Nothing like we’ve Anthropo-seen before

I would indeed agree with the creation of the Anthropocene era to describe the impact that our species has had on the planet. There is no doubt that human interaction with the environment since our existence on the planet, namely the in the most in the last few hundred years, has shifted it permanently. We’ve already caused some species to go extinct. Our use of coal and consumption of natural resources has a drastic, measurable effect on the environment that cannot just be traced to one group as we are all culpable (Malm, 4).We have contributed the most energy into a planet’s system by our industrial activities. Our activities have shifted the Earth’s surface so much that it will be highly visible in future sediment layers, and soil analyses showing our impact on soil and atmosphere will tell of our presence (Kolbert, 2). Mass infrastructure-building, deforestation, and other activities have left their mark geologically and archeologically (Kolbert, 3). Readings of show a sharp, exponential increase in population, water and resource usage after 1945 (Steffen, 5), marking what would be considered the second stage of the Anthropocene. This would definitely cement the idea that we need a timescale to distinguish Humanity’s presence on the planet.

As for climate change, we easily give into peer pressure, and if it’s the wrong kind of peer pressure we are liable to make bad decisions. We’ve got an issue with communicating, and it requires psychology and anthropology in addition to science in order to get to people (Kahan). I don’t really believe cultural values are an excuse: usually ‘culture’ is used as a defense to shield against some pretty immoral value people hold, and I do believe there are some activities humans do (child marriage, female genital mutilation, the caste system, the list goes on) that should not be defended in any way. Denying climate change is one of them as it threatens us all. The most difficult thing about combating climate change is first convincing people that it’s actually a problem. Doing that for our current heads of government and the members of the party they follow is typically going to be difficult if outright impossible. As a society we need to be open-minded and constantly re-evaluate what we believe, even things that we think are obviously true to us and fact. We need to be patient with people, and we need to make our appeals with logic and reasoning. Politics most of all should be left out of it as it always creates a tribal mentality.

4 thoughts on “Nothing like we’ve Anthropo-seen before”

  1. I completely agree with your blog, I think that it really highlights the flaws and benefits of the peer pressure that occurs with the concept of climate change. Convincing people that they should care about certain things is probably the hardest thing to instill, mostly because if they can’t see something directly affecting them, then it doesn’t seem to matter. The footprint that humans have left behind is becoming more permanent every year, making us the most significant force acting upon the Earth. I think that the way you described the need to put the label Anthropocene on the Earth was really concise and coherent. I also really liked your title.

  2. I agree with your position on adopting the Anthropocene as an official geologic era. Over the course of our existence as a species, we’ve driving many animal species to extinction, like the giants of Australia millennia ago. Future geologists will look back into the Anthropocene and see this “massive gray band,” just as was described in the readings. I disagree with your stance on climate change, and how we change people’s minds. Thousands of livelihoods depend on jobs that involve fossil fuels in some manner. They see people proposing carbon footprint reductions as a threat to their lives and families, and will fight to the bitter end in opposition. Instead, we should aim to convince them their jobs will be gone in a few decades, as we exhaust sources of fossil fuels. Then, we focus on alternative energy sources to prepare for the crisis, i.e. renewable sources, or renovating most coal power plants to use hydrogen gas.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. Every point you made was well thought out and backed up by valid and creditable evidence so great job there! I agree with you on I think everything you had to say. We really do need a time line to see and figure out how much the humans have damaged the earth and in such little time and how exactly it began. I feel that the best way for humanity to be educated on climate change and to understand it is threat that could affect everyone is to make a point or examples of things that are close to their heart, like the Superfund sites that are right next door to them and could be a hazard to their kids or them selves and that strong emotion or fear will cause them to really want to know how to save the earth or them selves.

  4. I found your take on using culture as a defense for denying climate change interesting. While in my mind I don’t think there is any excuse for denying climate change and refusing to get educated on the matter, I also understand where some people are coming from. I also agree with you that the most difficult thing about facing climate change is getting people to understand and accept that it actually is happening, and not some lie people are making up for whatever purpose they believe. This being said, I also very strongly agree with your final statement about how we need to be patient while we attempt to educate larger amounts of people, but I also have to ask, how patient can we really be with how fast the world’s climate is degrading?

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