In a series of recent essays, Dipesh Chakrabarty has analyzed the Anthropocene as a problem of incommensurable conceptual scales and offered a historiographic meditation on the difficulty of visualizing its threat. After surveying Chakrabarty's analysis, this essay poses two thought experiments in such visualization. Each takes its start from a type of model used in evolutionary studies, respectively, the feedback systems of niche construction and the graphing of fitness or adaptive “landscapes.” In each case the model is adapted in qualitative ways in order to encounter a deep human history, and each thus aims to represent the systemic changes in this history that anthropogenic climate change has brought about.
Gary Tomlinson; Two Deep-Historical Models of Climate Crisis. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2017; 116 (1): 19–31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3749282
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