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The proposal by Andrew Bauer and his colleagues to recognize the Anthropocene as a continuing geological event (see Nature597, 332; 2021) could resolve some of the bitter quarrels the concept evokes. It removes the need to find a single spike, or marker, in the geological record to define the Anthropocene’s start. Instead, it allows us to use the same concept — irrespective of whether it started 50,000–10,000 years ago with the extinction of the Ice Age megafauna, or with the origin of farming or any of the dozen or so suggested starting points between 1610 and 1964 (S. L. Lewis and M. A. Maslin Nature 519, 171–180; 2015).