The contingency of change in the Anthropocene

more-than-real renegotiation of power relations in climate change institutional transformation in Australia

Jessica Emma McLean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Anthropocene, as a notion and a discursive field, is generating productive academic and broader debate. In this article, I analyse the creation of a crowdfunded climate change institution in Australia – the Climate Council – as an instance of everyday activism in the Anthropocene, and partly a function of the more-than-real. The more-than-real refers to the digital space that bore the Climate Council’s creation, and situates this spontaneous climate change activism. The broader context of this transformation included an abnormally hot spring season, a turn to conservative federal government, and already-active social media spaces. As an exploratory case study that introduces an example of activism steeped in desire, this research situates mainstream climate change activism squarely within the Anthropocene notion, where a large group of disaffected individuals transformed an organisation that they perceived as valuable. This type of climate change activism can be read as a productive possibility of the Anthropocene, and unsettles narratives of inevitable environmental devastation, while simultaneously raising questions of whether the Anthropocene concept can or should include digital spaces. The discourses working in, through and around the Climate Council transformation in the more-than-real are read as a disruption of the Anthropocene that may generate productive possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-527
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Anthropocene
  • activism
  • climate change
  • digital space
  • more-than-real

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