Anthropocene, Epoch or Mass Extinction?

If I had a vote on the commission, I would accept the adding of the Anthropocene epoch. I would date the beginning of the Anthropocene at about 1 million years ago when fire was first discovered by our long ago ancestors. I have no doubt that this time period on Earth will be known as the time of the homo sapiens. We have manipulated all of mother nature for our benefit, and we couldn’t have done it without the discovery of fire. If we are the primary reason for what’s happening to this planet then I have no doubt the Anthropocene is real and stated here “human species alone can manipulate fire, and therefore it is the one that destroys the climate” (Malm, p 1) we are destroying our environment.


I agree with Dan Khan when he says people’s inability to understand climate science is a social problem. Sadly, with climate science it’s been proven that just presenting scientific research is simply not enough to get the changes done that need to be made. We need changes in our social and political atmospheres to get climate science where it needs to be. I like how Dr. Cathy Whitlock went around Montana and asked everyone what they needed/wanted to see in the climate outlook book. I think climate science needs to be a bigger part of our educational system. If we can educate people when they are young, we’ll have a new generation of people with a different outlook on climate science. Of course, changes to the educational system will probably have to come with changes in our political system, which are usually more difficult.

1 thought on “Anthropocene, Epoch or Mass Extinction?”

  1. Great post David! I haven’t thought of including climate science into our education system but it is a great idea to get people informed about the effects of climate change. It is a long-term investment but is one that will pay off greatly in the long run. As you mentioned it might be hard to create the change required in our political system but I agree it is an important step as any solution without that change would be limited in scope. Unfortunately, that system is highly complicated and won’t change until leaders who represent our values in climate science are elected. To that effect, I agree with what you mentioned about Dr. Cathy Whitlock and how her actions are an important first step in demonstrating how climate change affects everyone

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