Lauren Rickards reviews 'Defiant Earth: The fate of the humans in the Anthropocene' by Clive Hamilton

Lauren Rickards reviews 'Defiant Earth: The fate of the humans in the Anthropocene' by Clive Hamilton

Defiant Earth: The fate of the humans in the Anthropocene

Allen and Unwin, $29.99 pb, 200 pp, 9781760295967

Lauren Rickards

Lauren Rickards

Lauren Rickards researches and teaches on the social dimensions of climate change and the Anthropocene at RMIT University.

‘Forget everything you know.’ Clive Hamilton’s book pulls no punches from the first words on the cover. Building on a raft of other pieces he has written on the subject, Hamilton’s book is unsurprisingly provocative, blunt, and confident, its style matching the epic physical, intellectual, and ethical drama that is the Anthropocene.

Although the Anthropocene now needs little introduction, Hamilton begins with the science, ensuring that unlike too many other observers scientists and academics included we don’t misapprehend the Anthropocene as just some new environmental or ecosystem issue. No, the Anthropocene is a game changer, a paradigm shift; a new geological epoch that the Earth is now in due to humans’ aggregate influence changing the way the Earth System functions and pushing it and us into a new, unprecedented ‘operating state’.

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Published in October 2017, no. 395

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