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Anthropocene vs Symbiocene

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Anthropocene vs Symbiocene
According to this paper, Earth hit levels of carbon dioxide (410ppm) on 18 April - a "climate change milestone" since records were made.  Not a happy milestone, mind you, but of course we don't need to be reminded of our fate as destruction (should it be exploitation?) is all around us. Yes, I said "our fate", and not the Earth's fate, because while the Earth can reset itself, humans will probably be wiped out.

I recently read "Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist" in The Guardian.  Ian Kingsnorth, the author, says “This is bigger than anything there has ever been for as long as humans have existed, and we have done it, and now we are going to have to live through it, if we can.”  It does sound grim.

"we have created an “all-consuming global industrial system” which is “effectively unstoppable; it will run on until it runs out”. "

The age of Anthropocene is upon us. To be honest, there might be some truth to Kingsnorth's words. Having started working as an environmentalist so many years ago (okay, since the late 90s), I haven't seen much progress in terms of reducing consumption, we now have hazy days due to forest fires from our neighbour, a new incineration plant is coming up (but we already have 4), and recycling is still not getting anywhere.

Can we even exit anthropocene and move towards symbiocene? 

Here is an art collaboration that I did with Christine of Rhinestic Knick Knacks.
As you can see Symbiosis does not include humans. Anthropocene, well, you can see what humans can do.

Anthropocene vs Symbiocene


Materials used: old cotton t-shirt, thread scraps
Technique: free motion embroidery



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Abdelghafour

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4 comments

  1. It is so sad that humans are heading so fast towards their demise yet for what-ever reason so many think it is another person's problem. I fear for the future of humans on this plant whilst we continue to live with a consumer based "Me" attitude.

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  2. Rather a gloomy post :/. But we do need to wake up to the realities if we're going to change...

    On a slightly happier note, do you find embroidery therapeutic, like some people find knitting? I used to do it when I was a kid, but I haven't picked up a hoop in about 20 years.

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  3. The world has started to wake up when it comes to sustainability but still our economy is based on a need for growth, including growth in the production and consumption of physical products. Consumers are taking the lead in setting new requirements, and the focus on moving towards a circular economy is bigger in retail than most other places. To see change on the level we need as a planet, we need to take sustainability from the consumer decisions and into the business models and board room decisions that drive a lot of how our economy works. This is fortunately happening, albeit at a slow pace. Big business is pushing a lot of focus to renewable energy production - but we should be equally concerned with reducing energy consumption, and resource consumption as a whole. If businesses start with the UN sustainable development goals as a basis for the social responsibility programs - we create much better odds for our planet. And businesses can unlock greater value as consumers are getting increasingly conscious about sustainability in their buying decisions.

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