Contributing to Sustainability through Translation in Governing the Anthropocene

Oktay Eser

Abstract


There are many factors that contribute to changes in the Earth’s system, one of which is humanity. Due to the loss of habitat related to human activities, slightly less than a quarter of Earth’s terrestrial biomes are untouched. We seem to be living in a transition period from the Holocene epoch into the Anthropocene epoch. We are faced with many and diverse kinds of environmental changes that have been taking place. It is apparently a new phase in the history of humanity as well as the planet Earth which is being shaped by human forces and natural forces. The Earth that we live on is a permanently changing system. It is changing irreversibly through human activity, which will leave a substantial trace in the geological record of the Earth’s history. Some of these changes are permanent, even on a geological time scale. Since the beginning of the 19th century, there has been a rise in the number of human beings from under a billion to over six billion now. A rapidly growing population has had a global impact on the environment and made the exploitation of natural resources soar. There have been major changes to the Earth in terms of landscape and biodiversity. As a consequence of the global impact of human activities, sustainability of the Earth in the age of the Anthropocene has important consequences. This could pose a potential threat to biodiversity and international peace apart from geology. As a force of nature, humanity needs to act responsibly in order to compensate for the human impact on the environment and engage in processes that will re-shape a future that is morally acceptable. All global human initiatives are about people working together across different languages and cultures around the world. Social sciences can also play a part in understanding the Anthropocene. Therefore, I will focus on how translation could help to coordinate international initiatives and communicate more effectively in order to address the Anthropocene. Better communication will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of global initiatives. This will result in human action changing from uncoordinated individual action to coordinated social action at either local or global levels. Coping with (governing) the challenges of the age of the Anthropocene will require a collaborative effort taking into account multilingual communication.


Keywords


Anthropocene, Translation, Sustainability, Multilingualism

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