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Anthropocene as a resource-centered process

Humans, by overexploiting resources (known as “forcing”), have produced extensive changes in land use and have altered complex food webs, ecosystems, and habitats with, as a consequence, systematic biocapacity erosion, biodiversity loss, energy crises, pollution, and climate deregulation as well as displacement of human communities, wars, and local culture extinctions. In other words, a global-resources “rush” has led to chronic socioecosystemic
deficits, thus creating the conditions for local- and global-state shifts within the biosphere and/or society, with an unprecedented loss of resilience at all levels. This is the “triumphant” Anthropocene landscape.

The Anthropocene concept deserves particular attention because the underlying human‒nature relationship requires clarification. The debate is about whether the Anthropocene is a new unit of geological time, humans activities making the equivalent of geological forces that shape the Earth. Rather than a geological force, humans act as a « biospheric force » : their activities affect primarily the “critical zone” (i.e. the surface) of the Earth System, where biological and geological cycles meet and where abiotic and biotic flows merge. This zone obviously marks
the crossroads of critical boundaries, among which water, air, soil, and biomass are main ingredients of and condition for agriculture.

Humans also act as a “social/political force,” amplifying or accelerating (and possibly slowing down) the described environmental trends. The Anthropocene can therefore be considered as a recent technology-, demographic-, and overconsumption-driven state of mind, a kind of “low-cost human‒nature” culture.
Can this state of mind be challenged ? How to make a « slow-, sobber-, frugal-Anthropocene » for good ? This on line course and conversation tries to bring tohether the necessary arguments and facts.

For clarity and bird-eye perception, the section provides a glossary and its graphic representation and sketches the main lines of the Anthropocene-resource frame.

The valuable contribution of Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz (University of Wisconsin-Parkside) and Cirenia Arias Baldrich (iBET - ITQB, Universidad Nova de Lisboa) are acknowledged.
A more extended analysis at…uing-nature-to-reclaiming-resources-handbook-and-practicals/from-valuing-nature/

For additional contributions, follow the links below.

Links to « Humanités environnementales » website (Topics at the Anthropocene Campus, Berlin, 2014) :

Ioan Negrutiu, resources and the human enterprise -
Jean-Louis Weber, environmental accounting -
Sabine Höhler, anthropocene and more -
Will Steffen, climate change, planetary boundaries -
Dipesh Chakrabarty, history and more -

Publié ou mis à jour le 22 janvier 2017