Through Chapter 6: The Changing World, Mirzoeff asks us to think about the environmental impact that humans have made on earth and how rapidly this is making changes around us. The term “anthropocene” (meaning the “New Human Era” (Mirzoeff 219)) which is very relevant in this chapter, demonstrated through the use of various visual examples to demonstrate change over the centuries as a result of humankind’s lack of concern for the environment. Mirzoeff is asking us to pay attention to how much the world is changing all around us, not just where the effects aren’t as dramatic.
I think it is important that we learn more about these environmental issues, or at the very least be aware of them, as they are the driving force behind such dramatic environmental changes happening all around us. If humankind considers these issues, then we can have a better understanding of the constant changes that are happening and shaping our world as we see it. This is important because as a race we should naturally be interested anyway in the conditions of the places we live, and taking responsibility for what we put in and take out of the environment.
The image below is a photograph of a visual text in Mirzoeffs “How to See the World” that best exemplifies my understanding of this chapter as a whole. This image was chosen because it shows us so much information. The diagram on the top half of the page is a representative of the countries that produce the highest global percentage of carbon emissions with the size being relative to emissions produced. Therefore, bigger the country, the more emissions produced. The lower diagram shows us an estimated rate of mortality per country, again with size of the country being relative to the mortality rate.
Lambert, Shannon. Figure 66. 2016. JPEG.
Free Writing Task: noting down as much as possible on the chapter within 5 mins.
Paragraph 16 in the Chapter 6 of Mirzoeff’s novel “How to See the World” talks about how birds are considered “inexhaustible resources” (Mirzoeff 224). The paragraph then continues to use the Passenger Pigeon as an example of how this common attitude was actually quite the misconception of its day. Even John James Audubon (a bird artist and ornithologist) was afraid humans would be the cause of the Passenger Pigeon going extinct, but could not fully imagine it due to the many birds he saw every day. Audubon’s attitude represents how most people feel about species on the verge of extinction today.
3E & 3F