Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene

16 May 2017, 6.15 PM - 16 May 2017, 7.15 PM

Prof. Clive Hamilton

Peel Lecture Theatre

Attendance free, but booking required. Tickets are available here.

Humans have become so powerful that we have disrupted the functioning of the earth, bringing on a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – in which the serene and clement conditions that allowed civilisation to flourish are now disappearing. What does it mean to have arrived at this point, where human history and earth history collide? 

Some see the Anthropocene as no more than a development of what they already know. But the Anthropocene demands that we rethink everything. We have rendered the earth more unpredictable and less controllable and created a disobedient planet. Attempts to cut humans down to size by attacking anthropocentrism come up against the insurmountable fact that human beings now possess enough power to change the earth's course. It's too late to turn back the geological clock, and there is no returning to pre-modern ways of thinking.

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, explains that we must face the fact that humans are at the centre of the world, even if we must give up the idea that we can control the planet. He calls for a new kind of anthropocentrism, and explores how we might use our power responsibly and find a way to live on a defiant earth.

Clive Hamilton is Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. His books include: Growth Fetish (2003), Affluenza (with Richard Denniss, 2005), Silencing Dissent (edited with Sarah Maddison, 2007), Requiem for a Species: Why we Resist the Truth about Climate Change (2010) and Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering (2013). His new book is Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene. Until 2008 he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded in 1994. In 2012 he was appointed by the Federal Government to the Climate Change Authority but he resigned in protest earlier this year. He regularly appears in the Australian media and contributes to public policy debates. Follow him on Twitter @CliveCHamilton.