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BioSocieties

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 396–400 | Cite as

Life in the ruins

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2013, US$23.66, ISBN: 978-0691162751 Thom Van Dooren Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, New York, Columbia University Press, 2014, US$24.00, ISBN: 978-0231166188 Jamie Lorimer Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. US$25.00, ISBN: 978-0816681082
  • Gregg Mitman
Article

“What obligations do we have to hold open space in the world for other living beings?” writes Thom Van Dooren in his book Flight Ways (p. 5).At a time when rapid climate change, accelerated species extinction, and growing wealth inequality have made ways of being in the world precarious for countless human and nonhuman actors, it is a fitting question. How to characterize this planetary moment is up for grabs, with Anthropocene, Capitalocene, or Chthulucene on offer. Despite the differences inherent in these epoch-making world views, each struggles to name what is being felt, seen, and heard among diverse life forms inhabiting this Earth. The conditions faced by today’s creatures—rising temperatures, ocean acidification, leaky toxics, growing megacities, and vast monoculture plantations, to name a few—are essentially akin to the asteroid strike that brought an end to the Cretaceous period and ushered in a new era of life and life forms. Three books, all very good, all very different,...

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical History and BioethicsUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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