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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, the main character, Hushpuppy, lays out the dilemma of environmental management in the Anthropocene: “For the animals that didn’t have a dad to put them in the boat, the end of the world already happened.” The Anthropocene will not recede, and the central question of environmental management will be whether we can develop ways to reflexively and sustainably manage ecosystems, habitats, and human needs. This chapter examines four possible normative underpinnings for such management: traditional notions of preservation and restoration, the idea of ecological limits and boundaries, the continued hubris of promethean technological intervention, and a conception of ecological receptivity or a “politics of sight” that makes visible human immersion in natural systems. As sight is a particular characteristic of the Anthropocene, this form of receptivity may hold some promise for environmental management.

Keywords: Anthropocene, environmental management, preservation, limits, promethean, ecological receptivity

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