Something New on the Anthropo”scene”

Personally, if I were voting on whether to approve adding the Anthropocene to the geologic calendar, I would vote yes. According to Steffen, the term Anthropocene suggests that, “Human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature” (614). Humans have accomplished so much in the short time they’ve been on the Earth, from mass deforestation to massively increased C02 levels, humans are an epidemic that just keeps spreading. Personally, I lean toward the idea that the Anthropocene began around the time of the first Industrial Revolution. That was when humans really began combing the environment for any and all resources. Malm and Steffen portray the idea that when humans learned to tame fire, that we were put on the path toward a new epoch, but I look at fire as humans gathering the tools that would set up the Anthropocene much later (Malm, 1, Steffen, 615).

In Kahan’s article, he states that people tend to believe what their peers believe because they are afraid to be wrong, or they don’t want to be seen as “them”. Therefore, those that are afraid to voice their opinions for fear of backlash will be unable to voice potential solutions to problems. Governmentally, the need to fit in will limit legislation that could be passed to regulate emissions or cause groups to prevent action from being taken, even if they might be wrong. Dr. Whitlock and her team conversed with Montanans about what they wanted to see change, and how climate change could affect them directly. I believe a good way to get people talking would be to host conventions between different groups, or sit people with conflicting views down, and just let them talk about how they feel and their beliefs on climate change. The hope is for understanding and new ideas to come forth.

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