We’ve added 1.1 teratonnes to the Earth

Sandra Laville sums up (“Human-made materials now outweigh Earth’s entire biomass“), in the Guardian, some stunning analytical work done by five Israeli scientists. Earth’s biomass – all the animals and plants, the living stuff – amounts to about 1 teratonne. Inexorably but at an accelerating rate, what we’ve built and plonked on our planet, including our waste, now sits at 1.1 teratonnes. It’ll hit 3 teratonnes by 2040. As the scientists’ paper apparently points out, anyone who denies we’re in the Anthropocene, altering Earth, can leave the building.

Beyond that fact, I wonder how I should view this news. Is 1.1 teratonnes terrible or was 0.5 teratonnes? Given we’re at 1.1 teratonnes, what next? Am I more scared or angry or saddened than I was? How do I sort this news out in my mind?