Mourning the Dodo: On Significant Otherness in the Anthropocene — Part 2

Polarbrown-2

Pictured here is a “grolar,” one of the many arctic hybrids that are part of the “sexual revolution” going on in the Arctic due to climate change.

In my post last week I wrote about the Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory (MEMO) currently under construction on the Isle of Portland off the southern coast of England.  This conceptually sophisticated project, led by the architectural firm of David Adjaye, offers a thoughtful means of linking local, global, and planetary histories of the extinction crisis while drawing attention to the fight to preserve the earth’s biodiversity.  As I noted last time, I’m deeply sympathetic to the idea of extending private grieving and collective mourning to include non-human earthly companions that have gone extinct or are gravely endangered.  But I’m uneasy about the MEMO project’s aspirations to becoming a world heritage site that rivals St. Paul’s Cathedral and other historical landmarks.  Such a stone monument seems like an odd nineteenth-century relic in a digital, networked world. Continue reading

“Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home”

CITATION:
Pope Francis. 2015. Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home [Encyclical].
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The Encyclical takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis, “Praise be to you, my Lord”, in his Canticle of the Creatures. It reminds us that 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

Gendering the Anthropocene

Last October, Oxford economist Kate Raworth wrote an op-ed criticizing the Anthropocene Working Group, an international team of scientists charged with determining whether the Earth has, in fact, entered a new geologic epoch. Raworth wrote that, whatever their intellectual merits, “[leading scientists] still seem oblivious to 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

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

Are we the walrus?

This post was supposed to be about the People’s Climate March.  As I sat down to draft it, however, a headline about a different climate-related gathering caught my eye: tens of thousands of Pacific walruses have again Continue reading

“Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change”

CITATION:
Dipesh Chakrabarty. 2012. New Literary History, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 1-18.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This article begins by describing how the figure of the human has been thought in anticolonial and postcolonial writing—as that of the 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