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Archive for the ‘AnthropoScene’ Category

One of the best ways to respond to the Bubble I mentioned in the last post is through the arts. Here’s the poster for my summer course examining artistic responses to the global crisis.

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I’ve been using the metaphor of the Sustainability Bottleneck in my teaching, but another one that is more immediately graspable is The Bubble. Two things landed in my in-box this morning that testify to this (but that’s a pretty daily occurrence, e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, all from the past week). One […]

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The Paris climate talks were successful in that they resulted in an agreement that is both better than nothing and better than most of us expected. They were a failure in that even if they are followed to the letter — and there’s no provision for enforcing whether anyone follows them or not — they would […]

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Here’s how I would explain the concept of Climate Justice in four easy steps: The wealthiest 1% emit 2500 times more greenhouse gases than the poorest 1%. Those greenhouse gases are in the process of changing the Earth’s climate to render it uninhabitable for the kind of mix of human & nonhuman species that exists […]

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McKenzie Wark gets at some very important issues in what we might call “the ontology of the Anthropocene” in this review of Jason Moore’s book Capitalism in the Web of Life. Moore’s work, as he acknowledges (and as I have argued here before), provides an important contribution to rethinking the relations between humanity, the nonhuman world, and […]

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You may take this as more optimistic blathering from within the pessimistic morass, but here goes. Those of us who teach environmental studies — who teach impressionable young adults about the colossal challenges facing humanity in the coming decades, with the looming climate crisis, resource wars and (human and nonhuman) refugee crises, and mass extinction on a […]

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As the world’s refugee crisis builds — reminding us that much worse movements of people loom ahead, and much worse wars, as climate systems destabilize and the capitalist world-ecology unravels in the decades and centuries ahead — I can’t help asking myself what, if anything, philosophy can offer in response. It depends on which philosophy, of course. But […]

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Bandwagocene

These days, it takes a course release for an academic to keep up with the avalanche of books being published with titles that feature the word “Anthropocene.” To read them would take a sabbatical. Doing anything approximating a “slow read” would require, well, retirement. But that’s no reason not to try. Here’s just a quick sample […]

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I’ve reported previously on how critics see the “Anthropocene” concept as overgeneralizing from the causal nuances of actual responsibility for climate (and global system) change. In an excellent summary of recent writing on the topic, ecosocialist climate observer Ian Angus answers the question “Does Anthropocene science blame all humanity?” with a definitive “no.” That doesn’t mean that the term […]

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The video of my talk on “Speculative Ecologies of (Post)Cinema: Cinema In and Beyond the Capitalocene,” is now up on Vimeo and at Shane Denson’s web site. It is from the SCMS panel “Post-Cinema and/as Speculative Media Theory,” featuring Steven Shaviro, Patricia Pisters, and Mark Hansen. I discuss the archive, the cloud, the common, the slippery morphing image […]

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The New York Times reported this week that “The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred. […] “By far the hardest-hit state, the report said, is Oklahoma, where earthquakes are hundreds of […]

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In an article in Nature entitled “Defining the Anthropocene,” geographers and climate scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin provide a new approach to dating this era that focuses on an event they call the “Orbis spike,” a dip in atmospheric CO2 occurring around 1610. Effectively, what their proposal does it to allow geologists to harmonize their work […]

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