The rapid industrialization of societies has resulted in radical changes to the Earth’s biosphere and its local ecosystems. Climate scientists have recorded and forecasted worrying global temperature rises going back to the early twentieth century, while biologists and palaeontologists have suggested that the next mass extinction is on its way if the current rate of species loss continues. To avert further ecological damage, excessive natural resource use and environmental deterioration are challenges that humanity must deal with now. The human species has had such a significant impact on the natural environment that the present geological epoch can be referred to as the ‘Anthropocene’, the age of humans. The blame and responsibility for the prevailing unsustainability, however, cannot be assigned equally to all humans.
To analyse the root problems and consequences of unsustainable development, as well as to outline rigorous solutions for the contemporary age, this transdisciplinary book brings together natural and social sciences under the rubric of the Anthropocene. The book identifies the central preconditions for social organization and governance to enable the peaceful coexistence of humans and the non-human world. The contributors investigate the burning questions of sustainability from a number of different perspectives including geosciences, economics, law, organizational studies, political theory and philosophy. The book is a state-of-the-art review of the Anthropocene debate and provides crucial signposts for how human activities can, and should, be changed.
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors Foreword- Paolo Davide Farah. Acknowledgements Introduction Part I CONCEPTS, CAUSES, AND CONSEQUENCES 1. On the Emergence of Peaceful Coexistence Pasi Heikkurinen 2. The Anthropocene: A Geological Perspective Mark Williams, Jan Zalasiewicz and Colin Waters 3. Immigrants or Refugees of the Anthropocene: Adapting to or Denying Climate Change? Tarja Ketola Part II CAPITALISM AND NEOLIBERAL GOVERNMENTALITY 4. Capitalism and the Absolute Contradiction in the Anthropocene Toni Ruuska 5. Managing the Environment: Neoliberal Governmentality in the Anthropocene Jessica C. Lawrence Part III THINKING AND THE NON-HUMAN WORLD 6. ‘It’s Getting Better and Better, Worse and Worse, Faster and Faster’: The Human Animal in the Anthropocene Todd LeVasseur 7. Scale, Noosphere Two, and the Anthropocene J. Mohorčich Part IV POST-GROWTH SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS 8. Engaging with the Plutocene: Moving towards Degrowth and Post-Capitalistic Futures Marko Ulvila and Kristoffer Wilén 9. Conceptualizing Worker Agency for the Challenges of the Anthropocene: Examples from Recycling Work in the Global North Eeva Houtbeckers and Tiina Taipale 10. From Exploitation and Expansion to Evolutionary Coexistence: A New Realism for Life beyond the Anthropocene Karl Johan Bonnedahl Index
Pasi Heikkurinen is a lecturer at the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) at the University of Leeds, UK.