In a broken world:towards an ethics of repair in the Anthropocene

McLaren, Duncan Peter (2018) In a broken world:towards an ethics of repair in the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review, 5 (2). pp. 136-154. ISSN 2053-0196

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With the power to break earth systems comes responsibility to care for them, and arguably to repair them. Climate geoengineering is one possible approach. But repair is under-researched and underspecified in this context. In a first attempt to establish basic principles for the obligations of repair in the Anthropocene, five disciplines of repair are briefly reviewed: reconstruction of historic buildings, remediation of human bodies, restoration of ecosystems; reconfiguration of cultural materials and artifacts; and reconciliation of broken relationships. In each case ethical practices and debates are described to help identify key themes and challenges in understanding repair. Three interlinked pragmatic ethics or virtues of repair in the Anthropocene are suggested: care, integrity, and legibility. Implications of for climate geoengineering, climate politics, and the possibilities of climate justice are explored. Climate repair is defended against objections that it would exacerbate a moral hazard effect, or frame climate responses as politically conservative.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
The Anthropocene Review
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, The Anthropocene Review, 5 (2), 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at The Anthropocene Review page: on SAGE Journals Online:
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Deposited On:
08 Aug 2018 12:38
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 01:24