The Anthropocene: When and where?

Looking at the geologic calendar and how epochs are created, I would definitely accept the Anthropocene as a new epoch. I would start it about now, seeing as fossil records and extinctions are a major determining factor in the beginning and end of an epoch. “When humanity ignited its first dead tree, it could only lead, one million years later, to burning a barrel of oil,” (Malm 1). I think Malm makes a good point in that all of this started a long time ago, but the environmental changes have just recently began relative to the geologic timescale. One great example for starting the Anthropocene period right now is Kolbert’s point of the “reef gaps.” Going off patterns from past extinctions, this dead coral will be able to be detected in ocean floors later in time. CO2 levels have already spiked and the planet has already been warming but now is when corals are dying and plants are moving towards the poles. This is what will be apparent in the fossil records years from now, marking the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch.

“People acquire their scientific knowledge by consulting others who share their values and whom they therefore trust and understand,” (Kahan 1). This acquisition of data and facts from social groups is generally a form of confirmation bias. These facts will lead to the conclusion the social group has reached and only strengthen over time. Cathy and her group took to the streets and discussed climate change with Montanans in order to create the Montana Climate Assessment. They presented the facts but then listened to what the people had to say, what they observed and what they needed. Combining this information from many social groups eliminated the bias in different communities. I would simply encourage people to not hesitate about disagreeing. That is how progress can be made in understanding different situations.

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