John Green's 'The Anthropocene Reviewed': A Literary Exploration of Our Time

John Green's 'The Anthropocene Reviewed': A Literary Exploration of Our Time

"The Anthropocene Reviewed" by John Green's is a collection of essays that combines science, history, and personal anecdotes to examine humanity's impact on the world, adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast. In this article, we will delve into the themes and ideas presented in the book and explore how Green's writing challenges readers to confront difficult questions about our place in the world.

The book's subtitle, "Essays on a Human-Centered Planet," highlights the importance of taking a human-centered approach to understanding the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, marked by the profound ways humans have reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. The book reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale, ranging from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

The Beauty and Tragedy of the Natural World

In "The Anthropocene Reviewed," John Green's contemplation of the natural world is both beautiful and heartbreaking. His essays remind us of the fragility of the planet we call home and the damage that has been done to it. He examines topics such as the devastation caused by wildfires, the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, and the plight of the endangered pangolin.

However, his writing is not solely focused on the tragedies of our time. Green also highlights the beauty of the world, from the majesty of a blue whale to the intricacy of a Hawaiian volcano. Through his descriptions, we are transported to these places and feel the awe that Green himself feels when contemplating the natural world.

At the same time, Green doesn't shy away from discussing the harm that humans have inflicted on the environment. By confronting these issues head-on, Green forces us to confront our role in creating the Anthropocene, the current geological era characterized by the significant impact of human activity on the planet.

Personal Reflections on the Anthropocene

The book's second part, takes a more introspective approach. In this section, Green delves into his personal experiences and how they intersect with the larger themes of the Anthropocene. From his childhood in Florida to his struggles with mental health, Green reflects on how these experiences have shaped his understanding of the world around him.

Through his personal anecdotes and reflections, Green weaves his personal experiences together with larger issues. He draws connections between his own struggles and the challenges facing our planet, emphasizing the need for empathy and understanding as we navigate the complexities of the Anthropocene.

He also discusses his relationship with nature and how it has evolved over time, highlighting the ways in which human activity has impacted the environment. Through his own vulnerability, Green encourages readers to reflect on their own experiences and how they relate to the larger issues at hand.

The Human Experience in the Anthropocene

John Green delves into the complexities of the human experience in a world that is being dramatically reshaped by human activities. He examines the way technology has transformed our lives and the impact it has had on the natural world. Green's writing is at its most poignant in this section, as he reflects on the paradox of our existence: that we are both the cause and the victims of the Anthropocene.

He discusses the ways in which our actions have brought about the climate crisis, but also the ways in which we are all affected by it. He touches on the injustices and inequalities that are exacerbated by climate change, and the ethical implications of our choices as individuals and as a society. Green underscores the urgency of the situation and implores readers to take action to address the challenges we face in the Anthropocene.

Despite the sadness and despair that can arise from contemplating the damage done to the planet, Green still finds hope in the natural world. He writes about conservation efforts and the resilience of ecosystems, reminding us that even though we've caused significant harm, there is still a chance to make a positive impact.


John Green's "The Anthropocene Reviewed" is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of humanity's impact on the world. Through his personal reflections, poignant descriptions of the natural world, and thought-provoking essays, Green challenges readers to confront difficult questions about our place in the Anthropocene.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of science, history, and personal experience. Through his words, Green encourages us to take action to protect the natural world, to appreciate its beauty, and to recognize the power we hold to make a difference. It offers a powerful reminder of the urgent need to address the environmental challenges facing our world today.

  • Audio
  • Like
  • Comment


How to Construct Platonic, Archimedean and Stellated Polyhedra
This book is intended to be a Fun semi-historical book on the history of Polyhedra, both Platonic an...
Read More
Spanish Roots
When Mireya’s adopted parents die in a car crash, she inherits a hacienda in Spain and finds some ...
Read More
After fighting for the Union Army during the American Civil War, emotionally stressed Micah Gray (a ...
Read More