Essay: ‘Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene’ – Roy Scranton

A writer and scholar, Roy Scranton, in his opinion essay, ‘Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene,’ published on the New York Times, emphasizes the term ‘Anthropocene’ is geologic era where human have an immense influence over the biosphere. Scranton’s purpose is not only alluding to threat of climate change but offers a glimpse at human future. He predicts a future that comparable to what he saw on war-torn Baghdad: brawl, chaos, militant. Overall, I recommend this piece to publish in The Shorthorn and the reasons why are logos appeal will suitable for those who major in geologist or in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at UTA; with the horrific tone, pathos appeal will works for nearly all members of the UTA community, and ethos appeal will works for building his trust with the audiences and make it more interesting to read.

First, Scranton appeals to logos by mentions climate change. The topic is suitable for geologist, who studies the earth. Scranton clarified that in 100 years the average temperature will increases, speed the melting of glaciers, the rising seas will decreases, and there will be a huge carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. His point more sharply states the “death” of current civilizations and their inability to adequately respond to the climate change. However, the readers of The Shorthorn, which are geologist, will not ignore this materials and likely look for an excellent point to argue with Scranton’s point of view.

Next, Scranton’s begins his opinion essay by appeals to the mournful emotions of the audience by warning us about ‘a vision of hell.’ He saw Baghdad burning. ‘Driving into the future.’ He not only saw an ongoing war but that of a future war. He discovered ‘the end of the world’ as a soldier, but it was not his world. but now, he telling us that we will face a huge issue. Furthermore, he mentions about Hurricane Katrina and Sandy are ‘ no more prepared…it’s clear that future’s not going away’ to Admiral and National Security adviser to World Bank analysts all officially intoning doom at the hand of Human Caused Global Warming. Moreover, we can notice that we have falling into a dark age. In one of Scranton’s quote, he notifies he is not only did experience death, but he also envisaged the ‘dark, empty hole’ each day. The is a man who has considered what it means to die, not because he wanted to but because of situations put him in the Humvee and he witnessed a civilization already dead.

Finally, Scranton attempts to establish credibility by using his experiences as a veteran to build a philosophy about climate change. However Simone Weil states ‘ Once the experience of war makes visible the possibility of death that lies locked up in each moment, our thoughts cannot travel from one day to the next without meeting death’s face.’ When in fact, this does not make what he mentions about climate change any less accurate . But that is not an issue. The issue put forward at the beginning of this piece is not whether the people who has been traumatized posses truth at all but the false and insidious ways we bear witness to truth using war experience. In all honesty, I do not think we should throw out his entire climate change argument because without using his experience will create less interest to the audience.

This opinion piece is a thought provoking article, provides a strong argument point for The Shorthorn readers. Scranton’s opinion helps in breaking down the wall of denial that keep human from planning for the future. After reading this article, some readers might disagree and think ‘The civilization is already dead’ is ridiculous because the breakdown of our civilization is a normal process of this cycle. We must prepare for the winter having faith that their will be another spring. As I have said, I recommend this article to publish in The Shorthorn because the issue relating to the humanity.

Source: Essay UK -

Not what you're looking for?

Search our thousands of essays:


About this resource

This English Literature essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Word count:

This page has approximately words.



If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay UK, Essay: ‘Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene’ – Roy Scranton. Available from: <> [17-02-19].

More information:

If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Essay and dissertation help

Latest essays in this category:

Our free essays: