Defiant Earth

The fate of humans in the Anthropocene

Clive Hamilton
AUD $29.99
Availability: Print on demand

Humans have become so powerful that we are disrupting the functioning of the earth, to the point where scientists now consider we have entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Clive Hamilton argues this forces us to rethink what kind of creature we humans are, and to acknowledge the power we still have to change the world for good.

Forget everything you know. Nature is no longer nature. Humans are no longer humans. We have entered a new era -- the Anthropocene. Everything has changed.

Humans have become so powerful that we have disrupted the functioning of the Earth, bringing on a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The stable environmental conditions that allowed civilisation to flourish are disappearing.

What does it mean to have arrived at this point, where human history and Earth history collide? Clive Hamilton argues we need to rethink everything. The modern belief that we are free beings making our own future by taking control of our environment is now indefensible. We have rendered the Earth more unpredictable and less controllable; a disobedient planet. And it's too late to turn back the geological clock.

We must face the fact that humans are at the centre of the world, even if we must give up the idea we can control the planet. These truths call for a new kind of anthropocentrism, a philosophy by which we might use our power responsibly and find a way to live on a defiant Earth.

'A dark, disturbing, provocative and entirely original work, which should be read by everyone genuinely interested in the future of humankind.' Robert Manne FASSA, Emeritus Professor of Politics and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow, La Trobe University

Author bio:

Clive Hamilton is Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. One of Australia's leading thinkers, he is author of the bestselling Requiem for a Species, and The Freedom Paradox and Growth Fetish.

Category: Popular science
ISBN: 9781760295967
Table Of Contents: Preface: On waking up


1. The Anthropocene Rupture

A rupture in Earth history

Volition in nature

Earth System science

Scientific misinterpretations

The ecomodernist gloss

An epoch by any other name

2. A New Anthropocentrism

To doubt everything

Anthropocentrism redux

The antinomy of the Anthropocene

A new anthropocentrism

The world-making creature

The new anthropocentrism versus ecomodernism

In praise of technology

3. Friends and Adversaries

Grand narratives are dead, until now

After post-humanism

The freak of nature

The ontological wrong turn

Recovering the cosmological sense?

4. A Planetary History?

The significance of humans

Does history have a meaning?

An Enlightenment fable 'Politics is fate'

5. The Rise and Fall of the Super-agent

Freedom is woven into nature-as-a-whole

Responsibility is not enough

Living without Utopia



Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: April 2017
Page Extent: 200
Format: Book
Subject: The environment