who live, including our non-human planetmates!
This does not justify predictions of catastrophee. Clive Hamilton says that the Anthropocene "should frighten us". That is nonsense. Continued population growth will not cause extinction or any other global catastrophee.
Rather continued population growth will slowly increase misery for increased numbers of people --- but there will always be some who profit greatly from the misery of others. Arms manufacturers and dealers profit from more wars. Slave/sweatshop owners profit from more poverty. Rulers and the functionaries of the police state profit from more rigid, authoritarian governments with more restrictive laws. We will see a continuing trend towards more theocracies, government in the name of God, the ultimate dictator! But it's amazing what people will happily accept if you promise them a little "pie in the sky".