If I had a vote on the committee, I would vote yes to adding the Anthropocene epoch to the geologic time scale. My reasoning would be because the effects of humans on the Earth System are already clearly visible. There is a ton of scientific research and evidence that support the catastrophic and irreversible effects that humanity has on the environment. I believe it should start with the Industrial Revolution. This is where humans become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels for energy purposes. “Quantification of the human imprint on the Earth System can be most directly related to the advent and spread of fossil fuel-based energy systems the signature of which is the accumulation of C02 in the atmosphere roughly in proportion to the amount of fossil fuels that have been consumed.” (Steffen Pg. 616) Steffen goes on to state that in stage 1 of the Anthropocene the CO2 level was 285 ppm which was well within the range of natural variability but by 1945 that number rose 25 ppm which surpassed the limit of natural variation. Another blinding example he gives is that Earth is in it’s sixth great extinction, with many land and marine species rapidly disappearing.
If we are too afraid of what others think and place value on the beliefs of our peers rather than our own sound judgement, then we will never develop solutions to climate change. The idea that if you believe in climate change, that makes you one of “them” is ridiculous. Yes, climate change is a touchy subject, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of conforming to other opinions, people should believe in their own thoughts. If you always take the opinion of someone else then you only spread their message, which may or may not be scientifically correct. I would also say that in areas such as climate change that people who have distinct ideas or opinions should be more open to differing ideas. We should not be so quick to accept or dismiss other opinions, but rather, gather the facts ourselves and make our own informed choice.