What is Ecozoic Era?
It is a question that we will all have to ponder upon and the definition may be something that we have to gradually shape in the coming future.
The first piece of writing is quoted from the website "Ecozoic Times" (https://ecozoictimes.com/what-is-the-ecozoic/what-does-ecozoic-mean/) and it tells the story of how the term came to be.
The second piece of writing is from Thomas Berry's book "The Ecozoic Era".
#1. About the term “Ecozoic Era”
The term “Ecozoic era” was coined by Thomas Berry in conversation with Brian Swimme for their book The Universe Story in order to describe the geologic era that Earth is entering – when humans live in a mutually enhancing relationship with Earth and the Earth community.
Earth is entering a new geologic era because the previous one, the Cenozoic era (spanning the last ~65 million years), has been terminated by the western-style industrialized human community in the late 19th, 20th, and early 21st century.
As you may know, the etymology of Ecozoic is “eco-“ derived from the Greek word “oikos” meaning house, household, or home, and “-zoic” from the Greek word “zoikos” meaning pertaining to living beings. Thus Ecozoic era is defined as the era of the house of living beings.
It was coined by Thomas while in extended conversation with Brian Swimme in the late 1980s. Brian says,
When Thomas and I were writing The Universe Story, this would have been the late 1980s, we wanted to get the right name for the emerging era. We went round and round and round trying out possibilities. This was while we were working in motels or eating meals in restaurants or talking on the phone in between meetings.
Then one night, I don’t know the exact date, the phone rang and I answered and it was Thomas. He didn’t say “hello” or anything. He just launched right into it. His voice was explosive with excitement. ‘I’ve got it! It’s the Ecozoic Era!’ We both burst into laughter — our instant, mutual recognition of just how right this term was. It was the first time the word was ever thought of. It’s an example of Thomas’s geological consciousness.
I suggest the name “Ecozoic” as a better designation than “Ecological.” Eco-logos refers to an understanding of the interaction of things. Eco-zoic is a more biological term that can be used to indicate the integral functioning of life systems in their mutually enhancing relations.
The Ecozoic Era can be brought into being only by the integral life community itself. If other periods have been designated by such names as “Reptilian” or “Mammalian,” this Ecozoic period must be identified as the Era of the Integral Life Community. For this to emerge there are special conditions required on the part of the human, for although this era cannot be an anthropocentric life period, it can come into being only under certain conditions that dominantly concern human understanding, choice, and action.