The Theodicy of the “Good Anthropocene”

To the dismay of those who first proposed it, the Anthropocene is being reframed as an event to be celebrated rather than lamented and feared. Instead of final proof of the damage done by techno-industrial hubris, the ‘ecomodernists’ welcome the new epoch as a sign of man’s ability to transform and control nature. Although the […]
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When Earth Juts Through World

With the arrival of the Anthropocene we must now be suspicious of all ideas developed in the last 10,000 years, including James Lovelock’s notion of Gaia which, it turns out, is a child of the Holocene. The Anthropocene is a reversion to the unruly and chaotic conditions before the Holocene’s 10-millennium epoch of calm. Now […]
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Gaia Does Not Negotiate

Gaia Does Not Negotiate A contribution to “The Situation Facing the Moderns After the Intrusion of Gaïa: A Philosophical Simulation”, the final evaluation conference of the project An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME) Amphitheatre Caquot, Sciences Po, Paris, July 28-29, 2014 by one of Gaia’s Chargés d’Affaires invited to a diplomatic workshop. Gaia does […]
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Can humans survive the Anthropocene?

So profound has been the influence of humans that Earth system scientists have proposed that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The new epoch marks the end of the Holocene, a 10,000-year period of climatic stability and clemency that permitted civilization to flourish. What does it mean for humankind to inscribe […]
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What Would Heidegger Say About Geoengineering?

Abstract Proposals to respond to climate change by geoengineering the Earth’s climate system, such as by regulating the amount of sunlight reaching the planet, may be seen as a radical fulfillment of Heidegger’s understanding of technology as destiny. Before geoengineering was conceivable, the Earth as a whole had to be representable as a total object, […]
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Theories of Climate Change

“In the end Koch‘s retro-Marxism, Beck‘s utopian internationalism and Giddens‘s climate third way cannot come to grips with the planetary scale and millennial lifetime of climate disruption. In the Anthropocene, political analysis can no longer be grounded in an environment that can be taken for granted, a natural world that provides a mere backdrop for […]
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The Philosophy of Geoengineering

Geoengineering can be understood as the fulfillment of the entire technological project, because, in geoengineering, the Earth as a whole is represented as an object available for human regulation. The thinking that gives rise to geoengineering is the same thinking that first creates the world as an object suitable for technological manipulation.  A contribution to […]
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Love Your Scapegoats

A response to Bruno Latour’s “Love Your Monsters: Why We Must Care for Our Technologies As We Do Our Children” [1] If Frankenstein is to serve as a parable for “political ecology” then Mary Shelley’s plot must be reworked. In the revised version Dr Frankenstein is no more than an inquisitive but anxious assistant to the […]
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Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change

Global warming science has become a battleground in a wider cultural war, particularly in the United States where rejecting climate science has been seamlessly adopted by right-wing populism—notably by the Tea Party, the movement of those who demand their fair share of injustice. In these circumstances scientific facts are trumped by beliefs, so that climate […]
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Ethical Anxieties About Geoengineering

Three main justifications are used to defend geoengineering research and possible deployment—it will allow us to buy time, it will allow us to respond to a climate emergency, and it may be the best option economically. Against these a number of ethical risks intrude: we may use the possibility of climate engineering to blind ourselves […]
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Big Porn Inc.

“One of the more bizarre accusations made against people like the authors who appear in this powerful, new book, Big Porn Inc., is that they are anti-sex. This accusation is made by post-modern academics who style themselves pro-sex. Of course, the authors are not anti-sex. They are anti-degradation, anti-exploitation, anti-coercion and anti-trafficking. In truth these are […]
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The Ethical Foundations of Climate Engineering

In the standard consequentialist view of climate ethics, the question of whether it is ethically justified intentionally to shift the planet to a warmer or cooler climate depends on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the new state compared to the old one. In this view the natural world is framed as a […]
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Is Environmentalism Failing?

Environmentalism: The Way Forward A talk (by videolink) to the National Climate Action Summit University of Melbourne, 9 April 2011 Clive Hamilton The difficulty and importance of the global warming campaign is many times greater than every other environmental struggle. Controlling carbon pollution requires a wholesale industrial restructuring and defeat of the most powerful industry […]
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In Praise of Boredom

A lecture at the “Idle Hours” exhibition National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 5 February 2010 Clive Hamilton I am grateful to the National Portrait Gallery for inviting me to give this talk and particularly to Sarah Engledow for curating this subtle and arresting exhibition. It occurred to me too late that with my choice of title, […]
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Psychological Adaptation to the Threats and Stresses of a Four Degree World

Extensive social scientific research into human reactions to threats provides some insights into the psychological strategies humans are likely to adopt in response to the stresses of living in a hotter world. These “coping strategies” are designed to defend against or manage the unpleasant emotions associated with “waking up” to the dangers of a warming […]
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Defending the Last Taboo

A contribution to the Art Censorship: the bigger picture forum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 12 June 2008 Clive Hamilton When I looked at the twenty or so Bill Henson photos on the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery website just hours before they were taken down I could see immediately that they were not pornographic. They struck […]
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