When it comes to the formal adoption of the Anthropocene epoch to our geologic time scale, I would vote to accept this proposal as it definitely appears that the scale of humanity’s impacts on the earth are rivaling some of the biggest geologic forces that have been observed in the past. We have deforested vast swaths of land in order to support agriculture and the runoff from fertilizer have causes massive algae blooms in waterways (Steffen). Global warming as a result of our mass industrialization is leading to ocean level rise, to the extent that some islands could potentially disappear in the not-too-distant future . If the criteria for a new epoch is, as Steffen states, a timeframe where the geologic record shows some marked change, then our activities would definitely meet that criteria due to the record-setting levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, the great reduction of biodiversity in terms of plants and animals, especially when it comes to what we farm and eat, and the environmental damage done to the earth by mining and other industries that have scarred portions of the world into poisonous pits and tunnels. As for when this epoch should begin, it seems sensical to have it start at the beginning of the industrial era, when all of these changes had their beginning.
As for Kahan’s argument, it seems that we face an issue in getting people to accept science, i.e. to make science cool. Hope needs to be offered, and not just proclamations about how we need to stop doing this or that. A focus should be made on communicating climate science to groups of people, much in the same way some organization might do targeted advertising to draw in different people. Dr. Whitlock sort of does this by addressing, or targeting her message towards the residents of Montana. In bringing many of these concepts to the literal place where we live, she is more persuasive compared to someone showing pictures of sad polar bears thousands of miles away.