The Epoch of Man

The Anthropocene should be added to the geologic calendar. Steffan et al. defines the Anthropocene as a time in which the “earth has left its natural state” due to human activity (Steffen, Pg. 614). Steffen continues to outline the distinct stages of the Anthropocene including the Industrial Era, The Great Acceleration, and The Stewards of the Earth System? Kolbert also provides examples of how humanity is manipulating the planet such as with cities, farming, and forestry (Kolbert, Pg. 4-3). One could argue that technological fixes are necessary to solve this problem, but they could also be considered a hallmark of the Anthropocene. While Malm presents a convincing counter argument asking how many Americans and Swedes and other citizens of the world are to blame for the consumption of fossil fuels? They are dependent on it. So, it is not their fault as individuals, but the consumption of fossil fuels is a problem humanity created for itself.

Climate change is polarized and politicized topic, there is no getting around it. Because politics define a person, it is not surprising that people will take a stance on climate change even if they are not well versed in climate science. This prevents us from developing solutions because it foster conflicts between opposing sides of the issue and prevents individuals on either side from having a meaningful and educational conversation with one another. Dr. Whitlock used educational interventions to have this kind of conversation with Montanans, and education is the best way to address the polarization of the issue.

2 thoughts on “The Epoch of Man”

  1. I totally agree with the way you talk about how politics affect a person in a big way. Not having an opinion is almost worse than having a conflicting opinion. The fact that there is a conflicting side to the climate change debate is stunning. People choosing to not accept in factual evidence of such a big event is unbelievable to me, but I digress. We need to keep opening up the discussion and helping to spread knowledge to those who may be uninformed or misinformed.

  2. Hey Hannah! I really liked your post, I totally agree, it should be added as a new epoch. And I also agree with you on your second paragraph. Climate change has become a political topic. And that causes people to believe in some things without knowing the facts just because it fits their agenda. And I also agree with Dr. Whitlock, education definitely is the answer. If people become educated they can make their own choices instead of just going with the status quo. Good Job!

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