‘The Anthropocene as Rupture: Its profound importance and various attempts to deflate it’ – Monday (08/06/2015)
Scientists have recently proposed that the Earth is entering a new epoch in its 4.5 billion-year history: the Anthropocene, in which humans are the main geological force. This represents a rupture in Earth history, the consequences of which we are only beginning to understand. However, as soon as the Anthropocene concept was proposed, interpretations of the new epoch were advanced that had the effect of deflating the significance of this new epoch and the threat it poses to humankind and the Earth – even welcoming it as an opportunity for humans to remake the Earth. Clive will argue that each of these represents a misreading of our current predicament, arising either from a misunderstanding of Earth system science or from the imposition of an unscientific gloss.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian academic and author of a number of books, including Growth Fetish, Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change and, most recently, Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering. He is currently writing a book on the larger meaning of the Anthropocene. Clive was the founder and executive director of the Australia Institute, the nation’s leading progressive think tank. He is currently Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. He has held various visiting academic positions, including at Yale University, Sciences Po and the University of Oxford.