Environment, Justice, and the Anthropocene: Disruptions, Disturbances, and Detachments

Stream: Panel 61 - Environmental Politics: Environmental Justice 
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 9.00 am – 10.30 am


To date, the social science and humanities literature on the Anthropocene has been fairly devoid of considerations of justice. From wilderness advocates to ecomodernists, both critics and cheerleaders for the concept have failed to address the main issues facing the most vulnerable. The Anthropocene will bring two kinds of disruptions, both with justice implications. On the one hand, the slow violence of environmental deterioration, as Rob Nixon has called it, will continue to inequitably undermine the cultures, food, land, and health of vulnerable communities. Simultaneously, these injustices will also come quickly, in singular events like Katrina, wildfires, and heatwaves. The Anthropocene will encompass ongoing examples of both slow and evolutionary devastation, and punctuated disequilibrium and disturbance. The central argument here is that these disruptive, displacing impacts will primarily impact a key need and demand of environmental justice – attachments to community.


David Schlosberg (Presenter), University of Sydney
David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007); co-author of Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016). His most recent article, on ‘The New Environmentalism of Everyday Life’ is available open access from Contemporary Political Theory. David’s current work includes justice and adaptation planning, environmentalism and everyday life, and theoretical implications of the Anthropocene.