Climate Change On An Epoch Scale

If I had a vote on the commission contemplating the formal addition of the Anthropocene epoch to the geological time scale, I would choose to accept the addition of the epoch. I believe that the effects we are seeing today will show up as historically relevant in the future. A combination of “symptoms” point to the significance of the current time period. These include the high rate of extinction and the acidification of the oceans (Kolbert). It is interesting, however, to examine the uniqueness of the circumstances surrounding the possible addition of the new epoch. All previous sections of the geological time scale have been somewhat easy to observe. This is due to their distance in the past, as well as the vast amount of years they cover. Therefore, it is hard to examine even the last several thousand years, and determine when the Anthropocene starts. I believe that in the future, geologists and historians will view the Great Acceleration as the starting point of this epoch. This is due to the exponential growth seen in emissions, economy, and population worldwide.

People’s need to fit in with their communities and social peers limits the effort to develop solutions for combating climate change. Because they are afraid to seem different and go against the grain, people are more likely to hold back thoughts on climate change. This stifles conversation and debate regarding the issue, and as a result, the movement to remediate climate change is slowed. I believe that in order to encourage conversation among people with differing viewpoints, we need to help people relate the issues to their personal lives. For example, people may not be able to understand the high-level effects of climate change, and they may not care about the change at a global scale. However, if you perhaps tell people that there cost of fuel or heat will skyrocket as the effects of climate change take hold, they may be more likely to care.

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