Anthropocene as Energy Imaginaries: Fossil Culture between Industrial Revolution and Ecological Crisis
Keywords:anthropocene, energy imagineries, fossil culture, industrial revolution, global warming
This essay proposes a reading of the Anthropocene from the reconstruction of the energy imaginaries at the beginning of industrial civilisation. The transformations that took place in the energy matrix of productive processes, with the new social and geographical organisation of work derived from the use of fossil fuels, had their correlate in the appearance of a series of discourses and images with a strong ideological component. The emergence of thermodynamic science, based on the observation of the processes of energy transformation, was underpinned by narratives oriented to boost the denigration of subjects who resisted integration into the productive devices of the industrial world. These imaginaries contributed to naturalise a certain worldview, where the universe was assimilated to an immense repository of energy at the service of the West civilisational project, where the development of industry should guarantee the production of exponential wealth. In this context, the imaginaries of energy contributed to constituting a new socio-environmental relationship that, for the last two centuries, has conditioned the cultural development of fossil modernity, while generating eco-systemic effects that are at the origin of the climate crisis.
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