How to Save the Earth in the Era of the Anthropocene How to Save the Earth in the Era of the Anthropocene
Eean Chen
Dreams and Visions

How to Save the Earth in the Era of the Anthropocene

Edwin Bendyk
time 4 minutes

In her poignant Epoka człowieka. Retoryka i marazm antropocenu [The Human Epoch: The Rhetoric and Apathy of the Anthropocene], Ewa Bińczyk writes: “The Anthropocene desperately needs critical hope and conviction that constructive change is possible.” The philosopher examines the strange condition of mankind that has just reached the peak of its dominance, gaining the power to shape the entire geo- and ecosystem. Yes, we are living in the Anthropocene, the epoch of humans. Instead of rejoicing, however, we must accept that its swift culmination may equal an ecological apocalypse. And although we are well aware of the scenarios describing the approaching catastrophe, we are not able to take action that would protect us from the worst. Bińczyk sums up her work with a complaint: “How wonderful would it be to offer an array of inspiring utopias at the end of this work. Unfortunately, I did not come across any while examining the discourses of the Anthropocene.”

Is the situation truly as bleak as she claims? After all, there is no shortage of proposals for how to better organize the world. While the Kurdish Rojava are experimenting with the system of democratic confederalism, Bolivians and Ecuadorians have revised their constitutions to reflect the principle of buen vivir – ‘good living’ or ‘well living’ – questioning the idea that development should


You’ve reached your free article’s limit this month. You can get unlimited access to all our articles and audio content with our digital subscription. If you have an active subscription, please log in.


Also read:

Endless Cities Endless Cities
Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942, The Art Institute of Chicago

Endless Cities

The Irresistible Rise of Mass Urbanization
Paulina Wilk

By the time we reach the halfway point in our current century, half of the world’s population will be living in slums. And this is a rather good piece of news. 

The slim stalk of the Burj Khalifa vanishes in the bright sunlight. Its surface glistens, the reflected rays forcing people looking up to lower their gaze. The world’s tallest building is best viewed in the evening, when it becomes illuminated with artificial light, surrounded by a show of fountains shooting plumes of water, arranged to a set of romantic tunes. Families crowd along the balustrades, trying to get a picture of the tower, but it won’t fit in the shot, sticking way out past the artificially-imagined metropolitan landscape. Reality is not what the Burj is about – it is improbable; too big to fit our imaginations. Like all of Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is most of all a statement. Its presence announces: borders existed yesterday, the future is all about moving or removing them completely.

Continue reading