Brian Holmes on Capital Circulation in the Anthropocene

Re-blogged from: Brian Holmes on Capital Circulation in the Anthropocene

New book – After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene by Jedediah Purdy

Interesting new title from Harvard University Press can be found here:

9780674368224After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene

Nature no longer exists apart from humanity. Henceforth, the world we will inhabit is the one we have made. Geologists have called this new planetary epoch the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans. The geological strata we are now creating record industrial emissions, industrial-scale crop pollens, and the disappearance of species driven to extinction. Climate change is planetary engineering without design. These facts of the Anthropocene are scientific, but its shape and meaning are questions for politics—a politics that does not yet exist. After Nature develops a politics for this post-natural world.

Jedediah Purdy begins with a history of how Americans have shaped their landscapes. He explores the competing traditions that still infuse environmental law and culture—a frontier vision of settlement and development, a wilderness-seeking Romanticism, a utilitarian attitude that tries to manage nature for human benefit, and a twentieth-century ecological view. These traditions are ways of seeing the world and humans’ place in it. They are also modes of lawmaking that inscribe ideal visions on the earth itself. Each has shaped landscapes that make its vision of nature real, from wilderness to farmland to suburbs—opening some new ways of living on the earth while foreclosing others.

The Anthropocene demands that we draw on all these legacies and go beyond them. With human and environmental fates now inseparable, environmental politics will become either more deeply democratic or more unequal and inhumane. Where nothing is pure, we must create ways to rally devotion to a damaged and ever-changing world.

Summer issue of the journal Daedalus is focused on water

Table of contents with abstracts, etc. is here.

Introduction No Access

Anna M. Michalak, Christopher B. Field

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 5–6.

Abstract | PDF (63 KB) | PDF Plus (64 KB) | ePub (3413 KB) 

Water, Climate, Energy, Food: Inseparable & Indispensable

Christopher B. Field, Anna M. Michalak

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 7–17.

Abstract | PDF (125 KB) | PDF Plus (129 KB) | ePub (3427 KB) 

Water in Mythology No Access

Michael Witzel

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 18–26.

Abstract | PDF (159 KB) | PDF Plus (160 KB) | ePub (3426 KB) 

Water Security in a Changing World No Access

John Briscoe

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 27–34.

Abstract | PDF (114 KB) | PDF Plus (115 KB) | ePub (3424 KB) 

Progress on Nonpoint Pollution: Barriers & Opportunities No Access

Adena R. Rissman, Stephen R. Carpenter

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 35–47.

Abstract | PDF (138 KB) | PDF Plus (140 KB) | ePub (3430 KB) 

Water Unsustainability No Access

Jerald L. Schnoor

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 48–58.

Abstract | PDF (122 KB) | PDF Plus (123 KB) | ePub (3427 KB) 

Adaptation in the Water Sector: Science & Institutions No Access

Katharine L. Jacobs, Lester Snow

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 59–71.

Abstract | PDF (139 KB) | PDF Plus (139 KB) | ePub (3429 KB) 

Urban Water-Supply Reinvention No Access

Richard G. Luthy, David L. Sedlak

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 72–82.

Abstract | PDF (279 KB) | PDF Plus (280 KB) | ePub (4488 KB) 

Dynamic Markets for Dynamic Environments: The Case for Water Marketing No Access

Terry L. Anderson

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 83–93.

Abstract | PDF (125 KB) | PDF Plus (126 KB) | ePub (3427 KB) 

Impair-then-Repair: A Brief History & Global-Scale Hypothesis Regarding Human-Water Interactions in the Anthropocene No Access

Charles J. Vörösmarty, Michel Meybeck, Christopher L. Pastore

Daedalus Summer 2015, Vol. 144, No. 3: 94–109.

Abstract | PDF (315 KB) | PDF Plus (314 KB) | ePub (3921 KB) 

Visiting position: ethics in the Anthropocene

See for posting here:

VU University Amsterdam
VU University Amsterdam is one of the leading institutions for higher education in Europe and aims to be inspiring, innovative, and committed to societal welfare. It comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 25,000 students.

The novel concept of an ‘Anthropocene’ has been proposed to denote the present epoch in planetary history, following up the earlier Holocene: as a new geological era now largely defined by the extent and direction of human activities with a profound global impact on the earth’s ecosystems. Mass extinction of living species, pollution of the oceans, and climate change are only some of the lasting distortions of planetary systems brought about by the human species. Importantly, the concept of an ‘Anthropocene’ now places humankind fully at the centre of planetary evolution, as the main driving force on planet earth – an idea that has at times been described as the ‘second Copernican revolution’.
These conceptual developments, however, raise fundamental normative questions with profound relevance for religion and ethics and for the principles that will guide the governance of the earth system. Such normative and ethical questions include:

• How do religious worldviews about the human-nature relation, as they are expressed in different religions and religious teachings, weigh against the predominant materialism and the increasing human power of reshaping the planet?
• How do religious worldviews view novel (potential) problems of the Anthropocene that are brought about by technological developments, such as ‘geo-engineering’ (that is, ‘managing’ planetary systems by for instance ocean fertilization or solar radiation management), synthetic biology and nanotechnology, or new proposals of managed species migration or the de-extinction of species of which sufficient DNA is available?
• What are the implications of such normative battle for fundamental principles of equity and justice between rich and poor, as well as present and future generations?
• What is the role and impact of religious leadership in crucial environmental questions ranging from population growth (e.g., religious positions around contraception), to questions of biodiversity and water use (e.g., the recent conferences organized by the Orthodox Patriarch), to the use of nuclear power?

To examine these questions in-depth and to position them within the Anthropocene debate, major research efforts are needed at the interface of global environmental politics and religion. Examining the normative battles of conflicting worldviews over the human-nature relationship, their implications for governance principles, and the role of religious leadership in inspiring, guiding and directing humankind will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the Anthropocene and the ethical approaches that can underpin effective ‘earth system’ governance in the twenty-first century. VU University Amsterdam, with its strong track-record in both studying the teachings of different religions and analysing global environmental policies, is an ideal place to engage in this research programme.

TheFellowship in Ethics of the Anthropocene
To study these important questions, VU University Amsterdam has installed a special programme for visiting researchers, the VU Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Ethics of the Anthropocene. The Fellowship is designed to attract international highly accomplished scientists from a variety of fields who specialize in the analysis of the ethical dimensions of global environmental change, with a particular, but not exclusive emphasis on the teachings of the major world religions, including indigenous spirituality. In addition to pursuing their research, Fellows are expected to participate in, and further initiate, debates among different academic communities at VU University Amsterdam and beyond. Such debates could include VU researchers for instance from the study of religion and philosophy, law, social sciences, environmental studies, and earth and life sciences. The Fellows are also encouraged to participate in public debates in the city of Amsterdam in this field, and to present their ideas and insights in public lectures on campus.

Structure of the Fellowships
The VU Distinguished Visiting Fellowship in Ethics of the Anthropocene is a grant that allows internationally prominent scientists to visit the VU for a period of three to six months. The Fellowship has been established as a joint initiative by the VU Faculty of Theology and the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, with generous support by the board of VU University Amsterdam.

In order to allow for the engagement with different religious traditions and different schools of thought, fellowships will be granted only for one period and cannot be extended or renewed. The fellowship will be granted as a lump-sum payment. Office space and further office amenities at either the Faculty of Theology or the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences will be made available.

For further information please contact either Professor Ruard Ganzevoort, head of the Department of Beliefs and Practices, VU Faculty of Theology ( or Professor Frank Biermann, head of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis at the Institute for Environmental Studies, VU Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (

Nominations for the VU Distinguished Visiting Fellowship in Ethics of the Anthropocene may be submitted at any point of time, but can normally be considered for the following year only when they are received before 1 October of the preceding year. Self-nominations are possible and encouraged. Please submit with your submission (a) a cover letter that details your research interests and plans for the Fellowship as well as (b) a complete curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and a letter of consent by your employer, if applicable. We do not expect submission of full publications or books. Nominations and applications can be submitted electronically by e-mail to Ms Marjolijn Staarink at

Please mention “The VU Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Ethics of the Anthropocene” in the Subject title of your e-mail.

Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header.

Native Land

A very good, and needed project.

Society for Radical Geography, Spatial Theory, and Everyday Life

Native Land is a project that maps indigenous territory in Canada. Visitors can input a Canadian address and the site displays the indigenous land occupied as well as links to the nation home for more information. Thanks to Liz Kinnamon for the link!

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New book – Ecological economics for the Anthropocene: an emerging paradigm

9780231173438Just out from Columbia University Press:

Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm

Edited by Peter G. Brown and Peter Timmerman

Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene provides an urgently needed alternative to the long-dominant neoclassical economic paradigm of the free market, which has focused myopically–even fatally–on the boundless production and consumption of goods and services without heed to environmental consequences. The emerging paradigm for ecological economics championed in this new book recenters the field of economics on the fact of the Earth’s limitations, requiring a total reconfiguration of the goals of the economy, how we understand the fundamentals of human prosperity, and, ultimately, how we assess humanity’s place in the community of beings.

Each essay in this volume contributes to an emerging, revolutionary agenda based on the tenets of ecological economics and advances new conceptions of justice, liberty, and the meaning of an ethical life in the era of the Anthropocene. Essays highlight the need to create alternative signals to balance one-dimensional market-price measurements in judging the relationships between the economy and the Earth’s life-support systems. In a lively exchange, the authors question whether such ideas as “ecosystem health” and the environmental data that support them are robust enough to inform policy. Essays explain what a taking-it-slow or no-growth approach to economics looks like and explore how to generate the cultural and political will to implement this agenda. This collection represents one of the most sophisticated and realistic strategies for neutralizing the threat of our current economic order, envisioning an Earth-embedded society committed to the commonwealth of life and the security and true prosperity of human society.

Special Issue on Geographies in the Anthropocene from Geographical Research

Some interesting looking papers in the latest issue of Geographical Research on the Anthropocene, the full table of contents is here.