5 June 2011

Next to nature

Two points from Peter Kahn:
  • Eventually there might be a new ontological category of beings, that are both alive and not alive at the same time.
  • I've had many discussions with people who say that, yes, things are getting worse for us environmentally, but we're an adaptive species so we'll simply adapt. I argue, however, that just because we do adapt, it doesn't mean we're going to adapt well. If you put us in prison, we would adapt. We wouldn't die, but we wouldn't do well. I think that as we continue to degrade nature and distance ourselves from it, we are adapting, but I don't think we are necessarily thriving - we're like animals in a zoo.

I find Levi Bryant on Wilderness Ontology opaque, but will try to get to grips with it.

Oliver Morton may be right when he says that in the Anthropocene 'wilderness, for good or ill, is increasingly irrelevant. As the ecologist Simon Lewis argues, embracing the Anthropocene 'means treating humans not as insignificant observers of the natural world but as central to its workings, elemental in their force.'

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