A New Era of Problems

I would accept it as a new epoch to the geological calendar since there is essentially no doubt that the current state of climate is different than it was in the past. Furthermore, this state of climate has without a doubt been influenced heavily by the actions of humanity. This climate that we have essentially modified will also last a significant period of time. Steffen states that such a difference may further impact the climate for the next 50,000 years (p. 3). Deciding where exactly such a thing begins or ends is somewhat hard to determine, but if I had to choose a specific point in time, it would be when humans first discovered fire. As Malm states, humans are the only species to exist that can manipulate fire (p. 1). The majority of our CO2 input to the atmosphere is essentially caused by combustion, so it seems only natural to start the time period when combustion first started being used by human beings.

The fact that it is a social reason (fitting in with peers), rather than a scientific reason (inability to understand), makes the problem far more difficult to deal with. If climate science was simply too difficult or complicated for people to understand, the method for representation could be changed and ground could be gained. However, since the issue is a social one, it is far harder to devise good solutions. Personally I believe that if the facts are out there, people will eventually come around to the truth, but how long that takes is anyone’s guess. Encouraging people to talk about climate change may require a different solution depending on where you are. If a local problem is proven and shown to be caused by climate change, it may open some peoples’ eyes.