Monsters in the Greenhouse: Risk, faith and science in the Anthropocene
In short, this project is looking at the concept of the Anthropocene, a scientific proposal to designate a new geologic epoch covering the past ~250 yrs that would mark the increasing impacts of human activity on the planet. I use the lens of risk and faith to explore how science, technology, religious fundamentalism and environmental politics are interacting and being debated within this new concept. My argument, in part, is that the rise of disaster narratives within popular American culture–ecological collapse, zombie apocalypse, viral pandemics–are symbolic attempts to come to grips with this changing landscape and the new forms of risk associated with the ecological reality of the Anthropocene. I also argue that the Anthropocene is influencing discourses about the environment under the guise of “post-environmental” or “post-natural” politics, and although these narratives are challenging older notions of environmental politics in important ways, they are also undermining more radical (deep/dark green) environmental positions which seek to challenge liberal forms of green politics (bright green or shallow ecology positions) which are critical of technology and capitalism as the ultimate solution to our ecological situation. Some of the material examples I look at include: 17th and 18th century geology texts (Thomas Burnet, James Hutton, Charles Lyell), The Walking Dead, True Blood, Alphas and The Colony tv shows, Bob Jones University creationist science textbooks, anti-environmental materials from the Cornwall Alliance’s Resisting The Green Dragon series, and the techno-politics of geoengineering to address climate change.
You can read the whole proposal here –> Monsters in the Greenhouse
Until next time…beware of monsters!