Above: Will Steffen
I just watched an excellent lecture by Prof Will Steffen on the Anthropocene.
But – despite his claim that the Earth system community now includes humans in it, I think the social science community can and should go much further to collaborate. He speaks of the War on Science. He also speaks strongly about rising inequality, including praising Picketty's book, Capital in the 21st Century. (See this excellent review by Paul Krugman.)
I would go further: rising human inequality is a response (and a cause) of the changing Earth System – albeit dysfunctional. It is a response because, as resources per person diminish, those with the greatest economic power claim more, in order to preserve their lifestyle. It is also a driver because elites fear that a more sustainable economy will harm their own lifestyle. Thus, elites maintain there are no "limits to growth", there is no planetary emergency, and act to undermine sustainable and equitable policies.
Disclosure: I have known Will for about ten years. He wrote the first chapter of my edited book Climate Change and Global Health; his chapter is called "Planet Under Pressure". I greatly admire him.