In my opinion, the ICS ought to recognize the Anthropocene as the official modern epoch, and I would vote as such. I feel that based on the data presented by Steffen, Kolbert, and Malm, we are undoubtedly living in different conditions than those of the Holocene, and have been since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 1700’s. As explained by Kolbert, the boundaries between epochs are defined by the environmental changes preserved in sedimentary rocks, and it was evident in all three scientists’ work that the current atmospheric changes resulting from fossil fuel consumption will leave behind strong evidence for future generations to witness. Since this level of fossil fuel consumption properly began for the first time with the industrial revolution, it seems logical to use then as a starting point until such time in the future when visible geological evidence will reveal a more accurate time frame.
Kahan’s assessment has far reaching implications in regard to how effectively scientists can develop remedies. It is beyond difficult to convince a collective to work together in solving a problem when they fear to even acknowledge that problem’s existence lest they suffer by consequence. Dr. Whitlock solved this problem with Montanans in part through careful presentation. A focus on agriculture and wildlife, two things which define Montana culture, presented a unique perspective to the groups she worked with. By outlining climate change as a threat to those ideals, she presented it in a way which forced her audience to confront it with motives as powerful as any instilled by political belief or societal pressure. I think this is a fair approach. Illustrate the topic in a way that presents ramifications that are too serious not to at least consider, and which coincide with heartfelt beliefs of the populace.