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Mark Levene (Emeritus fellow at the University of Southampton UK, and a long-time environmental and peace activist. He writes, among other things, about genocide, European and Middle Eastern nationalisms and “minority” relations, as well as anthropogenic climate change. He is founder of Rescue!History.)
Historian Mark Levene, an Emeritus Fellow at the University of Southampton (UK) who authored the climate statement, opened the series. In his talk, “Facing Off or Facing up to ‘The End’? Reflections on the Omnicidal Trajectory of Homo Anthropocenus” (28 September 2021), he examined how mankind has repeatedly ignored opportunities to avert major existential threats to the planet. In presenting the subject through the lens of his political and intellectual evolution, Levene considered milestones from his life as an environmentalist and peace activist. He began by showing the doomsday clock that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created, at the dawn of the nuclear age, to broadcast the dangers inherent in technology. The scientists who monitor the world’s vulnerability eventually incorporated climate change into their prognostications, which currently calculate that mankind is within 100 seconds of extinction.