Michael Osborne

136. Humanity as a Geologic Force with Michael Osborne of Generation Anthropocene

Our guest on this episode is the host of Generation Anthropocene, a science podcast that explores planetary change. So, what is the Anthropocene? "The Anthropocene is a statement: Humanity is a geologic force, reshaping the earth’s surface. We are on par with ice ages and tectonic plates. But who, or what, is really in control? What are the limits of our power as a species, or as a society? How did we get here, and what are the forces that will shape this humbling and awe-inspiring new geologic age?” (genanhtro.com)

Michael Osborne is an academic and a digital content producer. As a graduate student at Stanford in 2012, he created Generation Anthropocene with fellow student Miles Traer as a response to the environmental crisis. Michael is both passionate and knowledgable, and brings a new and refreshing perspective to the topic of climate change.

This was one of those zoomed out conversations where we got to talk about some really big questions with a really smart guy. So what is the Anthropocene, and what does it have to do with The Good Dirt? Tune in to this fun and fascinating episode to find out!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed

  • What is the Anthropocene
  • How did Michael get so involved in the topic?
  • The power of podcasts/ audio in communicating the issue of climate change
  • Michael's assessment of where we're headed in the climate situation. Are we worried about the earth, or ourselves?
  • Creating connectivity in a world of alienation and disconnection
  • Humans as story tellers
  • Alienation as driven by a materialistic lifestyle
  • Environmentalism and misanthropy
  • A discussion on capitalism, how the issues we're facing are about more than that
  • The Good Ancestor by Roman Krznaric
  • Marshmallow thinking vs acorn thinking
  • "Weaponized despair" and mental health implications
  • Awareness of the climate change crises has increased
  • There is no place on earth that hasn't been touched by human influence
  • Creating an aspirational future that we want to live in 
  • The grief we feel in the climate crisis
  • What will it feel like to live 50 years from now
  • Generational empathy/ Michael's position on climate change as a parent
  • The trap of nostalgia in thinking about the changing earth
  • Mindfulness in environmentalism
  • Michael talks about Famous and Gravy, another one of his podcasts


Connect with Michael:


This Episode is Sponsored by Ettitude

Use code THEGOODDIRT for $25 off your first order!


About Lady Farmer:


Original music by John Kingsley. Our technical partner for this series is CitizenRacecar, Post-Production by Alex Brouwer and José Miguel Baez, Coordinated by Gabriela Montequin and Mary Ball. The Good Dirt is a part of the Connectd Podcasts Network.

Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not to be considered as medical or nutritional advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be considered above the advice of your physician. Consult a medical professional when making dietary or lifestyle decisions that could affect your health and well-being.