Showing items in 'Anthropocene'

The Anthropocene Belongs to Earth System Science

The idea of the Anthropocene was conceived by Earth System scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth System as a whole. (1,2) Stop. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases “very recent rupture” and “the Earth System as a whole”. […]

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Define the Anthropocene in terms of the whole Earth

Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions, says Clive Hamilton. 17 August 2016 Do we live in the Anthropocene? Officially, not yet — although the debate about whether to declare a new geological epoch will resurface later this month at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South […]

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A New Kind of Human Being: Reply to Steve Fuller

An article I wrote critical of those who plan to build a spaceship to escape an Earth ruined by climate change attracted a response from Steve Fuller, who is described as the sociologist of the “space ark” project I had in mind. Fuller situates my commentary within my wider critique of “ecomodernism”. He writes that […]

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Crimes Against Nature: The Banality of Ethics in the Anthropocene

Among the great crimes of the twentieth century, the most enduring will surely prove to be human disruption of the Earth’s climate. The effects of human-induced climate change are apparent now and will become severe this century, but the warming is expected to last thousands of years. That is so because extra carbon dioxide persists […]

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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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The Technofix Is In: A critique of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto”

The world’s best scientists are warning that the world is warming inexorably, the oceans are becoming acidic and have turned into a “plastic soup,” and we are in the middle of the kind of mass extinction event not seen on the planet in millions of years. But don’t worry — a new breed of environmentalists […]

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The Anthropocene: Too Serious for Post-Modern Games

In his post “Against the Anthropocene”, Kieran Suckling makes two main arguments. The first is that the choice of “Anthropocene” as the name for the new epoch breaks with stratigraphic tradition; he feels uncomfortable with a change in tradition, not least because he suspects the break reflects a hidden political objective. The second is that […]

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Ecologists Butt Out: You Are Not Entitled to Redefine the Anthropocene

Why is it that some of those who publish scientific papers about “the Anthropocene” have such a profoundly mistaken understanding of what the concept means? And why do referees and journal editors let the papers through? I was exasperated by this again on reading another paper on the starting date controversy, this one titled “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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