Green grabbing

Impact story #2: From land grabs to the Anthropocene

A new impact story, From land grabs to the Anthropocene: exploring the politics of resources is the second in our series looking back at a decade of STEPS Centre research and engagement. This story looks at how STEPS intervened in debates on land grabbing following the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, and how our…

Responsibility and geoengineering in the Anthropocene

As the Anthropocene Working Group debate the start date of a new geological era, Jack Stilgoe asks what the Anthropocene means for how science takes responsibility for the climate. In this excerpt from his book, Experiment Earth, Jack looks at the relationship between the identification of the Anthropocene and the arrival of proposals for geoengineering,…

Landmarks: how to get up close and personal with nature

I’ve just finished reading Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in sustainability and language. Each chapter focuses on one or two authors who’ve made deep impressions on Macfarlane through their writing about the natural world – including Nan Shepherd’s deep explorations of the Cairngorms, Roger Deakin’s explorations of wild swimming,…

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…

Landesque Capital and the Political Ecology of the Anthropocene

In many areas of South East Asia rice terraces which are centuries old cover the mountainsides, while paddy field farming in South East Asia goes back hundreds of years. In South America recent discoveries of raised field systems which cover hundreds of square miles are rewriting our understanding of land use in that region. These…

Yukon: Sustainability Lessons from self-governing First Nations

The Yukon is a vast territory in northwest Canada with a small population and a rich complement of natural resources, from minerals to fossil fuels, wildlife to water. It is also a fascinating case study for Indigenous self-government and sustainable resource management. In 2014, I undertook research to learn about Indigenous self-government in the Yukon….

Iran’s environmental crisis: why we should be mindful of depicting a dystopian future

In our age of computers and satellites, our sense of both urgency and fear has become central to the process of addressing environmental challenges. This sense of necessity for urgent action can be seen in calls to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and extinctions, ocean acidification, etc. It comes as no surprise that addressing them…

The Wicked Foundations of the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene describes how human society has now become the dominant force on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. The notion of the Anthropocene highlights a confounding contradiction: we have an unprecedented ability to control the world around us, yet we are using this power to destroy the preconditions for our own existence, and we seem strangely…

How can the STEPS pathways approach help us understand the Anthropocene?

by Mathew Bukhi Mabele (Department of Geography, University of Zurich) and Jacob Weger (Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia) It has been sixteen years since Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer first introduced the term ‘Anthropocene’ to signify that the ‘growing impacts of human activities on earth and atmosphere’ had reached planetary proportions. Their central argument is…

Credit: STEPS Centre

A year of STEPS: 2015 highlights

As it’s nearing the end of 2015, here are some highlights you may have missed from the STEPS Centre’s last 12 months. We’ll see you next year! Our coverage of the COP21 climate conference STEPS members wrote blogs, organised events and reflected on the future of climate change action around the Paris conference in December….