Scholars from different disciplines confirm that our planet has recently entered into a new epoch in its history: the “Anthropocene” period. It refers to a new geological era characterized by the action of humans, for the first time having the capability of modifying and conditioning the morphology of the globe and therefore its ecology in an increasingly significant way. Such a transformation has not occurred without pain. From the middle of the 20th century, industrial growth and expansion, the accelerating rhythm of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and unprecedented population growth have consumed two thirds of the globe’s ecosystems: a situation of mounting unsustainability.
This condition is a threat for the globe and for the very survival of humankind. Is it possible to avert such a tendency and to reestablish a new global equilibrium? Can strategies be conceived to encourage a more equitable and sustainable relationship between humans and the planet?
The essays appearing in this issue address and develop the reflections surrounding these types of questions. Some of these frame the gravity of the situation from a theoretical standpoint. On one hand, the blind faith in progress (a behavior that still has not disappeared today) is analyzed as a carrier of a “de-naturalization” of nature itself; on the other hand, what is highlighted is the possibility of understanding the problem of the Anthropocene not as the end of life, but as the end of the world.