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You are here: Platypus/The Anthropocene and Freedom: Terrestrial time as political mystification

The Anthropocene and Freedom: Terrestrial time as political mystification

Timothy W. Luke

Platypus Review 60 | October 2013

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The Anthropocene as Past/Present/Future

THE RECENT COINAGE OF “THE ANTHROPOCENE” as a technical term of art presents an intriguing  intellectual and political puzzle.[1] Arguments for accepting the Anthropocene as a fundamental change in all hitherto experienced human history appear driven less by the hopes to chronicle accurately natural history, than by designs for redirecting how human beings ought to act now. On the one hand, its proponents present themselves as vigilant scientific sentries of individual freedom, declaring alarm as experts on current ecological crises prompt nation-states “to do something” about the destruction that mankind has wrought in the environment for 250 years. At the same time, how individual freedoms will be protected under their watch is less clear. With power and wealth at stake, various networks of scientific and technical experts maneuver with their latest analyses of the Anthropocene to gain authority to manage from above and afar, once again, individual choices and collective efforts to mitigate, or adapt to, rapid climate change. On the other hand, the notion of the Anthropocene remains an on-going theoretical debate in the geophysical and stratigraphical scientific communities.[2] This aspect of the debate poses the question of whether the unchecked growth of civilization’s products and by-products is, or is not, a world-historical episode of ecological degradation. Do negative human environmental impacts yet exist on a geological time scale and, if they do, what must be done?

Corporate interests, government agencies, and mass publics are concerned about the environment, but their agendas can be at odds. Crutzen, as Kolbert notes, “wants to focus our attention on the consequences of our collective actions—on their scale and permanence. ‘What I hope,’ he says, ‘is that the term “Anthropocene” will be a warning to the world’.”[3] Crutzen is, however, not the first to sound this alarm. The world has been repeatedly warned about anthropogenic destruction, practically to no avail. In Man and Nature (1864), George Perkins Marsh made comparable claims about humanity which fully anticipated this anthropocenic turn. Little serious notice was given to his or other warnings. In the meantime, many degrees of freedom have been lost in these decades of neglect. It is unclear how much environmental damage we would be able to rectify even if political will were not so divided. The question of the Anthropocene and freedom is, in fact, quite disjointed.

Until recently, most social theorists interpreted economic and social development as the “rise of civilization” instead of a “center of catastrophe” for planet Earth.[4] Still, rapid complex urbanization, and a huge shift of most human households into cities since the late 1990s, has created, in turn, Crutzen’s “Great Acceleration” from webs of new worldwide industrial metabolisms.[5] The noxious and toxic effects of this Great Acceleration are degrading the environments of most human and nonhuman beings coexisting in these vast cities. Since the Neolithic Revolution, cities have constituted the first major “megamachines,”[6] and this citification intertwines natural habitats with artificial structures in so many different places that they remix the planet’s artificial and natural ecologies into new hybrid spaces. The Anthropocene is the name some physical scientists now claim must be given to these seemingly permanent, petrified presences in Earth’s geological record.

A pulse of global warming whichsignaled an end to the last Ice Age began around 20,000 years ago, but it was preceded by slightly rising levels of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.[7] The advent of citification in some human communities from 11,000 to 4,000 years ago also coincides with the first major leap in the rates of atmospheric greenhouse gassing, not matched until the past decade.[8] The proliferation of hydrocarbon-fueled machine systems now adds greater complexity to the “citificate” (city-based) loadings of the environment. Here again, the freedom to choose in the era of Man is disjointed. Burning fossil fuel energy to improve one’s life immediately may succeed, but in the long run, noxious by-products will degrade the environment and attenuate, if not undo, those improvements attained through industrialization.

The concentration of “carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has jumped 41 percent since the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century.”[9] Fossil fuel consumption intensifies this effect, and today’s climate changes are more pronounced:intense heat waves, extreme precipitation events, altered growing seasons, and flooded coastal regions. As Jeremy Shakan, a Harvard research scholar, observes, “We’re just entering a new era in Earth’s history. It will be an unrecognizable new planet in the future.”[10]

 

New Names for the Unrecognizable

At this juncture in the Anthropocene, as Brenner and Schmid argue, there are many curiosities: new scales of urbanization, a blurred rearticulation of urban territories, the disintegration of the hinterland, and an end to wilderness. They agree that

[W]e need first of all new theoretical categories through which to investigate the relentless production and transformation of socio-spatial organization across scales and territories. To this end, a new conceptual lexicon must be created for identifying the wide variety of urbanization processes that are currently shaping the urban world and, relatedly, for deciphering the new emergent landscapes of socio-spatial difference that have been crystallizing in recent decades.[11]

To understand how economic growth always already adds up to environmental devastation, this critique of the Anthropocene answers Brenner and Schmid’s call with provisional concepts like “urbanatura.”[12]

The flows of material produced and consumed out of, but also within, these zones of urbanatura accumulate in the material and symbolic spaces of cities along with the detrital flows of solid, liquid, and gaseous wastes of technonature. What lies behind us in the distant past appears less significant than what is being produced and consumed today, because the scale, scope, and severity of urban change in the planet’s extended and intensive citification are unprecedented. Efforts by social ecological system (SES) managers to calibrate a strategic “degrowth” return to the spatialities of 1990, 1970, or 1950 are likely to fail, even if there were trustworthy tools for making that return.[13] These new terrains of urbanatura present uncertain, but familiar “Anthropoceneries” of citification naturalized and/or nature citified: corporate-owned seed and genetically engineered fish, plastic-laden oceans and soil-burdened rivers, accelerating extinctions and evolving machine intelligence, rising seas and retreating ice fields, drought-stricken regions and inundated coastal zones, dying megafauna and post-antibiotic microbial diseases, continental urban sprawls and miniscule remote wildernesses, light-polluted night and exhaust-polluted day. At this juncture, the stark fact of endless accumulation by a select few in return for the misery of multitudes is being mystified by new sustainability and resilience discourses about sacrifice, limits, and austerity.

 

Touring the Anthropocenery

The Anthropocene, if its professional-technical proponents prevail in the still raging conflicts of categorization and classification, does not comprise the whole Holocene. Rather it marks an Age of Citification whose arcological traces appear in many geophysical registers, as the urban regions of the planet reprocess ever vaster areas into technonature. For millennia before the advent of the planet’s extraordinary growth in citification, the hominid species of primates populated the planet. Yet, their ecological impact during early Holocene, Pleistocene, and prior geological eras was minimal. Only when extensive agriculture and agglomerated shelter persist in enduring human settlements can the evidentiary basis for something like “the Anthropocene” emerge from the startling fusion of architectures and ecologies in arcologies. Whether there is an early, middle, and late Anthropocene remains a case study for anthropologists, geologists, paleobotanists, and stratigraphers to hash out. If they conclude it does exist, and its existence is typified by this or that set of characteristics, those methodological quarrels will persist in those sciences.[14]

How and why the idea of the Anthropocene is being touted now by other policy-centered scientific communities, like atmospheric chemistry, conservation biology, soil science, physical geography, applied climatology, or public administration, is a much more directly political question about “Earth management.” To the extent that this idea of the Anthropocene becomes a writ of empowerment to preside over the declaration, and then implementation of, an ecological state of emergency, its significance is hardly limited to specialists within the academy. “Letting go” of 1960s-era ecological catastrophism has many political dimensions. Most significantly, “the deciders” in charge of adapting to rapid climate change would be empowered to “right-size” carbon-intensity, growth prospects, and participation in global cosmopolitan society for the few, while the same ecomanagerialist schemes will engineer decarbonization, degrowth, and deglobalization in everyday life for the many.[15]

The incentive to popularize and politicize the Anthropocene concept during the current crisis is an invaluable ideological mystification. It turns a scientific system of geological time measurement, or stratigraphy, into a legitimation engine for those seeking to generate new knowledges as well as acquire greater powers to combat ecological crisis, which the concept of the Anthropocene now supposedly best represents.[16] Popularizing this concept stokes an uneasy sense of considerable peril in order to justify scientific declarations of ecological emergency, but it also could serve ultimately to normalize this moment of crisis as yet another survivable episode in the chronicles of human history if adaptive collaborative Earth management is given free rein.

Earth System Science (ESS) is central to the analysis of these changes, and the partnerships of the IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme), IHDP (International Human Dimensions Programme), WCRP (World Climate Research Programme) and DIVERSITAS (International Programme of Biodiversity Science) are just one cluster of organized expert initiatives intent upon developing ESS discourse as a means of navigating the Anthropocene. Without saying it as directly as Marx, if the Anthropocene is the “Age of Man,” the figure of “Man” at work in these networks of earth scientists is not all of humanity as such, but a mystified face of humanity. The human in such Anthropocenic assessments, is the technological, scientific, modern, commercial, and acquisitive agent at work in the projects of Western nation-building, empire-expansion, and capitalist-development. Crutzen’s concept of “Anthropocene” offers true insight in the anthropocenic instant of the present, but then this insight is falsely abstracted as a “natural” geological epoch, as if there was no other choice or option except for the present to have developed exactly as it has out of the past 250 years. Anthropocene conceptualizations never quite know whether to bemoan and celebrate these chronocentric and ethnocentric figurations of “Man” as a truly world-historical force of creative destruction.

The discourse of truth, operating on the basis of such anthropocenic applications in Earth System Science, appears ready to serve as a tool box for planet management by generating policy-ready findings for new waves of allegedly sustainable development. As Ehlers and Krafft maintain, this project is immense and imperative. While it will be global in scope and authority, its implementation will be more local: “Earth System Science has to provide place-based information by analyzing global and regional processes of Global Change and by translating the research findings into policy relevant results.”[17] To date, this knowledge is not leading to clear political plans about “what ought to be done,” because those engaged in this research consign such decisions to policy-makers. Green public intellectuals, like Al Gore, Thomas Berry, or Bill McKibben, recommend improbably immense and rapid reductions of energy, material, and land use levels to match those of all humanity in 1990, 1970, 1950, or even some earlier point in time. Yet, as most realize, the politics of voluntary material sacrifice is not workable as a policy recommendation.

Stuck at this impasse, the most common normative advice for living better in the Anthropocene resorts to the demand to embrace “sustainable development.” Despite their green pretensions, sustainable development practices focus on sustaining development rather developing sustainability—and, in any case, they have decisively failed to do either. Our Common Future propounded directives to enjoy the benefits of development up to the point that it will not compromise the ability of future generations to have that same opportunity.[18] Nevertheless, today’s opportunities are grim. The best science on greenhouse gases, for example, suggests that 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is the tipping point for halting global warming trends. Regrettably, this threshold was identified in 1987–1988, and then exceeded during 1990 by 4.35 ppm with regard to global greenhouse gas emissions. 350 ppm still is considered the safest limit, as James Hansen testified before Congress in 1988. Rather than abiding by the WCED’s 25-year-old moral injunctions, scientists are still quarreling with policy makers, who dispute their findings or reject their recommendations in toto. What once was a sincere appeal to radically restructure industrial civilization by developing sustainably has, in turn, morphed into a corporate chamber of commerce homily for lean and clean growth. Yet, atmospheric CO2 levels measured at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory stood at 395.5 ppm during January 2013 and will exceed 400 ppm by 2014.[19]

Finding ways to adaptively manage the energy economy of human cities and societies now is the core of ESS, as it grounds itself in the Anthropocene concept. Reexamining today’s liberal democratic capitalism returns one, at the same time, to the “practices envisaged simultaneously as a technological type of rationality and as strategic games of liberties” as they play out in global citification’s systems of systems.[20] These grids create some purportedly right disposition for freedoms embedded in large, energy-intensive, technological systems, but, they burn oil, gas, and coal energy to fuel material consumption, attain ever deeper levels of mass consumption, and, as a side effect, boost greenhouse gas emissions. How “development” might become sustainable is inextricably linked to the question of access to hydrocarbon fossil fuels.[21] In the absence of a workable alternative to austerity, the only imaginable future for politics will be the determination of which people get to create new environmental effects with geological import on this Anthropocenic scale, and where, when, and how they will benefit. This means freedom for the few, and more unfreedom for the many.

A great deal is obscured by ideas like “the Anthropos,” “Man,” or “Humanity,” as the agent behind, responsible for, and in charge of today’s environmental crises. It is not “Man” as such, but rather only a relatively few people who are in any position to structure the planet’s evolving social formations; at present the arcological systems they devise are more toxic and unsustainable than previously. Meanwhile, the many suffer considerably in the citifications of urbanatura, while these few benefit tremendously.[22]

Such relations of unequal exchange historically are regarded as the core of “human progress.” Yet, they rely upon the proliferation of new markets for more energy and material whose citified byproducts are proving increasingly destructive. Ironically, seven billion people can survive now on Earth only because of these urban logistical capabilities (albeit very unequally distributed by class, region, and neighborhood), but the byproducts of these operations are degrading urbanatura’s carrying capacities and the survival of terrestrial life itself. Some radical environmentalists urge us to return to the Pleistocene.[23] This may be possible for a few hundred thousand, or even a few million, and yet these urbicidal proposals, if seriously undertaken, would condemn the masses even more assuredly than does the current process of development.

The coevolutionary mixes of the Earth with mangles of urbanizing forces, express themselves as the urbanatura of fished-out oceans, polluted skies, nutrient-depleted farmlands, destroyed species, hybridized plants, and over-timbered forests. The unfixed boundaries between Nature and Humanity are continually being relabeled—even radically so—and yet, it seems, only in a nightmarish direction. As Neil Roberts maintains about the Holocene, “in reality many ecosystems are far from being wholly ‘natural,’ and instead owe their distinctive character to particular manners of land use or other human actions… for most ecosystems it is therefore effectively impossible to study environmental history separate from cultural history, and vice versa.”[24] In this respect, these times of the Anthropocene could be regarded as another frantic attempt to mystify what Joachim Radkau has aptly characterized as “the deepest rupture in the history of the environment,” namely, “the failed Americanization of the world.”[25] |P


+ Another version of this paper was presented at the annual meetings of the Western Political Science Association, March 27–30, 2013.

[1]. See Paul Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, “Have we Entered the ‘Anthropocene’?” Global Change 41, International Geophysical-Biosphere Programme. Available online at <http://igbp.net/news/opinion/opinion/haveweenteredtheanthropocene.5.d8b4c3c12bf3be638a8000578.html>. Paul Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer in 2000 asserted humanity has become a geological and ecological force in Nature of sufficient magnitude to alter the collective experience of geological time. That is, they assert:

 To assign a more specific date to the onset of the “anthropocene” seems somewhat arbitrary, but we propose the latter part of the 18th century, although we are aware that alternative proposals can be made (some may even want to include the entire Holocene). However, we choose this date because, during the past two centuries, the global effects of human activities have become clearly noticeable. This is the period when data retrieved from glacial ice cores show the beginning of a growth in atmospheric concentrations of several “greenhouse gases,” in particular CO2 and CH4. Such a starting date also coincides with James Watt’s invention of the steam engine in 1784.

The Anthropocene is essentially a concept in a state of continuous (re)manufacture after being popularized by Paul Crutzen and others after 2000. Like most facts, it is being made rather than discovered as more peak science networks are legitimizing and mobilizing the term. As Smithsonian magazine observed in 2012, “This year, the word [‘Anthropocene’] picked up velocity in elite science circles: It appeared in nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles, the publisher Elsevier has launched a new academic journal titled Anthropocene and IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) convened a group of scholars to decide by 2016 whether to officially declare that the Holocene is over and the Anthropocene has begun.” See Joseph Stromberg, “What is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?” available online at <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/What-is-the-Anthropocene-and-are-we-in-it-183828201.html>.
[2]. See Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Alan Haywood, and Michael Ellis, “The Anthropocene: A New Epoch in Geological Time,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (March 13 2011), 369.
[3]. Elizabeth Kolbert, “Enter the Anthropocene: Age of Man,” in Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life (New York: Punctum Books, 2013).
[4]. See the Preface to Paolo Soleri, The Urban Ideal: Conversations with Paolo Soleri, ed. John Strohmeier and Jeffrey Cook (Berkeley: Berkeley Hills Books, 2001), and Timothy W. Luke, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997).
[5]. See Crutzen, “The ‘Anthropocene’,” Earth System Science in the Anthropocene: Emerging Issues and Problems, eds. Eckart Ehlers and Thomas Krafft (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2010). Mike Davis, Planet of Slums(London: Verso, 2008); and, Timothy W. Luke, “‘Global Cities’ vs. ‘global cities’: Rethinking Contemporary Urbanism as Public Ecology,” Studies in Political Ecology, 71 (2003): 11-22.
[6]. See Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1934).
[7]. Justin Gillis, “Study of Ice Age Bolsters Carbon and Warming Link,” New York Times (March 1, 2013): A4.
[8]. Gillis, “Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years,” New York Times (March 8, 2013): A15.
[9]. Gillis, “Study of Ice Age.”
[10]. Cited in Ibid.
[11]. Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid, “Planetary Urbanization,” in Urban Constellations, ed. Matthew Gandy (Berlin: Jovis Verlag, 2011).
[12]. Reality does not just exist. Its tones and textures as such must be made, and then they are remade in use. Once realities are wrought, its wrighting also inscribes its (re)cognitions in all who read the right writings. Everyday, in all of the ways that language captures and contains meaning, its textual totalities stabilize what people believe actually “is” and ideally “ought to be” through the discursive representations of such ontographies. It matters immensely to ask, “Who makes these representations? For whom? Deploying what processes of production?” See Timothy W. Luke, “Property Boundaries/Boundary Properties in Technonature Studies: Inventing the Future,” Environments, Technologies, Spaces, and Places in the Twenty-first Century, ed. Damian F. White and Chris Wilbert (Waterloo; Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009), 173-213.
[13]. Eckhart Ehlers and Thomas Krafft. Earth System Science in the Anthropocene: Emerging Issues and Problems (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2010).
[14]. Paleolithic human cultures (2.6 million to 10,000 BCE) already were capable of altering the biosphere dramatically on a regional, and then more global, basis. As they spread out of Africa 100,000 to 130,000 BCE, the first Homo sapiens clearly beset the world’s large populations of prehistoric avian and mammalian megafauna. Many species were quickly hunted to extinction, and fire was used on landscapes as an environmental management technology to facilitate human hunting and gathering in pursuit of those fauna that survived. Homo erectus had been thriving for nearly 2 million years BCE, using stone tools to hunt animals and fire to create better hunting grounds. By 30,000 BCE, Homo sapiens were dispersed nearly all around the world, and a systematic adoption of various methods to maintain agrarian settlements had become more common between 15,000 and 8,500 BCE. In Mesopotamia, Jericho was flourishing with a population of a few thousands around 6,500 BCE, while Sumer sustained nearly 50,000 residents by 3,500 BCE. As the Mesolithic era gave way to the Neolithic Revolution, it is apparent that “the beginning of sedentary modes of food production—the intensified domestication of plants and animals—was a momentous occurrence in human prehistory… 10,000 years ago almost all human societies lived by hunting and gathering; 8,000 years later, hunter-gather societies were a distinct minority.” (Franz Browswimmer, Ecocide: A Short History of the Mass Extinction of Species(London: Pluto Press, 2002).)
[15]. Frances Westley, et al, “Tipping Toward Sustainability: Emerging Pathways of Transformation,” Ambio 40 (7) (November 2011): 762–780.
[16]. The “Anthropos” of the Anthropocene, however, is a strange reified construct. Just as Marx mapped the trope of “Man” in his “On the Jewish Question” or Engels probed in The Condition of the Working Class in England, its agency and subjectivity rests in the same political economy which Engels characterized as that “science of enrichment born of the merchant’s mutual envy and greed” rooted in “despicable immorality” (Quoted in Robert Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: Norton, 1978), xxviii). Marx’s vision of Man, then, triangulates itself against the duplicities of seeking personal enrichment in the realm of civil society and global markets along with collective empowerment of the bourgeois class in the domain of the state.

The Anthropos, or “Man,” is a social being enfolding in very recent times framed by states and civil societies with all their mythic qualities. The egoistic existence of all men is tied to the capitalist forces animating economic “Man.” Marx here asserts that the double-dealing of modernity comes into full play:

Where the political state has attained to its full development, man leads, not only in thought, in consciousness, but in reality, in life, a double existence—celestial and terrestrial. He lives in thepolitical community, where he regards himself as a communal being, and in civil society where he acts simply as a private individual, treats other men as means, degrades himself to the role of a mere means, and becomes the plaything of alien powers. (Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” in Robert Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader, (New York: Norton, 1978), 34)

Unexpectedly, even ironically, species-being for humans in the Holocene appears as this archetypical “Man.” Crutzen and Stoermer, as they date the most noticeable effects of human activities globally in their “Anthropocenery,” are addressing the humans caught in these same containers of agency—the state and civil society—in which their relations as communal beings and private individuals are the egoisms of a doubled existence pitched at treating other men as means.
[17]. Ehlers and Krafft, 10.
[18]. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
[19]. See “Trends in Carbon Dioxide” on the website of the Earth System Research Laboratory’s Global Monitoring Division, <http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends>.
[20]. Michel Foucault, “What is Enlightenment?” in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow. New York: Pantheon, 1984), 40.
[21]. Hence, humans degrade themselves willingly and unwillingly as mere means for the alien powers of capitalist exchange. As they consume more and more resources in the narrow profane worlds of civil society, the political state stands over them in civil society to acknowledge, reinforce, and then dominate its order on temporal, terrestrial, and technoeconomic levels of practice. Man, or the Anthropos, therefore, as “species-being” is recast as a socially authentic, living agent,

In his most intimate reality in civil society, is a profane being. Here, where he appears both to himself and to others as a real individual he is an illusory phenomenon. In the state, on the contrary, where he is regarded as a species-being, man is the imaginary member of an imaginary sovereignty, divested of his real, individual life, and infused with an unreal universality. (Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” 34)

Is the Anthropos of the Anthropocene precisely this confusion of profane being, which is degraded to the mere means of alien powers whose purposes turn communal being and private individual existence into the playthings of new fossil-fueled assemblages of production and consumption? Such reified species-being, in turn, is divested of any real individual life, beyond communal carbon footprints or ecosystem pressures, to infuse the unreal universality of the Anthropos allegedly fouling the ecological scene in the Anthropocene.

Once again, can we see an essentially bourgeois consciousness—or the Anthropocenic subject—colonizing history and humanity to estrange men and women from their humanity, their individual being, and Nature? For Marx, all of humanity’s time on Earth is, in another different sense, the Anthropocene inasmuch as Man’s history “makes all nature his inorganic body—both inasmuch as nature is (1) his direct means of life, and (2) the material, the object, and instrument of his life activity… Man lives on nature—means that nature is his body, with which he must remain in continuous intercourse if he is not to die. That man’s physical and spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature is linked to itself, for man is part of nature.” (Marx, The 1844 Manuscripts, in Tucker, 75).
[22]. The depredations of fossil-fueled capitalist exchange, as flattened out by the Anthropocenic turn, mark the ecological degradation of the Earth in an ecological and economic estrangement in which “Life itself appears only as a means of life” (Marx, The 1844 Manuscripts, in Tucker, 76). The unreal universality of the Anthropocene hides the profane practices of degraded capitalist individuality in the detritus left by the machinic means of personal lives, defined by the alien powers of commodification. Hence, these new Anthropocenic chronicles estrange Man from nature, himself, and species-being. Indeed, “first it estranges the life of the species and individual life, and secondly it makes individual life in its abstract form the purpose of species, likewise in its abstract and estranged form” (ibid). Making other men and Nature a means to serve as playthings of such alien powers happens continuously, but then is hidden. And, once hidden, by crossing out the Holocene, the purposive control over more men and material as mere means for these alien powers’ becomes the purpose of the human species’ taking command and control of the planet as a “social-ecological system,” to manage them all as the playthings of the Anthropocene in close to a permanent state of global emergency.
[23]. See Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology, (Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1985).
[24]. Neil Roberts, The Holocene: An Environmental History, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 251.
[25]. Joachim Radkau, Nature and Power: A Global History of the Environment (New York: Cambridge University Press with the German Historical Institute, 2008), 250.

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