Answer to Question #203925 in History for Bonolo

Question #203925

Discuss key global environmental issues and challenges that have emerged in Anthropocene.

Expert's answer

The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis catches some of the radical new thinking sparked by the Anthropocene's advent and opens up the humanities to the profound meaning of the new geological epoch, the'Age of Humans.' If humans have become a force of nature in the Anthropocene, altering the functioning of the Earth system in the same way that volcanism and glacial cycles do, then the idea of nature as an inert backdrop to human drama is dead. It signals the end of the 'social-only' approach to human history and agency. These modernity's cornerstones are now in jeopardy. The magnitude and speed of the changes taking place on Earth are unprecedented in human history, exposing the fallacies of ‘Holocene thinking.'

Despite its brief history, the Anthropocene has provoked a number of debates - even the name itself has been questioned. The connection to anthropos, the generic human person, has been questioned by historians and anthropologists. After all, who else than Western humans and a specific socio-economic system is responsible for crossing bio geophysical boundaries? Occidentalocene, Capitalocene, and other alternatives have resulted as a result of this. Others, such as global or environmental history experts, believe there is no ontological discontinuity and that the unusual nature of Western growth (the Great Divergence) will need to be repositioned in the long run.

The sluggish and ineffective responses of politicians – and societies as a whole – to climate change is also remarkable. Since the early 1990s, a quantitative study of citation networks has revealed that there has been a consensus in scientific literature on the subject that climate change exists. Given the severity of the situation, it's difficult to comprehend why attempts to reduce GHGs have been so ineffective. Aside from the intentionality of these so-called impediments, there is little doubt that science-society communication is sluggish, at least when it comes to the climate issue. To address this, the IPCC has taken a fresh strategy for its Sixth Assessment Report, aimed at raising public awareness, not just among decision-makers.

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