ABSTRACT

This chapter looks at sub-lunar Gaia, so actively modified by human action that it has entered a new period that geologists-turned-philosophers propose to label the Anthropocene. In spite of its pitfalls, the concept of the Anthropocene offers a powerful way, if used wisely, to avoid the danger of naturalisation while ensuring that the former domain of the social, or that of the 'human', is reconfigured as being the land of the Earthlings or of the Earthbound. The spurious debate about climate science is a good indicator of that new shape. Historians of ecology are right to say that there is probably nothing completely new in the concept of the Anthropocene since conflicts about territories and their resources are as old as the human race and since warnings about the consequences those 'land grabs' have on the environment are as old as the industrial revolution.