The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking modernity in a new epoch

1st Edition

Clive Hamilton, François Gemenne, Christophe Bonneuil

Routledge
Published May 14, 2015
Reference - 188 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138821248 - CAT# Y172249
Series: Routledge Environmental Humanities

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Features

  • extremely timely and topical and one of the first English-language publications on the Anthropocene
  • The Anthropocene is an idea rippling through university social science and humanities faculties, a phenomenon that few intellectuals will be able to ignore

  • The authors include some of the most exciting and famous thinkers in Europe as well as some less well-known but most thought-provoking intellectuals now moving into the new field of Anthropocene studies

  • wide range of topics covering politics, economics, religion, ethics, sociology, history, and so on

  • draws on case-studies in small island states, in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina or in Japan after the Fukushima disaster

Summary

The Anthropocene, in which humankind has become a geological force, is a major scientific proposal; but it also means that the conceptions of the natural and social worlds on which sociology, political science, history, law, economics and philosophy rest are called into question.

The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis captures some of the radical new thinking prompted by the arrival of the Anthropocene and opens up the social sciences and humanities to the profound meaning of the new geological epoch, the ‘Age of Humans’. Drawing on the expertise of world-recognised scholars and thought-provoking intellectuals, the book explores the challenges and difficult questions posed by the convergence of geological and human history to the foundational ideas of modern social science.

If in the Anthropocene humans have become a force of nature, changing the functioning of the Earth system as volcanism and glacial cycles do, then it means the end of the idea of nature as no more than the inert backdrop to the drama of human affairs. It means the end of the ‘social-only’ understanding of human history and agency. These pillars of modernity are now destabilised. The scale and pace of the shifts occurring on Earth are beyond human experience and expose the anachronisms of ‘Holocene thinking’. The book explores what kinds of narratives are emerging around the scientific idea of the new geological epoch, and what it means for the ‘politics of unsustainability’.

 

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