The emerging earths of climatic emergencies: on the island geography of life in modernity’s ruins

Huijbens, E.H.


This paper will map out the geographical contours of life in the Anthropocene borne out of the ruins produced by the particular relations of globalized capitalism and modernizing aspirations in Iceland. The focus on Iceland is in recognition of islands as scenes where these relations play out with particular intensity and visibility. Therefore, the paper will outline the island scene upon which our earthly entanglements can be readily scrutinized. Secondly, our planetary state of emergency will be outlined in relation to the logic of the Moderns, translating into the Anthropocene, setting up for the third part wherein the time of islands will be introduced and their particular relevance for analysis. The paper then proceeds to exemplify the emerging earths of the Anthropocene through a topo-ecological mapping of geothermal living in Iceland. As such, the paper argues for the need to realize two things: (a) the Earth per se does not care and (b) life will go on. Under the current state of planetary emergency, change is inevitable and will be drastic, but the emerging Earth(s) will necessarily reside in geographically specific responses, evolving from the ruins of what is, in this case, the geothermal landscapes of Iceland