An Odd Aftertaste

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In “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene” by Will Steffen and others, it is proposed that due to Anthropic activity, the world is currently at a “fork in the road”. One where humanity prevails in halting climate crisis and leads to a “stabilized earth”; or one where humanity fails, leaving the Earth in a “Hothouse” state, by passing a threshold where intrinsic biogeophysical feedbacks take over. While this idea of a so called “tipping point” is honestly quite terrifying, I also see this as an odd place to end this class.
When discussing this idea of an Anthropocene, thoughts of rigorous, methodical, scientific papers like this come to mind. Ones that take a look at what little information we have to predict what could possibly come ahead. However, for essentially all of this course, that has not been the case. From history, to music, and to fictional writing there has been many odd takes on possible approaches to the dilemma that humanity faces. This is actually why I find it odd that this writing is what we finish with.
Usually when approaching a problem you delve into more standardized approaches before resorting to alternative ones right? As then the abstract becomes more understandable by the time you get to it. However, for this, it seems to be quite the opposite.
In our most recent activity, a large talking point was that of what makes a climate crisis such a unique problem. The speaker asserted that it was because it is such a seemingly impossible one, one that is so much greater than a single person, and one that is on such a larger scale than we can comprehend. That’s why I find it so interesting that this topic was approached in a fashion that I am not used to, and if such is intentional, I am curious to see the reasoning behind it.


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