The Numbers Do Not Lie

If I had an important role and vote on the International Commission of Stratigraphy I would reject this new epoch to the geological calendar.  The Anthropocene epoch was the beginning of using heavy dose of fossil fuels.  Atmospheric carbon is precisely how we track the exact progress of the Anthropocene.  According to Will Steffen, “Atmospheric C02 concentration has risen from 310 to 380 ppm since 1950, with about half of the total rise since the preindustrial era occurring in just the last 30 years.  The Great Acceleration is reaching criticality” (Steffen, pg. 614).  We are coming up to a very interesting period of the Anthropocene.  Global warming is a major issue in the world we are living in today.  Using fossil fuels and human actions have been directly pointed to why we are so worried about the Earth’s environment.  Elizabeth Kolbert thinks that it is ridiculous that we want to create a new epoch when we are reason that the planet is being altered so much.  I completely agree with her.  Humans have been a huge reason why the air is polluted and why the environment is in trouble more than ever.  I really found Andreas Malm’s point on what used the most energy recently.  Specifically, Andreas described that 2013 was the hottest year recorded yet.  According to the figure the source that produced the most energy to the economy was coal.  The growth of emissions has gone up and not just in America.  I don’t believe that this epoch should ever begin after I have learned all these new stats.


Needing to fit into with our social piers is definitely a contributor of climate science but it should not be.  This affects our ability to develop solutions to remediate climate change because we feel like we can’t show understanding towards the opposite side of the political spectrum.  We don’t want to give in and help the other side with what they believe to be true.  Dr. Cathy Whitlock and her group address this problem with Montanans by saying that climate change is happening right in Montana just as much as other states.  I believe that it shouldn’t matter what your political beliefs are because our environment and way of life could be at risk.

1 thought on “The Numbers Do Not Lie”

  1. I’m not sure I quite understand why you don’t believe we have entered a new epoch; the facts you reference definitely highlight the impact humans have had on Earth, even from a geologic standpoint. I do see how it can be a somewhat trivial point – why do we need to spend so much energy worrying over a name change when it is obvious that we’re affecting the Earth? Shouldn’t we be focusing on reducing carbon emissions and halting the mass extinction we’re currently causing? I’d say yes, but at the same time I remember what Paul Crutzen (the originator of the term “Anthropocene”) said, in that he hopes the term will serve as a warning.

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