The International Commission on Stratigraphy is supposed to decide on whether or not to include the Anthropocene epoch to the geologic time scale. I think if I had a vote within the commission, I think that it would be extremely difficult to decide which way to vote. At first, my knee jerk decision would have been to vote yes. I personally would place the beginning of this epoch around the year 1000, when humans began their first significant use of coal (Steffen, 615). Although at this time, coal usage is nothing compared to what it became during the industrial revolution, it still marks the beginning of mass burning of condensed carbon, and human caused climate effects. This being said, I can also understand the argument for placing the beginning of the epoch closer to the 1800’s when the industrial era really kicked off and we saw huge uses of fossil fuels. On the other hand, when have learned with past readings that however improbable, it is still technically possible to slow human effects on the climate. This would cause me to hesitate from immediately voting yes, because it is still possible that we could change our ways of life, and cut back on emissions and possible prevent a huge extinction event such as the end-Ordovician. Taking this into account, I would still end up voting yes, mostly due to the fact that I think there is too big of a political fight about trying to fight climate change, that by the time if action is decided upon, it’ll be too late.
Dan Kahan argues in his article that people fight against climate change not necessarily because of a lack of understanding, more so because they don’t want to be outed by their peers and cultural communities. This has created a problem, especially in the United States, because a large part of the world is trying to push for more environmental friendly policies, but some countries are trying to fight it. Personally, I think that the best way to encourage conversations about climate change my be to switch the topic towards trying to educate not only about the science behind it, but also the idea that disagreement on this topic isn’t based on lack of knowledge of the subject. Basically, I believe that if we can get cultural communities to be more accepting of these ideas (not necessarily to agree to the ideas), then climate science conversations will be able to commence on a larger scale.