Habitability as a commons: Fearing a tragedy of human(ized) nature

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
 

Some of the recent posts have made me think of the famous book written by Elinor Ostrom, “Governing the Commons.” Ostrom looks at the problem of Continue reading

Advancing equity and going beyond basic survival

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
 

In my earlier post I raised the question of how equity issues fit with the concept of habitability in the Anthropocene. This topic perhaps leads us into the muck of the impacts humans cause when Continue reading

Implications of manufacturing habitability

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
 

From my earlier post and that of Ingo, there is agreement that humans have become the most successful environment altering species; modifying our surroundings to meet our needs by manipulating Continue reading

Toward an ethics of niche construction

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
 

Human beings are niche constructors par excellence—posts by Kiza and Ingo have presented this fact of nature. But what are the moral implications of that fact, if any? Continue reading

“A Safe Operating Space for Humanity”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Rockström, J. et al. 2009. Nature, Vol. 461, pp. 472-475.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:

Johan Rockström and colleagues propose a new approach for defining preconditions for human development and predict that crossing certain biophysical thresholds could have disastrous consequences Continue reading

“Loess: The Yellow Earth”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Smalley, I., and Rogers, C. 1996. Geology Today, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 186-193.
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ABSTRACT:
A wind-deposited silt forming large deposits in China and middle America, loess is the basis of much grade-one agricultural land, and has sourced the building materials for civilizations. Produced largely as a result of Continue reading

“Organisms as ecosystem engineers”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.

CITATION:
Jones, C. G., J. H. Lawton, and M. Shachak. 1994. Oikos, 69, pp. 373-386.
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ABSTRACT:
Ecosystem engineers can alter the environment to meet their needs by controlling the availability of resources. In doing so, they create habitat for themselves as well as other organisms. Continue reading

“Of property”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.

CITATION:
John Locke. 1689. Chapter 5, Second Treatise of Civil Government.
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ABSTRACT:
Locke assumes that, as a matter of God’s grant of Creation to it, humanity as a species has a general right to everything on the Earth—Locke interprets this grant as intended to provide for humanity’s survival. However, Continue reading

Decolonizing the Anthropocene

Does Mother Earth have rights? Can glaciers listen? Should invisible elves be consulted about development projects? If you find these questions fanciful, please bear with me. I may not convince you to answer them in the affirmative, but I think I can convince you to take them seriously. Here goes. Continue reading

Big History, Deep History, and the Problem of Scale

What does it mean to talk about the anthropocene historically? Thinking about this has forced me to take a closer look at a couple areas of scholarship that I’ve watched grow over the past few years: big history and deep history. These two interdisciplinary projects have recently gained Continue reading

“Intersection of Landscape, Anthropocene and Fourth Paradigm”

CITATION:
A.S. Barau and A.N.M. Ludin. 2012. Living Reviews in Landscape Research, Vol. 6, No. 1.
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ABSTRACT:
This review explores landscape science in the proposed age of the Anthropocene and Fourth Paradigm. Both the Anthropocene and the Fourth Paradigm put landscape science to task, due to Continue reading

Christianity and Stewardship, North and South

The popularity of Lynn White’s argument shows that it is too easy to think that Christianity is inevitably opposed to an environmental perspective or that evangelicals will reject mainstream climate science. In a previous post, I looked at Continue reading

“Shell middens and other anthropogenic soils as global stratigraphic signatures of the Anthropocene”

CITATION:
Jon M. Erlandson. 2013. Anthropocene, 4, pp. 24-32.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Evidence for aquatic foraging, fishing, and scavenging by hominins dates back at least two million years, but aquatic resource use intensified with Continue reading

“A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”

CITATION:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1993. Trans. Roger D. Masters. In Collected Writings of Rousseau (Volume 3) . Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.
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ABSTRACT:
In this work Rousseau offers a conjectural history of humanity. It begins in the primeval “state of nature,” in which individuals lead Continue reading

Biology in a changing world

Our world is undergoing a massive change, induced by humans. There is no debate about this among scientists. There is debate, however, about the consequences of this change.

Like many other organisms we actively alter our environment and become ecosystem engineers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_engineer). A classical example for this process is Continue reading

Cosmopolitanism in the Anthropocene

What does it mean to live in the Anthropocene?  On one hand, it means that the human species has transformed the climatic and environmental processes of its entire planet.  So radically are we changing our biosphere that we may bring about the collapse of our economic system[1] and perhaps even a sixth “mass extinction event”[2].

But announcements of the Anthropocene do not merely describe. They also prescribe.  Like any environmental matter Continue reading