ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the specific question of the potential duration and ending of the Anthropocene. The main question here will be to consider the political issues around whether humankind will remain for such a long time the active geological force it is today, or whether it will be simply an inertial geological force subsequent to just a few decades of intensive fossil fuel burning. According to Dobson, green political thought is characterised by the conviction that there are limits to growth, which are a biophysical obstacle to the eternal perpetuation of thermo-industrial civilisation. The chapter argues that various conceptions of the late Anthropocene currently coexist and can roughly be divided between continuist and catastrophist ones. The continuist conceptions are Promethean in nature, based on 'techno-fix' solutions such as geoengineering technologies, while the catastrophist ones argue that humankind does not have the technical capacity to remain for long an active geological force.