"The anthropocene and the rupture of climate change" by Prof Clive Hamilton

Past Event

12 June 2015, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

School of Geography and Environment
South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY

This lecture and Panel Discussion is hosted by the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests, an Oxford Martin School Centre in partnership with agile-ox

Speaker: Professor Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra

Summary: Earth System scientists believe the Earth has entered a new epoch in the Geological Time Scale, the Anthropocene or ‘the Age of Man’, in which humans now rival the great forces of nature in determining the geological trajectory of the planet. The new epoch, driven mainly by human-induced climate change, represents a rupture in Earth history with profound consequences for humankind and the Earth System itself. The concept grew out of the new discipline of Earth System science, a ‘paradigm shift’. A number of scientists and social scientists have put forward interpretations of the Anthropocene that, mostly unconsciously, deflate the significance of the new epoch and the threat it poses to humankind and the Earth. It has variously been equated with the Holocene, interpreted as just another instance of ecological or landscape change, rendered banal by the discovery of historical ‘precursors’, and framed as a welcome opportunity for humans to remake the Earth. Each of these can be shown to be a misreading of Earth System science.


  • Professor Yadvinder Malhi (Chair), Director, Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests
  • Dr Jamie Lorimer
  • Dr Paul Jepson
  • Dr Tom Thornton

All welcome. To book a place for this event please visit https://v1.bookwhen.com/octf

About the speaker

Clive Hamilton is an Australian academic and author. His books include Growth Fetish (Pluto Press), Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change (Earthscan) and Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering (Yale UP). He is the co-editor (with Christophe Bonneuil and Francois Gemenne) of the just-released The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking modernity in a new epoch (Routledge). Clive is currently writing a book on the larger meaning of the Anthropocene. He is currently Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. He has held various visiting academic positions, including at Yale University, Sciences Po and the University of Oxford.