A new blog post by Matthew Henry (PhD candidate in English and Environmental Humanities at Arizona State University) for the Oxford University Press blog is worth checking out. Asking the question, “Are We all Living in the Anthropocene?,” he challenges readers to remember that
the Anthropocene operates under the assumption that the human species as a whole is responsible for potentially irreversible environmental catastrophe without acknowledging that some (read: industrialized Western societies) are far more responsible than others (developing nations, indigenous peoples) for rising carbon emissions, ocean acidification, industrial pollution, and the like.
Read the entire post here.
In a recent editorial in Progress in Physical Geography, Erle Ellis asks the question
Should physical geographers be doing more to embrace the Anthropocene? As the term has come to embody the global-scale coupling of human and environmental change, it seems awkward that a discipline with such deep paradigmatic connections with this is not clearly associated with it. Why is geography not waving its flag at the head of the Anthropocene movement?
Ellis outlines some of the critiques of the Anthropocene concept–including the criticism that it is an “academic fad”–and asks what role, if any, geographers should play in engaging with the topic. His answer is that it is essential for geographers to be at the forefront of Anthropocene research and debate:
Geographers, with such a deep historic and processual understanding of the complex realities of human–environmental change, are ideally placed to lead in shaping the future of Anthropocene scholarship. Given that the Anthropocene is attracting interest to some of the most important core areas of geographic expertise, areas where geography can make major impacts across the academy and beyond, the Anthropocene is just too important to leave to others.
Readers can link to the full open access essay at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0309133317736424
Ellis, Erle C. “Physical Geography in the Anthropocene.” Progress in Physical Geography 41, no. 5 (2017): 525–32. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133317736424.