About the Book
For more than two decades, award-winning science and environmental journalist, Christian Schwägerl has researched how humans, nature, and technology interact. Schwägerl is inspired by the idea of Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen who argued that we are living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, a time in which human dominance of Earth’s biological, chemical and geological processes is an undeniable reality, presenting us with a new role as planetary stewards.
But what does it mean to live in the Anthropocene? Schwägerl investigates this question by visiting some of the last pristine places on Earth, exploring rising megacities and witnessing the devastation of forests and coral reefs. Melding rigorous scientific training with his experience as a journalist, he has covered high-profile political and environmental conferences, and interviewed key figures influencing the course of our future. The result is this thoroughly researched, comprehensive overview of our planetary situation and outlook. Schwägerl presents tangible solutions to our global crises, and shares his vision of a world that balances ecological sustainability, economic prosperity, political justice and cultural vibrancy.
The Anthropocene was praised by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) as an “intellectually exciting book” which “shows us how we humans turn our relationship with Nature upside down. Over millennia we were rebels against a more powerful force. Now it is we who decide what will be Nature tomorrow and after, e.g. by determining the climate and altering the oceans. ” Jeanne Rubner of the Süddeutsche Zeitung noted that Schwagerl “may not be summoning the apocalypse so much as ringing in the ‘Sunrise world’” and that the author reveals himself as a “Green Utopian.” Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder, Former CEO of Berlin’s Museum of Natural History and advisor to the German government on global environmental change, calledThe Anthropocene “skillfully investigated. It invites us to join a dawning Age of Humans, where total responsibility is fundamental in our value system.” (Review in Tagesspiegel.)
“Schwägerl asks for a radical cultural shift. The goal is a globally connected eco-high-tech-society. Science from the West, moderation from the Far East combine to a new value system: the matured primate Homo sapiens learns how to live sustainably.” (3Sat Kulturzeit (National German Cultural TV)
PRAISE FOR THE GERMAN EDITION:
Christian Schwägerl’s book shows us that we humans turn our relationship with Nature upside down. Over millennia we were rebels against a more powerful force. Now it is we who decide what will be Nature tomorrow and after, e.g. by determining the climate and altering the oceans. The Anthropocene is an intellectually exciting book and at the same time the work of a father who tries to tell his children what’s happening with planet Earth.
Achim Steiner, Executive director of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP)
One of the most intelligent how-to-save-the-planet books in a long time.
DIE ZEIT Science Magazine, December 2010
The Anthropocene is full of facts, yet very graphically written. It doesn’t stop with analyzing how we destroy nature. Schwägerl screens science and technology for solutions, draws on philosophy and the history of culture for orientation. It’s a book that allows a look behind the ‘apocalyptic curtain.’ And it’s an invitation for everyone to become part of a new movement – a permanent environmental summit.
Ulrike Heckmann, North German Radio NDR
This book is skillfully investigated. It invites us to join a dawning Age… where total responsibility is fundamental in our value system.
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder, Humboldt-University Berlin, former director of the Berlin Natural history Museum
There are so many doomsday books that one is skeptical of new titles about the environment. But Christian Schwägerl takes a fresh approach. His book lacks the usual fundamental skepticism about science and technology. He shows how they can contribute to saving our planet.
Deutschlandradio Kultur (German National Radio)
Schwägerl asks for a radical cultural shift. The goal is a globally connected eco-high-tech-society. Science from the West, moderation from the Far East combine to a new value system: the matured primate Homo sapiens learns how to live sustainably.
3Sat Kulturzeit (National cultural TV)
Schwägerl interprets the Anthropocene not as apocalypse, but as an overdue modernization of our sinful consumerism….He develops a breath-taking planetary vision, a green and just utopia.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung