I would accept this new epoch. I believe it should begin with the Industrial Revolution. The start of the Industrial Revolution was the start of fossil fuel burning and increasing atmospheric CO2. As Steffan says, “The CO2 concentration rose by about 25 ppm, enough to surpass the upper limit of natural variation through the Holocene and thus provide the first indisputable evidence that human activities were affecting the environment at the global scale.” (Steffan, 616) The Industrial Revolution demonstrated the human ability to manipulate and impact the environment through the burning of fossil fuels. Paul Crutzen, the originator of the term Anthropocene, suggested starting the Anthropocene in the 18th century, “when, ice cores show, carbon dioxide levels began what has since proved to be an uninterrupted rise.” (Kolbert, 4) Humans have demonstrated immense ability to change the planet’s climate, and so I agree to the idea of the “Anthropocene”.
The need to fit in with our social “ingroups” often makes us disregard information that doesn’t align with our own views. Because of this, opposing groups may struggle to discuss solutions to issues plaguing our world, and climate change is no exception. Cathy Whitlock and her group addressed this problem by providing information about how a changing climate will affect Montana, as well as providing a space for Montanans to discuss both the reality of climate change and possible remedies for it. The release of the Montana Climate Assessment helps inform Montanans about the current state of Montana’s climate and how changes will affect the many areas of the state. In order to facilitate discussion between the opposing groups on climate change, I believe we need to do exactly what Cathy Whitlock did. We need to better inform people about climate change and provide a platform for them to voice their concerns. If we give all sides a way to learn about climate change and about the opposing side’s views, we may make some progress discussing solutions for the global climate problem.