"The world is facing an environmental crisis unprecedented in human history. Carbon dioxide levels have reached heights not seen for three million years, and the greatest mass extinction since the time of the dinosaurs appears to be underway. Such far-reaching changes suggest something remarkable: the beginning of a new geological epoch. It has been called the Anthropocene. The Birth of the Anthropocene shows how this epochal transformation puts the deep history of the planet at the heart of contemporary environmental politics. By opening a window onto geological time, the idea of the Anthropocene changes our understanding of present-day environmental despoliation and injustice. Jeremy Davies argues incisively that unequal relations between human societies must now be understood as ecological and geophysical forces that leave profound traces in the makeup of the planet. Linking new developments in earth science to the insights of world historians, Davies shows that as the Anthropocene epoch begins, politics and geology have become inextricably entwined" -- Provided by publisher.
"The twenty-first century has seen an increased awareness of the forms of environmental destruction that cannot immediately be seen, localised or, by some, even acknowledged. Ecocriticism on the Edge explores the possibility of a new mode of critical practice, one fully engaged with the destructive force of the planetary environmental crisis. Timothy Clark argues that, in literary and cultural criticism, the “Anthropocene”, which names the epoch in which human impacts on the planet's ecological systems reach a dangerous limit, also represents a threshold at which modes of interpretation that once seemed sufficient or progressive become, in this new counterintuitive context, inadequate or even latently destructive. The book includes analyses of literary works, including texts by Paule Marshall, Gary Snyder, Ben Okri, Henry Lawson, Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver." -- From the publisher.
What does it mean to live dangerously? This is not just a philosophical question or an ethical call to reflect upon our own individual recklessness. It is a deeply political issue, fundamental to the new doctrine of 'resilience' that is becoming a key term of art for governing planetary life in the 21st Century. No longer should we think in terms of evading the possibility of traumatic experiences. Catastrophic events, we are told, are not just inevitable but learning experiences from which we have to grow and prosper, collectively and individually. Vulnerability to threat, injury and loss has to be accepted as a reality of human existence. In this original and compelling text, Brad Evans and Julian Reid explore the political and philosophical stakes of the resilience turn in security and governmental thinking. Resilience, they argue, is a neo-liberal deceit that works by disempowering endangered populations of autonomous agency. Its consequences represent a profound assault on the human subject whose meaning and sole purpose is reduced to survivability. Not only does this reveal the nihilistic qualities of a liberal project that is coming to terms with its political demise. All life now enters into lasting crises that are catastrophic unto the end.
"Klein argues that climate change isn't just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It's an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein ... builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies"-- Provided by publisher.
"We have entered the Anthropocene era -- a geological age of our own making, in which what we have understood to be nature is made by man. We need a new way to understand the dynamics of a new epoch. These volumes offer writings that approach the Anthropocene through the perspectives of grain, vapor, and ray -- the particulate, the volatile, and the radiant. The first three volumes -- each devoted to one of the three textures -- offer a series of paired texts, with contemporary writers responding to historic writings. A fourth volume offers a guide to the project as a whole. Grain: Granular materials add up to concrete forms; insignificant specks accumulate into complex entities. The texts in this volume narrate some of the fundamental qualities of the granular. In one pairing of texts, Robert Smithson compares the accumulation of thoughts to the aggregation of sediment, and an environmental historian writes about the stakes for earthly knowledge today. Other authors include Alfred Russel Wallace, Denis Diderot, and Georges Bataille. Vapor: The vaporous represents matter's transformations. In this volume, a political scientist compares Kafka's haunting "Odradek" to "vibrant matter"; a media theorist responds to poems and diagrams by Buckminster Fuller; and more, including texts by Hippocrates, Italo Calvino, and James Clerk Maxwell. Ray: A ray is an act of propagation and diffusion, encompassing a chain of interdependencies between energy and matter. This volume includes texts by Spinoza (with a reconceptualization by a contemporary philosopher), Jacques Lacan (followed by an anthropologist's reflections on temporality), Thomas Pynchon (accompanied by an interpretation of Pynchon's "electro-mysticism"), and others. These volumes constitute a unique experiment in design and composition as well as content. The mingling of texts and the juxtaposition of different areas of knowledge represented in a variety of forms express the dynamics of a world in change." -- From the publisher.
One of the collection's most valuable elements ... is that it refuses to reduce Alberta's relationship with the Anthropocene to oil and gas extraction.... Collectively, Found in Alberta's essays ... offer an arguably more holistic overview that includes industrial and hunting food cultures, shifting concepts of wilderness, trans-Canadian narratives of nationhood, and the legal protection extended to certain economies, values, and aesthetics. (L. Camille Van Der Marel The Goose)
The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by a group of atomic scientists to symbolise the perils facing humanity from nuclear weapons. In 2007 it was set at five minutes before the final bell, including for the first time the threat of climate change as well as new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology. This book aims at an analysis of the evolution of our present predicament throughout the Anthropocene Era beginning in 1763, making special reference to the history of the period, the study of the subject and major advances in the natural sciences. Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson set out the basis for a scientific approach to the pre-industrial stages of historical development in the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century, when the American and French Revolutions created a vocabulary of modernity. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as the industrial revolution unfolded in several stages, nationalism, imperialism and totalitarianism were among the phenomena impeding the update of the Enlightenment programme as well as the fulfilment of the aspirations of 1776 and 1789. Our present predicament demands a rigorous examination of its origins and an assertion of a scientific pandisciplinary approach involving history and other academic specialisations.