Cities as Human Niches: Against the ‘Natural City’

We welcome to the blog Nir Barak, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for the next in our series on Environmental Political Theory.


The city is in some sense our niche; we belong there, and no one can achieve full humanity without it. (Holmes Rolston III[1])

In this post, I want to turn our gaze to cities as the paradigmatic embodiment of niche construction in the Anthropocene. I wish to outline Continue reading

Advertisements

Historicizing the Anthropocene: A Peek at Paris

Historians love questions of dating and chronology, and there are two questions about dating the Anthropocene. First, stratigraphy and other sciences have been searching for physical evidence for when Continue reading

“A Manifesto for Abundant Futures”

CITATION:
Rosemary-Claire Collard, Jessica Dempsey, and Juanita Sundberg. 2015. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. Vol. 105, No. 2, pp. 322-330.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The concept of the Anthropocene is creating new openings around the question of how humans ought to intervene in the environment. In this article, we address one arena in which the Anthropocene is prompting a sea change: conservation. The path emerging in mainstream conservation is, we argue, Continue reading

“Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Umeek E. Richard Atleo. 2011. Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis. University of British Columbia Press.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
In Nuu-chah-nulth, the word tsawalk means “one.” It expresses the view that all living things — humans, plants, and animals — form part of an integrated whole brought into harmony through constant Continue reading

“The Anthropocene concept in ecology and conservation”

CITATION:
Corlett, R.T. 2015. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30, pp. 36 – 41.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The term ‘Anthropocene’ was first used in the year 2000 to refer to the current time period in which human impacts are at least as important as natural processes. It is currently being considered as a potential geological epoch, following on from the Holocene. While most environmental scientists accept Continue reading

Earth, Life, and Time: What is Natural?

Life on Earth has always altered its environment.1 “Deep” time records major shifts in atmospheric composition, for example, as life evolved photosynthesis, leading to a massive transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Given this, is the large-scale injection into the atmosphere of anthropogenically released carbon a completely natural consequence of biotic activity?

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have always changed, attributable in part to life — and well before the influence of humans. On geologic time scales such fluctuation results from Continue reading

A creation myth for the Anthropocene

Stephen’s post on Lynn White helped me focus on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while: the need for a new creation myth suited to the Anthropocene.

White’s argument reminds us that creation myths derive their power from their status as fundamental texts within the religious tradition that underlies a society’s moral life; a key strategy for justifying a course of action is Continue reading

“Why ‘Nature’ Has No Place in Environmental Philosophy”

CITATION:
 Steven Vogel. 2011. In The Ideal of Nature: Debates About Biotechnology and the Environment, ed. Gregory E. Kaebnick, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Vogel holds it is essential to develop a “postnaturalist” environmental philosophy—an environmental philosophy after Continue reading