Anthropocene ya later

In the Steffen, Crutzen and McNeill article the definition of Anthropocene is given. It reads, “The term Anthropocene suggests that the Earth has now left its natural geological epoch, the present interglacial state called the Holocene” (Steffen et al., 2007: 614). Steffen et al. (2007) argue that human activities have made the earth less inhabitable for many species by drastically changing the atmosphere and thus weather patterns that affect the habitats and food of many species.  The three main factors laid out by Steffen et al. (2007) for Anthropocene are “continued population growth, excessive resource use, and environmental degradation” (620). In the Kolbert (2011) article she shows how there are two thought patterns as to when the Anthropocene began. The first was in the 18th Century when the Industrial Revelation began, and CO2 emissions rose. The second was the 20th Century when global population began to increase significantly (63).  I would argue that the Anthropocene should be added to the geological calendar because of the findings from these articles. I would also argue that it began in the 18th Century because as Kolbert (2011) points out there is evidence in ice cores of excess CO2 emissions from this era, and that is when the climate began to change drastically (63).

              Malm (2015) struggles with the Anthropocene concept because it places all the blame on all humans, when he argues capitalism and industry should be blamed for our current situation. Malm is an excellent example of how our social groups reflect our views on climate change, because as a social ecologist, he sees the need to critique large corporations as the sponsor of the changing earth. All scientists and people need to work together to fix this problem. I like how Dr. Whitlock and her group traveled the state to meet with people of all trades to discuss climate change. She had conversations that regular people could understand and chose to refer to climate change as changing climate because people responded to that. I think having scientists and historians traveling around like Dr. Whitlock and her group did to explain climate change and how to fix the problem would be beneficial.

Leave a Reply