Should we be worried yet?

I don’t think I’m the first one to admit, but before I started reading the first round of materials I had no idea what Anthropocene was! Sadly, I didn’t quite get how we are divided into different “geological periods” and how ours could currently be changing. I must also admit that I just finished Dr. Leyba’s Earth and Space Science course where he made a statement that we didn’t have much to worry about in terms of changing our planet drastically. However, after finishing these readings I’m getting a very different kind of impression. At this point I’m still erring on the side of caution because many of these authors could possibly just be trying a scare tactic to make people realize that in the future, our current treatment of the planet will hurt us. One thing was missing for me though; how far in the future will this start affecting us? What sort of timeline do humans have before the ocean turns so acidic that it starts hurting life inside it? When will the majority of species be extinct? I’m still remaining open minded don’t get me wrong here, but I feel like I need to be convinced more at this point. I think human tendency is to not pay attention to these kinds of things until it gets really bad, so my question still remains how much time do we have? Unfortunately in today’s world it seems that knowing when something will happen is the only way to get people’s attention. Our planet and solar system are billions of years old (yes a theology major says that it didn’t not factually take seven days to create Earth) and it is only in a short period of its cycle so I think us “non-science” folk should remain optimistic until we can get more information.

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2 responses to “Should we be worried yet?

  1. I felt similarly after reading the information from week one as well and I’m a biology major. I tend to focus more on human biology though, as I’m pre-med, so I don’t know as much about what exactly is going on in the environment as someone who is actually studying that would. I definitely think we, as a human species, are effecting the environment, some for the bad, but I’m not completely convinced it will show up in the sedimentary layers of the earth. But, who knows how we’ll feel after this semester is over!

  2. I agree with you. Before this course, I had no idea what Anthropocene was. At this point, I am honestly not terribly worried about the damage human are doing to earth. I know that our population has grown drastically, but hasn’t that been happening since the day we were created? I believe what these scientists are saying, and I know that many things humans are doing to the earth will eventually affect the world we live in. But like you said, what is the timeline? People have been saying these same things about the earth forever, yet what has really happened? Some animals have become extinct and our air is becoming polluted, but how are we supposed to stop this? I think a good question to ask and learn more about would be how can we change things in our daily lives to keep our earth healthy? Is there anything we can do or is it something that will just keep happening with the growing population? I am excited to learn more about this because it is a subject I have never been interested in or ever knew much about.

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