Fire + Humans = Climate Change

Similar to Harari’s cognitive evolution when the ruling power over our decisions shifted, the changes and events expressed on the Earth are being heavily influenced by new factors; humans.  Some of the events happening have been seen previously (higher sea levels, increased temperatures, etc.) but the rate of these changes indicate we have reached a point of increased human impact.  Steffan argues humans have become a greater force than Nature (Steffan, 614). Since the 1900s, Kolbert argues, the impact of humans has been much more apparent, indicating a shift from the holocene into a new era, one with human-induced shared characteristic of climate change (Kolbert, 61).  Others, such as Malm, see this new human blaming epoch as a method for ignoring the underlying issues and our natural progression in our fire driven world(Malm). We have been able to use fire and carbon for energy sources for many years, but it has only been since the Industrial Revolution that the Earth has felt our increased impact, marking the starting of the anthropocene.

Climate change  is often argued as an opinion rather than fact.  And those who disagree often refuse to learn, leading to solutions for climate change being difficult to discuss with the general public.  Kahan discusses the psychological implications of discussing such polarizing ideas, with consequences being seen as more personally such as losing a job, instead of much larger issues.  Groups, such as Kathy Whitlock’s, have a difficult important task, and have taken into consideration society’s hesitation towards blaming themselves. For example, Dr. Whitlock mentioned that simply saying changing climate versus climate change had an impact on how her audience reacted to the presentation.  We need to learn how to communicate the issues about climate change on a more neutral and individualized manner, since humans tend to struggle to see big picture issues without first discussing personal impacts.