Unhealthy Contribution

Kolbert’s article has a section debating when the Anthropocene epoch actually began and any one of the reasons would convince me. The most convincing however, is the uninterrupted increase of CO2 in the 18th century. Figure 1 from Steffen’s article, which shows the drastic shift from renewable energy sources to things like coal and oil in the last several decades. This shift, paired with the atmosphere’s increase in CO2, absolutely convinces me that humans are affecting the planet on an enormous scale. “The Anthropocene concept suggests that humankind is the new geological force transforming the planet beyond recognition, chiefly by burning prodigious amounts of coal, oil, and natural gas” (Malm, p. 1). Given this definition and the previous information, I would absolutely accept the proposal and probably place the beginning around the end of the 18th century.

The example from Dr. Whitlock’s lecture that stood out most to me is that instead of saying “climate change,” she says “the changing climate.” She wasn’t quite sure why this phrasing was more easily accepted by people, but that it was very effective in getting the conversation rolling instead of someone getting defensive and putting up a wall between you and them. Going along with the idea of people needing to fit in with their peers, I think that because not everyone is talking about it all the time, many people assume that their peers disagree with the notion of climate change. This general silence about it makes it hard for people to get on board for fear of ridicule. The most vocal people about climate change are either aggressively advocating for the fact that it exists, or staunchly against the idea of it. Too many people are exposed to the vocal individuals against the existence of climate change.

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