ABSTRACT

In the Anthropocene, the 'human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of Nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system'. Anthropogenic impacts - increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but also cross-global species invasion, disturbance to the nitrogen cycle and so on - do not just happen but are the consequence, intended or otherwise, of decisions taken by human minds. By the same token, the biologistic account of humans as animals with instincts, drives and selfish genes becomes even more indefensible in the Anthropocene because it is precisely because humans are not like other animals that the new epoch has arrived. The climate crisis is upon us not because markets are not working well enough but because the market system is working too well in accelerating global energy and material cycles.