The Three Cs

If I had to vote on the decision on whether or not to add the Anthropocene epoch to the geologic time scale, I would vote to accept this epoch. I believe that this epoch should begin, or already began, in the 18th century. Although Malm states that “…when our ancestors learned how to set things ablaze, they lit the fuse of business-as-usual”, I don’t think the Anthropocene began until humans started to actually alter our planet. When people started to burn fossil fuels for energy, the beginning of the business-as-usual lifestyle that we now maintain, we began to physically change our planet. During the 18th century, “ice cores show [that] carbon dioxide levels began what has since proved to be an uninterrupted rise” (Kolbert). Since this uninterrupted rise in carbon dioxide levels, paired with our rapidly increasing population growth and rates of consumption, we have caused several other species to go extinct and have begun to mess up the earth in ways other than the physical landscapes of cities and roads. These ways can be detected in the atmosphere, can be found in ice cores, and I bet will be observed in fossil records in centuries to come when we can view the extinctions of many species. If this doesn’t define an epoch, I don’t know what does.
In order to develop solutions to remediate climate change, we need to draw on information, communication, and cooperation of many different disciplines. The fact that people find it difficult to accept information that differs from their own views, or from the views of their peers, makes this very difficult. When people get stuck in their own beliefs it makes it nearly impossible to think outside of the box and communicate with other people in progressive ways. Cathy assesses this problem by pointing out how climate change affects the things that Montanans care about, such as how it will affect their crops and growing seasons. Furthermore it’s important to not blame everyone for the issues, as Malm mentioned in his writing as well. Although it isn’t necessary everyone’s direct fault, we are all directly affected by these changes. I believe that these two points are very important to bring up when discussing scientific issues because it makes people more comfortable, leaves them not feeling like you’re attacking them and blaming them, which I think is the first step, along with pointing out how these issues pertain to everyone in their own way, in encouraging conversations about climate change.

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