“We had a garden and we paved it”: The Expanse and the Philosophy of the Anthropocene

Diletta De Cristofaro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Expanse 's ocean is the lifeless and polluted ocean forecast by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The disastrous impact of human activities on the Earth characterizes our age. In The Expanse , humankind has survived climate change thanks to technological solutions aimed at stabilizing the climate and managing the risks of global warming. The Expanse depicts humanity as having failed to learn the Anthropocene's lessons, and hence repeating the mistakes made on Earth across the Sol System and beyond. Bobbie's encounter with a lifeless and polluted ocean and the prediction of Ganymede's cascade combine to drive home The Expanse 's warning about our Anthropocene. The concept of the Anthropocene has issues, and anthropocentrism is one of them. The devastating tsunami Holden inadvertently unleashes on Ilus acts as a powerful metaphor for the unintended consequences of human activities on Earth, especially given the role that rising sea levels will play in our Anthropocene future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Expanse and Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationSo far out into the Darkness
EditorsJeffery Nicholas
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ, USA
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781119755630
ISBN (Print)9781119755609
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021

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