Incipit Gaia the Grotesque Garlanded with Satellites
Re-Imagining the Anthropocene as a Post-Planetary Age
Keywords:anthropocene, capitolocene, environmental humanities, outer space, astroculture
Over the last decades environmentally engaged literary critics and historians have begun to embrace a characterization of our current age as planetary. This essay presents a somewhat contrary view. It argues that to fully appreciate the gravity of our current situation we must also attend to what lies beyond the planet, acknowledging the degree to which our current scientific understanding of the Earth comes from extraterrestrial remote sensing technologies, and so historically is a product of the Space Age. Drawing on this insight, and in light of the increasing degradation of near space environments as a result of New Space capitalism, it argues that the Anthropocene ought to be re-framed in extra-planetary terms so as to include anthropogenic environmental degradation taking place on planet Earth but also beyond the limits of the atmosphere. Embracing the Anthropocene as post-planetary involves shifting consciousness and care outwards to include the extended critical zone of the impact of our artifices as opposed to limiting this environmental consciousness to the natural limits of our planet and its atmosphere.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Brad Tabas
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