So if your friends scaled a cliff, would you climate?

I would accept adding the Anthropocene epoch to the geologic time scale. “… the Earth has now left its natural geological epoch, the present interglacial state called the Holocene.” (Steffen, pg. 614) Steffen backs up this statement by including the massive change in humankind’s way-of-life due to industrialization and therefore a widespread increase in the use of fossil-fuels. (pg. 616) This increase, from then to the present, is historically unmatched and the impact on the environment is substantial. Additionally, the population boomed following WW2 which demanded an increases in the industrialization already present and lead to The Great Acceleration. (pg. 617) Both Malm and Steffen use the term “business-as-usual” to refer to a fundamental state in which we now function where we rely on fossil-fuels and ignore what is “invisible to us– the change in the composition of the atmosphere.” (Kolbert, pg.3) Adding the Anthropocene epoch should happen in order to wake the world up and prevent as much future damage as possible. I think it should be around the birth of industrialization, partially because of the life and earth changing effects of fossil fuel use in everyday life at the time, but also to emphasize the massive recent effects that population and consumption has created.

Change is socially fueled. For legitimate change to happen with legitimate reasoning, people need to act based on rational scientific evidence, not social pressure. Therefore, if what Kahan argues is correct, peoples need to fit in with peers poses a large threat to positive change. I think encouraging conversation about climate change starts with the education of children and young people. Although the important decisions being made are higher up the age ladder, young people have a large and important voice. Education systems are a structured and progressive way to have conversations that evoke questioning and reasoning. It would permeate socially and politically and climb that age ladder. Additionally, on any level it might help to start by simply discussing solutions to current, tangible issues  without initially tying it to whether or not climate change is real.

1 thought on “So if your friends scaled a cliff, would you climate?”

  1. Hello Cassie!

    I like your argument that in order to effect social change for climate change, that a great place to start is in educating young people. Their voice, like you said, is large and important, especially as they are the ones who will need to deal with most of the negative effects that arise from climate change. It is critical for this up and coming generation to learn history and learn what mistakes were made in the past, such that they can go about and make change for good.

    There is a part of me that is quite pessimistic about the future, due to a belief that human greed in those with power will rule out over any willingness they might have to compromise their profits by reducing their negative impacts on the Earth. I wonder if it is human nature to destroy and conquer; according to Harari, we have been doing that for a very long time, such as significant extinction events of large animals wherever Sapiens showed up. If that is our nature, do we have enough time to correct that before we condemn the Earth and finish digging our own grave of toxic environments?

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