We live on an increasingly human-dominated planet. Our impact on the Earth has become so huge that researchers now suggest that it merits its own geological epoch - the 'Anthropocene' - where humanity is influencing every aspect of the Earth on a scale akin to the great forces of nature. But with the Anthropocene comes the 'Anthropocene gap', society's current failure to address the most profound environmental challenges of our time.
This is also the subject of a new and groundbreaking book by centre researcher Victor Galaz. The book, entitled "Global Environmental Governance, Technology and Politics - The Anthropocene Gap", combines theory development and case studies of 'planetary boundaries', emerging infectious diseases, financial markets and geoengineering to further explore the meaning behind the 'Anthropocene Gap'.
"This is not a book about climate or biodiversity politics, environmental policy, or governance for sustainable development in general. Nor is it an analysis of "green" technologies such as solar power or how social media can support environmental awareness. This book is essentially about the challenges environmental change and emerging technologies pose on our political and institutional system," says Victor Galaz.
New times, new challenges
In his book, which is published by Edward Elgar, Galaz explores how technological change not only poses new environmental risks, but also new possibilities for collective action.
"I elaborate on the argument that our transition in to the Anthropocene presents fundamentally different environmental political challenges than those experienced before. For example, we need to develop institutions and governance mechanisms that are robust enough to deal with the increasingly complex environmental issues we are facing while also allowing for fail-safe experimentation and continuous learning,” Galaz explains.
Galaz, V. 2014. Global Environmental Governance, Technology and Politics: The Anthropocene Gap. Edgar Elgar Publishing.
Victor Galaz is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in political science. His current research interests are in global environmental governance, planetary boundaries, emerging technologies and emerging political conflicts associated with the notion of the Anthropocene.
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