The Anthropocene, according to Steffen’s article, emerged in the 1800s. The use of fossil fuels to usher in a new age of industrialism, led to changes in the earth that were unparalleled in preceding human history. This transition in consumption polluted the earth and began the immensity of the impact that humans have on their environment. Steffen believes that “the Great Acceleration is reaching criticality.” In addition to the effect that humans were having on the earth, the 1800’s marked a major transition in how we understand just what effect we can have on the environment. The 1800s brought rapid advances in fields like climate science.
Cathy Whitlock said that she describes ‘climate change’ as ‘a changing climate’. She is careful to approach this subject by using certain terms because they seem to have a social and political connotation. The great paradox of contemporary tribalism is that people may not make political decisions that will benefit them and their environment because they believe a vote for the environment is against ‘their political party’. I think it is important to create a new atmosphere surrounding environmental discourse that will allow this issue to be solved free of partisan politics.