Anthropocene

I think that if I had a vote, I would vote yes to add the Anthropocene epoch to the geological timescale. If we were to place the Anthropocene at any date, I’d probably place it at where humans first popularized burning coal as a means to power their new technological devices or as a way to warm their homes. I’d place it there because of an argument Malm presented which states that the second humans gained the ability to manipulate fire, light things like coal on fire, we commenced a new epoch. A time where we began to rely on burning things in order to live comfortably. Almost every technological advancement we’ve made since that point, has required the burning of some kind of fuel and we’ve destroyed our planet in order to get at that fuel.

Kahan argues that peoples views on climate change isn’t based on an inability to understand it, but rather on a need to fit in with their social peers. Many from different cultural groups have different opinions on climate change because they will filter out the information that doesn’t fit the position their social peers have taken on it. Any evidence otherwise and they’ll question it, they’ll even go as far as to question those that are experts in their fields. Whitlock works to address this issue by presenting issues in a variety of different ways so that a variety of different people and social groups will understand the point that climate change needs to be, and possibly can already be, addressed if people are willing to work together to make it happen.

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