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Visceral Ecology

What are the ecological conditions necessary to sustain all life on this planet? Or to put it in another way, what type of planet do we imagine ourselves inhabiting in the near future? We know that this world is itself now a brutal victim of planetary annihilation, suffering from what the philosopher and critical activist Adrian Parr has called the "wrath of capitalism". In mainstream representations, this either gives us an image of the world which is to be romantically preserved or one that is catastrophically fated by cataclysmic events to come. And yet we also know that those ecological conditions so integral to the human condition represent so much more than the audit of science. We live, breathe, feel and find ourselves aesthetically immersed, often in awe, with the unrivalled beauty and the generosity of natures ecological wonders.

 

And so whilst we might need the science to provide us with a warning about the devastating effects of worldly pollution and toxicity, and continue to work against a certain political denial, the climate is nevertheless changing (albeit at an accelerated and alarmingly unpredictable rate) and in the processes redesigning the ecological conditions for habitation. At this critical juncture in human history, with humans themselves now seen as the greatest source of planetary change (what is new referred to as the age of the Anthropocene), we desperately need to find reasons to believe in this world. This is not to deny that ecologies change. But is it to imagine that we can allow unpolluted ecologies to thrive, to continue to present their own story of colours, and in the process give to us the gift of feeling all too human. Visceral ecologies imagines the possibility of such a condition.