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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.

Beyond these possible general theoretical outlooks, the essays Reflecting on Local Reality: Tensions and Challenges of Sustainable development in Contexts of Urban Poverty and The Social Construction of Water scarcity: an Exploratory Study Along theBharathapuzhain Kerala are dedicated to the investigation of two case studies. In the first case, the reflection focuses on the implications that are derived from the relationship between the practices and the social representations of the people living in conditions of extreme urban poverty in the shanty towns of the periphery of La Plata and the paradigm of sustainable development at the base of the environmental politics and the denial of the Argentine government. In the second case, the problem of water scarcity is confronted. Water scarcity characterizes the territory situated along the river basin of the Bharathapuzha River in Kerala. The causes to be researched are man’s actions.

Even from different perspectives, what emerges without a doubt from each of the contributions is the need to profoundly reflect on the relationship between humanity and the globe on which we live. As is highlighted in the articles, Issues, Concepts and Applications for Sustainability and Policy in the Anthropocene, what is most needed seems to be a reflection on the concept of sustainable development in its economic, environmental and social dimensions, and thus the search for collaborative policies that allow the involvement of numerous and diversified actors in decision-making processes.

DOI: 10.12893/gjcpi.2018.3.8

Editorial Scholars from different disciplines confirm that our planet has recently entered into a new epoch in its history: the “Anthropocene” period.
Current Issue's Articles
Credere nel mondo: l'umano e la fine Abstract : In this essay I try to underline the relation between different ways to think about the end of the world and different philosophical anthropologies, which are always presupposed in those thoughts.
Issues, Concepts and Applications for Sustainability Abstract : Humanity and societies today face important challenges related to sustainability and these are expected to become more significant in the future.
Macerie: il fantasma della natura nell'era dell'Antropocene Abstract : The blind faith in progress, as a submission to a nomosimbued with mythical elements, is declined today through concepts and slogans which participate in the umpteenth ideological ...
Policy in the Anthropocene Abstract : This article discusses recent works on the notions of postpolitics and sustainability in conjunction with illustrative examples from empirical data collected during long-term fieldwork in and around the tourist town of Broome in the West Kimberley region in Australia.
Reflecting on Local Reality: Tensions and Challenges of Sustainable Development in Contexts of Urban Poverty Abstract : The aim of this paper is to present some reflections on the tensions and challenges that emerge from both the literature review on sustainable development and the study of sustainable development as a paradigm in local contexts.
The Social Construction of Water Scarcity: an Exploration Study along the "Bharathapuzha" in Kerala Abstract : Water scarcity is a very critical issue in the context of sustainability and global environmental change. However, the notion of scarcity also has its local roots that are constructed by diverse actors with specific values, knowledge and interests.