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Posts Tagged ‘Anthropocene’

Some 2500 years ago, a man named Siddhartha Gotama articulated what have come to be known as the “4 Noble Truths”: the truth of dukkha, or fundamental suffering (that there is a basic unsatisfactoriness to life), the truth of its causes (that it arises from an ignorance and misperception of the nature of things, which are […]

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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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Astrophysicist and NPR blogger Adam Frank writes about the “sustainability bottleneck” as the state faced by technological civilizations like ours, which have learned how to “intensively harvest” energy, but not how to sustain themselves through the crisis this harvesting sets off. It turns out there may be millions of planets that give rise to life in our galaxy alone. Frank […]

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With environmental and eco-political news in the front pages daily, it’s easy to get back into the swing of regular, even daily, posting after the winter holiday lull. Here’s more on the “dating the ecocrisis” theme… Andy Revkin is reporting that the Anthropocene Working Group has concluded that the middle of the twentieth century makes […]

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The journal Science has just released more news of planetary boundary transgression. (This is related to my post from a few days ago.) Specifically, of nine such boundaries connected to “processes and systems [that] regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth System,” four have been crossed. Two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are […]

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Academic trend watchers will be interested to see how the digital and the Anthropocene have catapulted to the top of hot topics at this year’s American Anthropological Association conference. (A few others are mentioned here and here, Bruno Latour’s keynote being one of them. Here’s a collection of tweets on Latour’s talk, most of them by Jenny Carlson. […]

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The following is a guest post by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. It continues the Immanence series “Debating the Anthropocene.” See here, here, and here for previous articles in the series. (And note that some lengthy comments have been added to the previous post by Jan Zalasiewicz, Kieran […]

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[Note: This post has been edited slightly since it was first published, to clarify the difference between sound waves and radio waves.] Everything new under the sun begins as an anomaly; but not everything thought to be new is genuinely new. Everything new and anomalous, if studied in the right way, can be explained; but it may take years […]

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Kieran Suckling’s post Against the Anthropocene, originally posted here on July 7 and subsequently shared with the International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group by Andy Revkin, has elicited a round of emailed back-and-forths from some noteworthy individuals, including paleobiologist Jan Zalasiewicz and paleoecologist Anthony Barnosky. As this debate would be of interest to readers of this […]

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The following is a guest post by Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity. It follows the discussion begun here and in some AESS conference sessions, including Andy Revkin’s keynote talk (viewable here) and responses to it (such as Clive Hamilton’s).  I In considering why the name “Anthropocene” has been proposed, why it has been embraced by many, […]

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