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Transformation:

Preparing for the Anthropocene Transition

 The complex, multi-scale, inter-related challenges we face in the Anthropocene require more than ad hoc political, economic and technological fixes.

It is important to understand ... the magnitude of the change required in shaping a viable mode of human presence on planet Earth for the future.  All our professions and institutions need to be reinvented in this new context.  Eventually this implies rethinking ... our role within the planetary process."

 

Thomas Berry, The Great Work, 1999

A Model for Cultural Transformation

Our understanding of Earth System disruption is derived from the physical sciences -- physics, chemistry, biology, etc. As a result we turn first to those domains to find solutions. Thus our focus is on such areas as emissions reduction, renewable energy, habitat protection and, at the extreme, geo-engineering.

 

Many of these measures are essential, but they are not enough. Ultimately the crisis in the Earth System is driven by a deep conflict between the core values of our globalised human culture and the life support systems of the planet.

 

The model on the left is an attempt to create a framework for thinking about a much wider spectrum of cultural transformation over a longer time span.

 

Built around up-to-date research on the planetary boundaries we have already exceeded or will soon do so, it identifies three main stressors in the dominant human culture that are driving Earth System disruption:

  • Economic

  • Demographic

  • Socio-Political

 

These collective human behaviours are manifestations of core cultural values. It is at this more fundamental level that transformation in the dominant culture is necessary for our species, and many others, to survive the Anthropocene transition.

 

This section of the website explores this model and invites your participation in its on-going development. Please share your thoughts below before exploring the following pages:

PSYCHE  •  MYTHOS  •  EPISTEME  •  TECHNE

Ode to Transformation (extract) - Sarah Whiteley
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