The arrival of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which humans exert a dominant influence over the Earth’s environment, has resulted in a reconsideration of environmentalist values. Returning to nature may no longer be a core concept among modern environmental movements because, in short, there is no longer a nature to return to. Unlike stalwart positions taken in decades past, modern organizations are seeking allies in the business world in ways that are consistent with the Anthropocene, i.e. the recognition that humans, for better or worse, are now in the planetary driver’s seat.
What’s the Big Idea?
The question remains: Are environmentalist ceding away essential ground in their willingness to seek out industrial allies? “They’re certainly more nimble than their ideological opponents in the Republican Party, who remain in lockstep against virtually any engagement on climate change—which most Republicans seem to doubt in the first place—and aim to roll back environmental protections whenever possible.” As added evidence that humanity is decoupling from nature, it is estimated that by 2050, as many as three-fourths of a human population of 10 billion will live in urban centers.