Welcome to the Anthropocene! Biopolitics, Climate Change and the End of the World as We Know It
Format: Conference Paper
Publication Year: 2011
Source ID: shanti-sources-80116
Collection: Anthropocene and the Environmental Future
Abstract: Biopolitics has engaged emergence, and the contemporary concerns with disease and newforms of life as potential threats requiring numerous processes of security. This discussion has not yet substantially engaged with the “emergence” of urbanity as a “threat” to the Holocene climate system. Now that earth sciences are clear that we are in the Anthropocene, a geological era marked by the industrial production of novel forcing mechanisms in the biosphere, the climate security discussion has to engage biopolitics if the theoretical basis of both is to be informed by the other. None of this suggests either conceptual clarity, nor an obvious set of policy implications, but interrogating climate security as a policy desideratum within the conceptualisations of biopolitics offers some insights into the limits of both. It also raises questions of how Anthropocene futures are imagined and incorporated into political discourse, and how these might change if emergence and life, rather than cartographies of permanence, distance and protection are the lenses through which that future is projected. If stability and safe spaces are exceptions rather than the norm, much needs to be thought differently; not least the geopolitical categories brought to bear on the discussion of climate change.