Understanding the Anthropocene: blog series

We now live in an era where humankind has become the dominant force behind global environmental change. Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer introduced the term “Anthropocene” to reflect the growing impacts of human activities on the earth and the atmosphere. Sixteen years on from its introduction, it’s clear that the concept has gained traction in…

How do we reform fossil fuel subsidies?

The idea of reforming fossil fuel subsidies is attracting attention in both academic and policy circles. The environmental and economic aspects of subsidies and their reform have been much debated, but the political aspects are less prominent in the discussion. STEPS member Peter Newell gave a keynote talk at ‘The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies…

Learning from the past about rapid transition

What can history teach us for the task of rapid transition in the face of climate change and corrosive inequality? Historian Molly Conisbee, a speaker at this week’s Transformations events at the Hay Festival, has written about how communities adapted during Britain’s dramatic urban growth and upheaval in the 18th and 19th centuries. In a…

Group photo

Seeking sustainable transformations around the world

The new ‘Pathways’ Network, which explores transformations to sustainability in 6 cases around the world, had its opening workshop in Buenos Aires on 24-27 April 2016. At the workshop, participants from Sweden, South Africa, and ‘hubs’ in Kenya, the UK, Argentina, USA/Mexico, India and China discussed research questions and how best to share learning.

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…

‘All eyes on Paris’: climate talks in a heightened security context

For the past few weeks, all eyes have been on Paris because of two major events. The first is the seven coordinated terrorist attacks that hit the French capital on 13 November, killing 130 ordinary citizens, left many in shock, and led to an outpouring of messages of solidarity from around the world. Second, Paris…

‘Reigning back’ the Anthropocene is hard – but Earth’s worth it

I am very grateful to Laura Pereira, Victor Galaz and Johan Rockström for taking precious time to respond to the points I raise in my earlier blog. It is a huge privilege to benefit from such thoughtful and substantive reflections. This is all the more the case, since we agree that the issues at stake…

Making new worlds together

How could we end up in this world nobody ever wanted? This question, posed by Justyna Swat from POC21 during her talk at Monday’s event on makerspaces and sustainability, has no short answer. It also implies a further question: if you could shape the world you wanted, what would it look like? Shared workshops –…

The Anthropocene, control and responsibility: a reply to Andy Stirling

By Johan Rockström (Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre). This post is a slightly edited version of an email response and follows a blogpost by Andy Stirling on the Anthropocene, and Laura Pereira’s comments on Prof Stirling’s post. I tend to place myself in between the two of you, Andy and Laura. The Anthropocene is nothing more…

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…