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Explores the causes and implications of the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans, from multiple points of view including anthropological, scientific, social, artistic, and economic.

Although we arrived only recently in Earth's timeline, humans are driving major changes to the planet's ecosystems. Even now, the basic requirements for human life--air, water, shelter, food, nature, and culture--are rapidly transforming the planet as billions of people compete for resources. These changes have become so noticeable on a global scale that scientists believe we are living in a new chapter in Earth's story: the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans. Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans is a vital look at this era. The book contextualizes the Anthropocene by presenting paleontological, historical, and contemporary views of various human effects on Earth. It discusses environmental and biological systems that have been changed and affected; the causes of the Anthropocene, such as agricultural spread, pollution, and urbanization; how societies are responding and adapting to these changes; how these changes have been represented in art, film, television, and literature; and finally, offers a look toward the future of our environment and our own lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588346452
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 782,157
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

W. JOHN KRESS, a distinguished scientist and curator of botany at the National Museum of Natural History, formerly served at the Smithsonian as the Grand Challenges Consortia's director of science and the interim undersecretary for science. Trained in evolutionary biology, systematics, and ecology, he is also the author of The Weeping Goldsmith: Discoveries in the Secret Land of Myanmar. JEFFREY K. STINE is curator for environmental history at the National Museum of American History and the author of the award-winning books Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and America's Forested Wetlands: From Wasteland to Valued Resource.

Table of Contents

Foreword Elizabeth Kolbert ix

Introduction W. John Kress Jeffrey K. Stine 1

I A Changing Planet

The Advent of the Anthropocene J. R. McNeill 10

Thinking Like a Mountain in the Anthropocene Scott L. Wing 18

The Underwater Anthropocene Douglas J. McCauley 23

What Will It Mean to Be Human? Rick Pdtts 27

Rethinking Economic Growth Paula Caballero Carter J. Brandon 32

II Drivers of Change

The Fire That Made the Future Stephen J. Pyne 40

A New Dream of the Earth Wade Davis 44

Locating Ourselves in Relation to the Natural World Lindsay L. Clarkson 48

Temperate Forests: A Tale of the Anthropocene Sean M. McMahon 53

Urban Nature / Human Nature Peter Del Tredici 58

Atmospherics and the Anthropocene Kelly Chance 62

Beyond the Biosphere: Expanding the Limits of the Human World Lisa Ruth Rand 66

III Responding to Change

Archaeology and the Future of Our Planet Torben C. Rick 74

Living on a Changing Planet; Why Indigenous Voices Matter Igor Krupnik 78

Black and Green: The Forgotten Commitment to Sustainability

Lonnie G. Bunch III 83

Forest Succession and Human Agency in an Uncertain Future Robin L. Chazdon 87

Ocean 2.0 J. Emmett Duffy 91

The Earth Is a Garden Ari Novy Peter H. Raven Holly H. Shimizu 95

Human Health in the Anthropocene George E. Luber 99

IV Visual Culture

The City in the Sea: Alexis Rockman's Anthropocene Imaginings Joanna Marsh 108

African Art and the Anthropocene Karen E. Milbourne 113

Why Polar Beats? Seeing the Arctic Anew Subhankar Banerjee 117

The Return of the Boomerang Luc Jacquet 121

Filmmaking in the Anthropocene John Grabowska 125

Picturing Planetary Petri: Visual Media and the Environmental Crisis Finis Dunaway 129

V The Way Forward

Dragons in the Greenhouse: The Value of Knowledge and the Danger of Uncertainty Richard B. Alley 138

Why Scientists and Engineers Must Work Together G. Wayne Clough 142

Hazards to Our Heritage: Choices and Solutions Corine Wegener 145

The Unequal Anthropocene Rob Nixon 149

The Global Commons Naoko Ishii 153

Can We Redefine the Anthropocene? Thomas E. Lovejoy 157

Afterword Edward O. Wilson 161

Notes 165

Further Reading 171

List of Contributors 175

Acknowledgments 187

Index 189

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