Understanding the Anthropocene: blog series

Aerial view of small roads with small pits or lakes taken from a plane.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 wider debates. So what does the concept of the Anthropocene imply for devising and implementing pathways to sustainability?

This series of blogs looks to come up with some answers.

Mathew Bukhi Mabele and Jacob Weger ask how the STEPS pathways approach helps us to understand the Anthropocene?

Petter Törnberg asks how complexity science can offer lessons for “wicked problems” such as sustainability.

Ehsan Nabavi (a STEPS Centre Summer School alumnus) analyses the role of urgency and technocratic knowledge politics in narratives of environmental crisis with examples from Iran’s water management sector.

Julia Duchesne seeks alternative understandings of justice in the Anthropocene through traditional ecological knowledge and local power dynamics in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Lastly, Thomas Håkansson brings land, labour, and value to challenge some basic assumptions of the Anthropocene conceptualization of anthropogenic change with a discussion of ‘landesque capital’.

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