Back to the Future

I would have to vote in favor of declaring a new epoch on the geological calendar. Based on the readings I would have to agree with Malm and Kolbert that it seems to start with humans. But more specifically it starts with the industrial revolution and human’s reliance on the burning of fossil fuels. According to Kolbert, human impacts on the world were being studied as far back as 1870. This was before full scale industrialization and burning of fossil fuels that we see today. Deforestation is another factor that can be looked at when discussing the geological record. “Loss of forest habitat is a major cause of extinctions, which are now happening at a rate hundreds or even thousands of times higher than during most of the past half billion years.” (Kolbert) This is important to recognize. People are the ones causing these issues. We really have no one else to blame. Malm makes the argument that humans hunger for capitalism is the thing that sprung the new epoch. Malm makes the argument that the gathering and burning of fossil fuels was derived from capitalism, “The choice of a prime mover in commodity production could not possibly have been the prerogative of that species…” (Malm) Both these authors make a similar point. This epoch was started by humans and the utilization of fossil fuels.

This issue has a large impact on our ability to discuss science and discovery. Everything is immediately divided by a partisan line these days. There are these outside pressures forcing you to conform or else. Pick a team and stay on that team. This dichotomy makes it extremely difficult to have open discussion about the facts and what the best course of action might be. People will want to wait and see what everyone else on the team thinks instead of having their own open ended conversation to find solutions. I think people need to approach each other without this team mentality in mind. People need to be open minded of everyone’s situation. Not everyone is affected by the climate the same way. We need dialogue between all walks of people and life. Bankers need to know the perspective of farmers, miners need to understand the perspective of conservationists, etc. If we can achieve this open ended dialogue between all parties, there might be a chance of coming up with a solution to fix this ginormous issue.

One thought on “Back to the Future”

  1. Fun blog post title! I would have to agree with you that the Anthropocene should be voted in as the new epoch on the geological calendar. All the evidence points to human kinds role in the changing climate, and I think you do a good job discussing that. Through the utilization of fossil fuels and increasing industrialization, humans essentially caused this new epoch (the Anthropocene) to begin. I thought it was interesting how you talked about the partisan nature of the climate change discussion. I think this is an incredibly relevant part of addressing climate change, and I think you talk about this problem very well. I especially liked how you said that open-mindedness between parties is the key to solving the climate change issue. In the world today, so often people don’t truly listen to what others are saying because they are so stuck in their own issues. If they just stopped for a second and kept an open mind and left their outside opinions and beliefs at the door, it might just be possible to make a global change. Awesome blog post, I really enjoyed reading!

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