Don’t Cause an AnthropoSCENE

If I had to vote on The International Commission of Stratigraphy, I would accept adding this new epoch to the geological calendar and would suggest starting it during the Industrial Revolution. After reading The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?, it lead me to agree with the author that the Anthropocene is a new stage of Earth (Steffan). In the article, the author states that there is no denying that humans played a role due to the shift in extinctions following similar patterns to that of human migration patterns (pg. 615, Steffan). In the Article, Steffan also suggests that the industrial revolution was Stage 1 of the Anthropocene as this is when humanity really expanded its use of fossil fuels as a power source, which was the beginning of notably harmful changes to the environment caused by humanity (pg. 616). This idea is supported in the Enter the Anthropocene – Age of Man article, where the author discusses that the long-lasting, most detrimental effects will not come from buildings or farms, but from the burning of coal and fossil fuels, and how it harms our atmosphere (Pg.85). All of these ideas are combined into the last article, which reiterates the harm that fossil fuels have created, but how capitalism has furthered that, and should take most of the blame, as the profitable nature of fuel has furthered its usage in a capitalist society (Malm, pg. 5-7).
If everyone is denying an issue due to societal pressures, how can a solution ever be agreed upon, when the problem does not even exist to society in the first place. While society is a beneficial tool to humans, it can sometimes hinder the advancement of an idea or problem because of the group mentality. As Dr. Whitlock stated in her lecture, when discussing climate change within groups, it is important to make the issue local, so people will understand and relate to the issues rather than seeing it as a distant problem that does not affect them. I support this idea in starting the conversation, and also think we can discuss personal issues that may arise if an individual is not listening to the issues surrounding climate change.

1 thought on “Don’t Cause an AnthropoSCENE”

  1. Hi Sydney,
    Not only do I agree with you that the Anthropocene should be recognized as a new epoch, but I also thought your inclusion of the starting date to be very informative and helpful to your argumentative of how the Anthropocene should be recognized. This helped to show the fact that humans truly are the most obvious geophysical force behind the changes in the earth’s climate, and strengths the fact that we are the only ones that can change the road we are on, especially when you consider that our capitalistic interests are one of those main factors. With this being said, however, I was wondering if you had any specific examples of Dr. Whitlock making climate issues more local? My first thought was her documentary about the Musselshell river, but I would also like to hear what you think!

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