Earth Day: are we astronauts or toads?

It’s 50 years since the first image of the Earth from space was beamed back home from Lunar Orbiter 1. It’s hard for us now to imagine, or remember, what it meant back then. For the first time, humans could see a real image of their home as a whole. The picture, and others that…

Reflections on “Time to Rei(g)n Back the Anthropocene”

By Victor Galaz, Stockholm Resilience Centre. This post was first published on the Resilience Science blog and is reposted here with kind permission of the author. This is a short reflection to Andy Stirling’s recent post “Time to Rei(g)n Back the Anthropocene?” about the Anthropocene, “planetary boundaries” and politics. First of all, I would like to…

Time to rei(g)n back the Anthropocene?

I was very lucky to be able to participate in last week’s Stockholm Resilience Centre conference on ‘Transformations 2015: People and Planet in the Anthropocene‘. Involving a dynamic and highly policy-influential global interdisciplinary community, this was a large, friendly and very interactive meeting. It more-than-fully lived up to the very high standards set by earlier…

Resource politics: living in the Anthropocene

By Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre This week we are hosting a major conference at the STEPS Centre at Sussex on resource politics. There are panels looking at everything from mining to wildlife to carbon to water, with big themes cross-cutting on: Scarcity, politics and securitization; Resource grabbing; Governance, elites, citizenship and democracy;…

Warning tape and turning points: how we talk about planetary boundaries

Last week, updated research on ‘planetary boundaries’ was published, with new analysis of what humanity is doing to various natural processes and the risks we face as a species. Reading the paper, I was struck by the prominence, alongside the various statistics and methodology, of something quite different: the authors spend some effort to define…

‘Thousands of models’: Planetary boundaries, values & power

The role of current patterns of human habitation in earth systems processes is pushing beyond planetary boundaries; which is to say our impacts on climate and biosphere risk tipping our environments into states dangerous to our societies. As Katherine Richardson from Copenhagen University puts it, “Earth is familiar with large environmental changes, but modern human…

Resilience 2014: Limits revisited? Planetary boundaries, justice and power

By Melissa Leach, IDS Director In 1972 Meadows et al’s Limits to Growth made scientific and policy waves, as its ‘World3’ model predicted the end of growth and prosperity as rising, consuming populations ran up against resource limits. In critique, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) at the University of Sussex offered alternative models predicting…

Mike Hulme on planetary boundaries and other metaphors

Spaceship Earth? Photo: NCC-1701-A by tram_painter on Flickr (cc-by-nc-nd) Prof Mike Hulme has a thoughtful post on the UEA’s 3S blog today on how metaphors affect the way we think (about science and other things), reflecting on a recent talk by Johan Rockström packed with imagery about planetary boundaries, tipping points and other engaging ideas….

Public events in May: climate, justice, planetary boundaries

Next month we’re running three public events in Brighton on climate change, social justice and planetary boundaries. These events take place during our annual Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability. All of them are open to the public and free to attend. Lecture: Michael Jacobs, Grantham Research Institute / LSE‘Capitalism, carbon and climate change’ 13…

Democracy in the Anthropocene?

Planetary boundaries / Illustration from Global Change magazine STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach recently wrote in the Huffington Post: “When the cover of the Economist famously announced ‘Welcome to the anthropocene’ a couple of years ago, was it welcoming us to a new geological epoch, or a dangerous new world of undisputed scientific authority and…