Honestly, this matter has me feeling pretty conflicted. Originally, as I’m sure all people who were raised on Americans values are, I was a bit dismissive of Malm and his reasoning that the blame for climate change needs to be slightly shifted. Not necessarily because he blames capitalism for the desecration of the earth and its wildlife– I think it’s more than reasonable to sift some blame to the consumer market it has created. But it’s because he argues that we need to change the narrative of all of us being responsible for how we’ve treated the earth. The reason for this is because American culture is largely an individualist one, it’s one that places responsibility on citizens at an individual level rather than on a societal one. Coming from a conservative father (and albeit a liberal mother) as well as living in a community such as Montana that idolizes American culture, individualism is something that’s fully ingrained in my values, and any criticism of it often makes me very defensive. But I do think that Malm is right if anything because his last point “If everyone is to blame, then no one is.” (p.6 Malm) is really hard to argue against. So, my opinion is, if the committee decides to deem this the anthropocene poch, they need to change the narrative they have behind it. Namely, that all humans are all at fault, and no one else.
I think ultimately the way to approach climate issues is the way I approach all issues when dealing with opposing voices. Don’t approach an issue as a conservative or a liberal, or as a libertarian or a authoritarian, approach it as a rational person and give your proponent the benefit of the doubt that they are too. I think ultimately the tribalism people have with this issue is because people believe that it has to be attached to an ideology. It’s why I think Dr. Whitlock had so much success with the issue, she approached the topic as someone trying to explain their point of view, and how it could possibly help others.