RISKS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
Praça 9 de abril
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Will Steffen (Emeritus Professor Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University)
Patrick Keys (Lead Scientist, School of Global Enviromental Sustainability, Colorado State University)
This panel is being organized within the scope of the International Green Marble Meeting 2022 taking place at Fernando Pessoa University, Porto, Portugal, between 30 June and 2 July. We invite all those interested in participating to submit a proposal (abstract with 300-400 words + short biography with 100-200 words) by sending it by February 28 to the following email addresses: [email protected] or [email protected]
Organizers: Carmen Diego Gonçalves, Orfeu Bertolami, João Ribeiro Mendes
This panel intends to contribute to scientific dissemination, within the ethos of science, and in this sense to help people understand the risks they face and the behaviors that can change, and contribute to a reflective thinking about economic and political decisions.
Risks have always been present throughout human history, however today they are qualitatively different, as many of them are anthropic (human-made).
A basic assumption in the age of the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002) is that man-made impact on climate change and terrestrial ecosystem occur on an unprecedented scale by diverting us from the Holocene reference conditions and led us to an emerging geological era. This is a multidimensional problem, not reducible to classical geological terms - units of time and strata. The dichotomy ecological system/social system, which was satisfactory for the Holocene, is now being questioned, and has given way to a hybrid, the “socio-ecological systems”, where what once seemed to be autonomous entities, look now inseparable (entangled).
In the age of reflexive modernity, problems of nature are problems “of people”, social problems (Beck, 2000) – “nature is society and society is nature.” Modern societies are facing the limits of their development model. Risk is currently given the same degree of importance as poverty in the 19th century and security in the 20th century. Since then, political confidence and legitimacy have been achieved through the progressive development of the Welfare State, based on control and security assumptions, through which both public and private institutions provide guarantees against risk in different dimensions of life, namely in public health, pensions, unemployment and sickness and welfare benefits. States and citizens face dangers and risks, the more systematically intensified the greater the vulnerability and uncertainty associated with decision-making processes.
The distinction between hazard, risk, and disaster is important because it illustrates the diversity of perspectives on how we recognize and assess environmental threats (hazards), what we do about them (dangers and risks), and how we respond to them after they occur (disasters). Therefore, in a world of complex systems, involving highly coupled human and natural systems, and multifaceted social, economic and political institutions, high levels of uncertainty challenge existing assessment methods and established procedures for decision-making and risk management (Kasperson, 2009), that must be an investment in communities resilient within the frame of eco-sociological systems (Diego Gonçalves e Bertolami, 2021).
Crutzen, P. (2002). Geology of Mankind. Nature 415: p. 23; Beck, U. (2000). Risk Society Revisited: Theory, Politics and Research Programmes. In B. Adam, U. Beck & J. van Loon (eds.), The Risk Society and Beyond. Critical Issues for Social Theory (pp. 211-229). London: Sage Publications; Kasperson, R. (2009). Coping with deep uncertainty: Challenges for environmental assessment and decision-making. Uncertainty and Risk. London: Earthscan; Diego Gonçalves, C., & Bertolami, O. (2021). The anthropic risks, climate change and coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A conceptual reflection on risk and disaster as a contribution to public perceptions. Anthropocenica. Revista de Estudos do Antropoceno e Ecocrítica, 2, pp. 25-49
February 28, 2022, 9:00am +01:00
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