Our anthology takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the Anthropocene by investigating the practical ways in which we’re impacting the environment and then examining how that interaction is interpreted ethically in societal terms.
Chapter 1: In “Agricultural Impacts On The Anthropocene”, Tessa Adams talks about many of the effects that our current agricultural practices have on the environment relating to ecosystems and the atmosphere. In this essay there are ethical questions raised on the mass production technique and whether human society can change to a more sustainable method. Tv Nguyen discusses more on the topic how the biology is changed while Jeremy Salyer discusses more on the topic of fossil fuels.
Chapter 2: In “Consciously and Unconsciously affecting the Evolution of our Surrounding species,” Tv Nguyen discusses biological examples of how humans have both intentionally and unintentionally caused major changes in evolution. Readers of this chapter will take away that examples such as artificial selection, genetic modification, antibiotic resistance, and the presence of wind turbines are all controversial issues that illustrate how the Anthropocene truly is a time consisting of human-caused impacts. Tessa Adams discusses the issue of genetic modification in a broader view in her chapter on agriculture, and Jeremy Salyer’s chapter also has a wider take on alternative energy and its benefits.
Chapter 3: In “Fueling the Fire,” Jeremy Salyer shows readers that fossil fuels have given humanity broad powers and in exchange humanity is dealing with big consequences. Readers should come away feeling that tho these problems are massive, they are not impossible to tackle, and humanity should be able to solve them and create a better society at the same time. In Tessa Adams chapter, she discusses many of the agricultural processes that we have engaged in over the past century that have led to many of our current problems. Nathan Lobaugh further discusses the mentalities behind social change, and resistance to it, in the Anthropocene, which should help readers with any “dire messages” this chapter might have.
Chapter 4: In “The Facts about Climate Change”, Yicheng Zhang talks about how the message of the dangers Anthropological Global Warming is presented to the masses, the methods in which it is delivered, and the possible unintentional effects. For more background information regarding Climate Change, see Jeremy Salyer’s “Fueling the Fire” in chapter 3. For cultural impacts, see the next chapter, Molly Oberstein-Allen’s “AnthropoZine”.
Chapter 5: In “AnthropoZine,” Molly Oberstein-Allen discusses how perceptions of our interactions with the environment, and in turn our individual actions, are largely influenced by pop culture and the media. The essay discusses how we view the interaction between culture and nature, and suggests that we need to reconcile our position as culture creators with that of ourselves as a natural force in order to consider the ethical issues raised by our growing impact on nature. A further discussion of how our perceptions of the Anthropocene from a psychological perspective can be found in Nathan Lobaugh’s article “Psyched Out by the Anthropocene”, and a questioning of what our role in the Anthropocene really is can be found in Yicheng Zhang’s article.
Chapter 6: In “On Informed Conservation,” Nick Crossley examines the ecological/environmental effects of human interaction and the psychology behind how people make day-to-day decisions involving change in the Anthropocene, conservation efforts, and biodiversity preservation. The reader will learn empirically about the ecological changes that have taken place across the globe, what these changes mean to human and ecological/environmental success, why some people don’t immediately buy into conservation efforts, and the mental barriers people place to distance themselves from responsibility regarding the Anthropocene.
Chapter 7: In “Psyched Out by the Anthropocene,” Nathan Lobaugh offers an exploration of the psychology behind how people understand the issues presented by the climate change aspect of the Anthropocene with a particular interest in how these results shape the manner in which experts should frame questions about climate change in order to generate the strongest moral imperative to action. Nathan Lobaugh then goes on to examine the ethical implications of the way in which people think about the climate change, and the ethics behind how this issue is framed. An example of how framing the questions of the Anthropocene can differently affect how these questions are understood can be seen in the chapter “On Informed Conservation” by Nick Crossley.
The reader of this anthology will acquire an awareness of the complexity regarding the Anthropocene. These chapters illustrate that the Anthropocene is not merely a geological issue but a vast one that impacts multiple fields and requires a well-rounded perspective in order to understand its ethical issues.