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Global Warming and Anthropocene in Anthropology Term Paper

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Updated: Nov 15th, 2020

One of the most notable aspects of today’s (post-industrial) living in the West is that, along with making possible the invention of new technologies, the ongoing scientific process also results in encouraging people to choose in favor of adopting an intellectually arrogant stance in life – the rapid decline of academic standards in Western countries confirms the validity of this suggestion. In its turn, this establishes many objective preconditions for science to cease serving the sole cause of humanity’s sociocultural advancement. After all, as it will be illustrated later in this paper, science is now being used as the tool of promoting the most absurd anti-scientific myths that the world has ever known, such as the assumption that the ‘global warming’ has been triggered by the industrial emissions of CO2 into the planet’s atmosphere. There is, however, a well-tested method for distinguishing pretentiously ‘scientific’ journalistic garbage, concerned with the matters of global importance, from the scientifically sound articles of value.

If the author of a formally scientific article relies on the emotionally-charged rhetorical tactics for winning the audience, this should be seen as the clearest indication of the concerned article’s overall discursive fallaciousness. The second indication that the article in question belongs to the dumpster is the abundance of the sophistically sounding but essentially meaningless terms (because they can be interpreted at will), such as ‘Anthropocene’ in it. Hence, the overall thesis – all of the would-be reviewed articles are highly emotional, which implies that they have very little to do with the principle of academic integrity. In its turn, this means that they cannot be deemed very insightful by definition (A B because of A C). I my paper I will explore the validity of this suggestion at length while promoting the idea that the ‘global warming’ is nothing but yet another globalist sham, which enables its inventors in the West to make money out of thin air and ensures that the so-called ‘developing’ nations never become fully developed.

Probably the most illustrative of the above-stated is the 2013 article Welcome to the Anthropocene by David Biello. In it, the author strived for nothing short of exposing humanity as being ‘innately wicked’ – all due to the mentioned industrial emissions of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s air: “From deep beneath the ground, where we busily hollow out yawning cavities in pursuit of fossil fuels, to the skies far above, where CO2 molecules released by our incessant burning will trap heat for longer than our species has walked the planet” (18). Nevertheless, throughout the article’s entirety, Biello never makes even a formal attempt to substantiate the legitimacy of such his claim by explaining the actual mechanics of how CO2 molecules trap heat.

This simply could not be otherwise – just about anyone capable of understating the effects of the basic laws of physics on the surrounding natural environment knows that if anything, the high concentration of CO2 gasses in the stratosphere helps to ‘cool down’ the planet. Apparently, the author assumed that the reading audience would be just as arrogant as he himself happened to be. This explains the article’s yet another noteworthy quality, concerned with the fact that in it Biello has gone as far as implying that there is very little difference between humanity and some harmful microbes and that it would be so much better for all if the former had simply perished. We can recommend for the author to spend less time drinking ‘organic coffee’ at Starbucks while socializing with tree-huggers – this should have a positive effect on his analytical abilities.

The 2010 article Have we Entered the “Anthropocene”? (by the anonymous author) does not seem to be any more insightful than that of Biello – partially, because it promotes essentially the same ‘environmentalist’ idea, reflective of the assumptions that humanity is generally ‘wicked’ and it is specifically the representatives of the Homo Sapiens species who should be blamed for the climatic changes that have taken place through the last few decades. What is particularly notable in this respect, is that the article appears to have been written for some intentionally malicious purposes – it contains a number of the emotionally-charged and yet utterly misleading statements, such as the following: “Mankind releases many toxic substances in the environment… (which) have led to the Antarctic ‘ozone hole’” (“Have we Entered” par. 8). This statement alone exposes the anonymous author as someone who does not have even the slightest clue as to what were the actual causes of the long-forgotten ‘ozone hole’ scare during the late eighties. Apparently, whoever wrote Have We Entered the “Anthropocene”? did not even bother to check what Wikipedia says on the subject matter. And yet, the anonymous writer clearly strived to sound like an expert while expounding on the discursive implications of ‘Anthropocene’ – a made-up term that does not really denote anything, with the possible exemption of the author’s willingness to receive some academic credits for having published a presumably scientific article.

The 2013 article Beware the Rainmakers by Ginger Strand is best defined as such that falls in line with the two mentioned earlier. After all, throughout the article’s entirety, the author never ceases to express her support for the idea that people should indeed apply much effort into trying to preserve the surrounding natural environment as something that has the value of a thing-in-itself. Nevertheless, the author does deserve to be given credit for having realized the sheer absurdity of using made-up terms (such as ‘Anthropocene’) within the context of how one goes about expounding on what will account for the 21st century’s environmental challenges. As she noted, “’Anthropocene’ makes too little accommodation for anything else besides us. It’s not going to help us live with more grace in a world full of things we can’t control” (Strand 39). When assessed as a whole, however, Strand’s article will appear representing very little value – all due to the fact that there is plenty of ‘emotional’ and very little ‘factual’ integrity to the author’s line of argumentative reasoning.

The 2013 article Will Branding Help? by James Speth exemplifies even further the soundness of this paper’s initial thesis. The reason for this is that: a) The concerned article contains very few references to the scientifically established facts, regarding the environmental effects of the ongoing scientific progress. Most of the author’s arguments are, in fact, nothing but commonsensical truisms: “Human action is profoundly affecting natural processes”, “we cannot escape responsibility for managing the planet”, “the responsibility for the carbon dioxide problem is ours”, etc. (Speth 40). In its turn, this resulted in making the concerned article quite unintelligible – despite the fact that most of its sentences do make a perfectly good sense.

For example, it took me a few times to reread this particular article just to get a clue as to what it is all about. Had Speth refrained from publishing his article, he would be able to contribute to the cause of protecting the environment in a real way – the validity of this suggestion will be recognized by just about anyone aware of the fact that trees are used for making paper. b) Speth’s article assigns blame (although implicitly) for the current ‘global warming’ to humanity. Yet, if one were to follow the article’s logic to the end, he or she would come to conclude that 1000 years ago (when Vikings used to grow wheat in Greenland) there had already been fully functioning coal-operated power plants – the assumed main ‘culprits’ within the ‘global warming’ discourse. It is understood, of course, that only the utterly uneducated individuals would be willing to give such an idea a thought.

As compared to the earlier mentioned ones, the 2013 article Anthropocene is the wrong word by Kathleen Moore appears to be the most sensible of all. Yes, it is filled with cheap sentimentalism: “Even as we doom ourselves, we destroy the prospects of other beings, from the shining little lives in the seas to the fierce fives in the trees. Plants and animals die and die and die” (19). And yes, many of the article’s statements have a strongly defined ‘whacky’ quality to them, “We should use words cautiously. Words are powerful, magical, impossible to control (?)” (19). This, of course, does undermine the article’s value – in full accordance with the proposed thesis. At the same time, however, Moore proved herself intellectually honest enough to admit that all the hullabaloo with offering different interpretations to the concept of ‘Anthropocene’ does not make a whole lot of sense, whatsoever. As she pointed out: “The next epoch if it has a name at all, should be named after rock bearing the evidence of what comes next. That will not be us” (19). The logic behind this suggestion is quite apparent – humanity’s influence on the flow of natural processes on Earth continues to remain much too insignificant to be given any serious consideration.

Because of what has been mentioned earlier, one will be likely to wonder – how come the number of scientific/semi-scientific publications on the subject of the supposedly man-induced environmental scares continues to increase, despite the fact that the sheer falseness these scares is clear to just about anyone capable of thinking logically? The answer to this question has to do with money – whatever banal it may sound. The so-called Kyoto Protocol, the enactment of which in 1992 was meant to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, has been de facto concerned with generating billions and billions of dollars from the trade of ‘CO2 quotas’ between country-signatories – one of the most profitable and yet cost-free ‘businesses’ that the world has ever known. In this respect, we should also mention the actual agenda of a whole army of ‘international bureaucrats’ (working for the UN and its numerous sub-divisions), whose primary specialization is to participate in the countless conferences on combating different global vices, such as ‘global poverty’, ‘global hunger’, ‘global thirst’, ‘global warming’ (as soon ‘global stupidity’).

During such events, these people get to stay in luxury hotels, eat most exquisite and expensive foods (all paid by the taxpayers), and experience the sensation growing increasingly important in their own eyes – the main reason for them to remain strongly concerned with the environmental issues for the rest of their lives. Once ‘global warming’ scare proves no longer capable of inspiring fear in the hearts of naïve ordinary people (hence, making them more enthusiastic about the idea of financing ‘symposiums on global warming’), a new one would have to be invented. The story about the ‘mysterious’ appearance and disappearance of the mentioned ‘ozone holes’ over Antarctica through the eighties exemplifies the soundness of this suggestion better than anything else does – this ‘frightening phenomenon’ would have never taken place, had it been not up to the DuPont Corporation’s decision to outlaw Freon gas (inside spray bottles) so that the company would be in the position to offer its own patented substitute for it. Finally, the issues of ‘global environmental importance’ serve the purpose of preventing the Second and Third World countries from being able to develop their own heavy industries – the eventual development that would prove strongly detrimental to the interests of the Western-based transnational corporations. This is the actual reason why the notion of Anthropocene is now being popularized by the Western-based author, just as it was shown earlier regarding the reviewed articles.

I believe that that the deployed line of argumentation, in defense of the suggestion that the reviewed articles cannot be considered very insightful since just about every one of them is highly emotional, correlates well with the paper’s initial thesis. As it was already pointed out, the overall decline of academic standards in the West did play an active role in bringing about the situation when one’s pseudo-scientific blabbering is commonly deemed thoroughly legitimate. There, however, appears to be even more to it – the described trend may also be regarded as such that signifies the evolutionary degradation (biological and intellectual) of Westerners (Whites) due to ‘overspecialization’ in exploiting the rest of the world. Apparently, the Darwinian laws of selection apply to people as much as they do to plants and animals.

Works Cited

Biello, David. “Welcome to the Anthropocene.” Earth Island Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, p. 18.

IGBP. 2010, Web.

Moore, Kathleen. “Anthropocene is the Wrong Word.” Earth Island Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, p. 19.

Speth, James. “Will Branding Help?” Earth Island Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, p. 40.

Strand, Ginger. “Beware the Rainmakers.” Earth Island Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, 2013, p. 39.

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