Clive Hamilton

Clive Hamilton

Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene

May/
Tue 16 May 2017

Clive Hamilton

Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene

Clive Hamilton
Tue 16 May 2017,

Humans have become so powerful that we have disrupted the functioning of the earth, bringing on a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – in which the serene and clement conditions that allowed civilisation to flourish are now disappearing. What does it mean to have arrived at this point, where human history and earth history collide?

Some see the Anthropocene as no more than a development of what they already know. But the Anthropocene demands that we rethink everything. We have rendered the earth more unpredictable and less controllable and created a disobedient planet. Attempts to cut humans down to size by attacking anthropocentrism come up against the insurmountable fact that human beings now possess enough power to change the earth’s course. It’s too late to turn back the geological clock, and there is no returning to pre-modern ways of thinking.

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, explains that we must face the fact that humans are at the centre of the world, even if we must give up the idea that we can control the planet. He calls for a new kind of anthropocentrism, and explores how we might use our power responsibly and find a way to live on a defiant earth.

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