On Ecological Ethics and Politics in the Anthropocene

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Much has been made lately of the claim that we have entered a new geologic epoch provocatively termed the ‘Anthropocene’. The gist of the claim is that humans have intervened and complicated core geo-ecological systems to the extent that we have become the dominant force on this planet. Of course, there is logical space in such claims to argue about particulars, but in terms of quantifiable measurements we would be remiss not to conclude that humans are at least the dominant force driving change in the composition of the biosphere. No species exists in isolation and all beings are imbricated and entangled in all sorts of affording and asynchronistic contexts and relations, but the human species has successfully (in relative terms) bootstrapped our frontal lobes to patch together a series of epoch-making machinic hydras underpinned by massively delusional cultural abstractions and technologically short-sighted tools of material-energetic reorganization. These civilizational machines have either…

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