Critique to Schneiderman’s “Naming the Anthropocene”
Critique to Schneiderman’s “Naming the Anthropocene.”
The author, Jill Schneiderman, in his work "Naming the Anthropocene", is motivated by the fact that humans` quest to make the world a better place, have ended up engaging in activities that have had a significant impact on the geology and ecosystem of the Earth. In his article, Schneiderman conceded to an existing point of view but attempts to qualify it with certain points using a better explanation (Schneiderman, 2015). He concedes that humans live in a geological time, which allows them to experience the Earth "going down, laugh, and dance to it," and instead of controlling it, "we put this recognition into writing." The article qualifies certain points, such as viewing the Anthropocene "culturally and not geologically" to allow reconciliation of two seemingly different points of view.
The author approaches the subject matter with the question what liesin a name – Anthropocene, through definitions, descriptions, andcomparing terms, for example, "Homogenocene," Anthrocene,"and "Anthropocene." Here, Schneiderman shades light on theterms, notions from different scholars, and its relationship to thegeological time periods (Schneiderman, 2015). This way, the authordraws ideas from different scholars and what they think of thecurrent geologic epoch. The author uses geologic terms such as"Devonian," Permian," Ordovician," and"Silurian," to best explain the geologic period to whichhumans occupy and the implications of their choices.
The structure of the author`s work, "Naming the Anthropocene,"is done in a systematic way except that the ideas fail to articulateclearly. However, the structure allows the reader to question certainpoints. For example, he starts by asking "what`s in a name?"From then on, he identifies the controversy surrounding theformalized Anthropocene epoch among scholars. Again, the separatesections of the work fit together by having ideas to drop down in asystematic manner. The author used the subtopics in the article,which allows correlation and fitting together. For example, thearticle questions the choice of a name, and in the third subtopic, itexplains "what names obscure/what names reveals." Fittingtogether of these separate parts comes down to the reader to connectthem.
To have drawn relevant information about this geological period, human activities, and how these activities have contributed to the Earth`s geology, climate, and environment, I would suggest the name "the bronze age" for the so-called "Anthropocene." Based on Lenton`s article "Early warning of climate tipping," the phrase – tipping point – captures the notion that "fickle things can make a huge difference" at a specific moment in time, with small changes having long-term consequences on the system.
The suggested name – the Bronze Age – refers to a geologicalperiod that was characterized by early urbanization features, forexample, photo-writing and the use of bronze. Simply put, the name isa reflection of human activities carried out at the time when itdirectly or indirectly impacted by the environment, climate, andgeological conditions. The Bronze Age best explains the period whenhumans became modernized in behavior to a point that they were ableto transmit informational capital reliably from one generation toanother with sufficient knowledge and precision for better innovativeideas (Lenton, 2011). Additionally, the name explains how theseinnovative ideas resulted in human activities that end upirreversibly destroying geological features, for example, theGreenland Ice Sheet and the Amazon rain forest, among others.
Lenton, T. M. (2011). Early warning of climate tipping points. NatureClimate Change, 1, 4, 201-209.
Schneiderman,J. S. (2015). Naming the Anthropocene. Philosophia, 5, 2,179-201.