Introduction

Our anthology addresses both what the Anthropocene implies about humans, as well as what humans can do about the Anthropocene.  We believe the ideology implied by the formalization of this epoch is as important as the practical solutions to the problems it presents. Therefore, our anthology is a progression from the theoretical basis of the Anthropocene – and the sociocultural causes of its development – to possible actions we can take to address the issues that arise from its implications.

In “Mother Nature is Dead” Emily Soreghan adresses the historical entaglement of nature with femininity in Western culture, which has lead some feminist theorists to worry that the formalization of an “era of man” is the ultimate naturalization of the subjugation of women. Hopefully the reader will come to see that the Anthropocene is not necessarily a narrative of domination, but instead a stage on which the violent binaries of culture/nature and man/woman can be recast. This paper presupposes that humans are not “natural.” For more on this argument, see Jena Roman’s “Humans are No Longer Natural.”

In ‘Humans are No Longer Natural‘ Jena Roman makes observations about the clash between humans being natural, and advancements of civilization. She argues that the more civilized we become, the further we separate ourselves from nature and therefore become less concerned with it’s welfare, or our effect on it. After reading this chapter the reader should come away with a question about whether or not our relentless efforts toward civilization is the best thing for our future and our planet. Although Roman argues that modern humans aren’t natural, drawing on Marisa Brumfield’s chapter on how technology and over consumption separates us from the natural world, all is not lost, because Caleb Bishop’s chapter, “Eco-cities in the Anthropocene” discusses ways we can recreate our habitats to be more sustainable and ecologically sound, and thereby bridge this gap between human’s civilization and nature.

In “Consumerism in the Anthropocene“, Marisa Brumfield argues that overconsumption, paired with a reliance on technology, is eliminating the innate desire within humans to spend time outdoors surrounded by nature.  She discusses the direct consequences of losing touch with the natural world as harmful to both the physical earth and the human mind.  Readers will grasp the implications of our materialstic habits and how we are permanentaly and negatively altering our planet and health.  For an in depth analysis on the growing separation between humans and nature over time, Jena Roman’s “Humans are No Longer Natural” offers further insight regarding how the evolution of civilization has altered our human perspective on the environment.

In “Eco-cities in the Anthropocene,” Caleb Bishop argues for the implementation of the “Eco-city” as an integrated, collaborative method of addressing the divide between development and ecological health while supporting sustainable growth. The “Eco-city” begins with a citizen-based approach to design that must be instigated by a fundamental shift in the ways in which societies interact with the natural world. This shift diverges from the perspectives developed in both  Marisa Brumfield’s chapter “Consumerism in the Anthropocene” and Jena Roman’s “Humans are No Longer Natural”.

In “Industry vs. The Anthropocene,” Blake Lawson discusses the how large, seemingly unavoidable industries negatively impact the Anthropocene. Both the industries and the consumers face a dilemma between being environmentally conscious and doing what is convenient or beneficial to them. The reader should gain a more comprehensive view on how industries such as energy, transportation, and agriculture interact within the Anthropocene. For further analysis of how the agriculture industry in particular affects the Anthropocene, see “Can We Sustain.”

In “Can We Sustain” Kody James describes with an increase in population and a rise in the current methods of agriculture. a harmful effect can be seen in the environment. Modern agriculture faces a huge technology advancements that have serious impacts on the environment. The question becomes is it right to knowingly harm the environment to continuously feed the world’s population, this is the perspective the reader will receive. For a relationship between large scale industry and effects on ethical values see “Industry vs. The Anthropocene“. 

In “Houston, We Have a Problem,” Will Burnett emposes a need for change in business, government and consumer activity. Burnett and Derek Roberts’ chapters have a close connection within the Anthropocene because we focus on Ecology. For clarity they emphasize the importance of nature and its processes and value. The reader gains a perspective of the scale of human interaction within the natural processes and the elements or actions that are critical in changing the outcome.

In “Ethics of Rewilding,” Derek Roberts explores the ethics of Pleistocene rewilding by discussing the views of both opponents and proponents of the practice. The reader will understand that due to increasing rates of extinction caused by human activities, humans have an ethical obligation to restore ecosystems – a practice best inspired by the biodiversity of the Pleistocene. For more on conservation and the Anthropocene, see “Houston,  We Have a Problem” by Will Burnett.

 

Our anthology will leave the reader with a better understanding of the ideology that contributed to the development of the Anthropocene and the practices that humans should employ in the face of its problems.

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