The Anthropocene Debate

1182 Words5 Pages
The Anthropocene, the proposed geological age of humans, has become a key issue in the environmental climate change debate. Scientists disagree about whether or not the damage to the environment caused by humans should mark the beginning of a new geological age. This debate continues into when to mark the beginning of this new age. In their papers, Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen, John McNeill, Andreas Malm and Alf Hornborg address the Anthropocene debate. Arguing that the Anthropocene begins with the industrial revolution through the use of empirical data about climate change. While not the main topic, Jon Mooallem addresses the Anthropocene, in his book Wild Ones using primarily anecdotal evidence, the conversation is furthered in the Smithsonian…show more content…
They instead claim that only certain societies, consisting of only a small percentage of humans, has caused the most damage. Malm and Hornborg point out that the “advanced capitalist countries… composed 18.8% of the world population, but were responsible for 72.7% of the Co2 emitted since 1850” (Malm and Hornborg, 3) while “45% of the human population accounted for 7% of emissions” (3). They use this evidence to drive their point that the fossil fuel economy resulting from industrialization and causing the most drastic effects of the Anthropocene “was not created nor is it upheld by humankind in general” (1). They instead argue that there is a societal side to the Anthropocene where certain human societies and their ideologies further the damage done to the environment. The geology of mankind? A critique of the Anthropocene narrative like Steffen et al.’s paper uses largely empirical data, with a heavy emphasis on statistical evidence. This form of evidence pulled from other scientific sources is used to continue the scientific conversation about the Anthropocene within the scientific community. It however, falls short in bringing in the everyday American as the empirical data can discourage…show more content…
In their plaque they do not address the societal impact on the Anthropocene stating, “This is the first time in earth’s history that a single species has had such a large, global impact” (Sant Ocean Hall). However, in the Global Ocean Systems exhibit the multimedia presentation on climate change and its effects on our ecosystem provided a visual representation of the information Malm and Hornborg’s claim that only a small portion of the world is actually contributing to the environmental crisis. Sant Ocean Hall is largely targeted towards children and there for most of the information is simplified to appeal to a younger
Open Document