The metamorphosis

“The probable outcome is disintegration. The unlikely but possible outcome is metamorphosis” Edgar Morin


What future will the Anthropocene bring us? We know that the current dynamics cannot last for much longer.

However, there are only two possible outcomes for an unsustainable system. Either it breaks down and eventually disintegrates, or it adapts and transforms itself. The amplification and acceleration of the processes that led to the Anthropocene prove that modernity has come to a breaking point: it doesn’t know how to solve the problem it has posed itself.

For the philosopher Edgar Morin, this leaves only two alternatives for our societies: either they disintegrate or they metamorphose into something new.

Disintegration ...

The first alternative is to continue the path followed by the West, and most of the world, for the last six centuries. This path leads us to an escalation of technical solutions that are increasingly grandiose and perilous, with increasingly serious consequences. This dangerous way now wants to regulate the climate with the help of technology (geoengineering), but remains blind with regards to the causes and reasons which made us enter the Anthropocene.

... or metamorphosis

The second alternative is to realize that technology alone is not powerful enough to allow us to adapt to this situation. Even if the Anthropocene is a concept from the natural sciences, it signals strongly that we are nearing the end of modernity. Although tremendous changes have come to light during this historic period, some of its values, which still condition our worldview, must be renewed. The necessary metamorphosis of the way we are present to the world then goes through the rediscovery of our belonging to this web of life that is the biosphere. Only by weaving new relationships with Earth and remembering that we are earthlings, will we begin the necessary reconciliation with nature.


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