Framing the Anthropocene as Influence or Impact: The Importance of Interdisciplinary Contributions to Stratigraphic Classification
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The designation of the Anthropocene formalizes the end of the 11,700-yearlong Holocene and the beginning of a new epoch. In the technical debates governing this transition, the stability of previous disciplinary conventions is under question, and new modes of expression and expertise are solicited to ground answers. In our examination of Anthropocene origin stories, we analyze science communication about geological designations with an emphasis on how internal and external rhetorical processes of casuistic stretching frame the Holocene-Anthropocene transition. We argue that external stretching challenges scientists to distinguish an epoch of previous human influence from one of humans’ environmental impact. The resulting frames of influence-complexity and impact-collapse characterize the Anthropocene’s formalization and offer implications beyond geology. By taking up an analysis of the scientific sources governing this transition, we identify ways that rhetorical scholarship might help navigate the contemporary paradigm debates determining the Anthropocene’s designation.
Anthropocene; Complexity; Collapse; Casuistic stretching; Narrative
Communication | Earth Sciences
Bloomfield, E. F.
Framing the Anthropocene as Influence or Impact: The Importance of Interdisciplinary Contributions to Stratigraphic Classification.