ABSTRACT

This chapter provides a possible typology of the 'environmental grammars' existing at the dawn of the Anthropocene. These grammars are deeply connected to specific disciplines, from natural history to chemistry and thermodynamics, but, more importantly, they provide rules of conduct towards nature. In Man and Nature, the great American environmentalist book of the 1860s, George Perkins Marsh does not use the word; nor does Eugene Huzar in The End of the World by Science, the first catastrophic philosophy of technology. Closely related to the notion of circumfusa, the idea of climate is central to understanding early Anthropocene societies. The theme of nature's economy regularly surfaced in socio-environmental struggles of the eighteenth century. The history of the Anthropocene is not the emergence of an 'environmental consciousness', but rather the opposite. The historical problem is to understand how modernity became 'disinhibited' in its relation to nature.