Literature Review/ Horizon Scanning

environment_2050_adriansalamandre.jpgIf we keep going the way we are, Australia’s environment will be in trouble in 2050 (Lowe 2011).


I could have explored love in terms of relationships and sex but I decided to explore love from the aspects of love and respect for something other than for humans. Humans are greedy in this sense – mother nature provides us with our surroundings and we abuse it.


The film Her (Orr, 2013), set in a not to distant future, argues that the environment will die. Jonze shows this throughout his film through the lack of greenery and the highly polluted sky (Her 2013). He also presents the idea that true love (human romance) cannot exist alongside artificial intelligence. He dictates that if humankind continues the current trend of aggressive technological development our environment will be neglected as a consequence. Without the natural environment, Jonze proposes that love will be more common between humans and machines, rather than humans and humans. It therefore becomes clear that if we don’t change our approach to the environment eventually human to human love won’t exist.

“What makes love real: the lover, the loved one, or the means by which love is conveyed? Need it be all three?” (Orr 2013)


Over time we have seen a global increase in our awareness of humankind’s impact on Mother Nature. We can observe a range of responses to this issue, as people develop individual strategies to approach the problem. These include strategies as small as rallies and Keep A Cup (Forsyth 2017) to larger contributions such as EPA rules on power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions and the government’s EPBC Act to protect our Commonwealth Land (Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015: Department of Mining & Energy 2014). One response, which places a strong emphasis on protecting Mother Nature by developing with it an intimate and sexual bond, is ecosexualism.


Ecosexualism is a social movement that focuses on the love humanhind shares with nature (Anderlini-D’Onofrio & Hagamen 2015). From skinny dippers to people who have actual intercourse with nature, there is a spectrum of ways that ecosexuals attempted to combat climate change (McArthur 2016). They take a new approach to protecting Mother Nature by highlighting what you might be missing by not protecting nature (McArthur, 2016). They see love and sex as a powerful tool of motivation.


“I think when you really fall in love with Earth as a lover, then you’re more inclined to stand up for it,” (Archer 2013). “If somebody is about to rape, abuse or hurt your ‘lover,’ you are going to stand up for your lover. You’re going to throw your body in harm’s way. Was I prepared to do that before I became ecosexual? No. Probably not. I wasn’t that connected. It starts with making the connection” (Archer 2013).


If we continue to exploit our natural resources at this rate, according to Townsend & Burke (2002) we won’t make it to 2050. Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of crude oil extraction is reached, after which the rate of extraction is expected to begin to decline… forever (Patterson 2014) and today we consume four times more oil than we find.


The Black Mirror (2012) episode Be Right Back in season 2 where a woman’s husband dies, she learns about a service that can use machine learning to essentially bring him back to life, using photos, videos, and social media posts to recreate his essence.

What will happen to our population when this is possible?


By 2050 Australia’s population is projected to reach as high at 40 million people, putting added stress on our coastal cities and environment (Lowe 2011).

New science and tech innovation holds the promise of ushering in a more sustainable way of life but unless Australia replaces fossil fuels with renewable energy, we can expect to experience more severe weather events, says emeritus professor of science at Griffith University (Lowe 2011). “On current trends there will be approaching 40 million people in Australia by 2050 … and every government’s position is to increase per capita consumption so you’d expect the impact of humans on the natural environment in general, and biodiversity in particular, to be somewhere around double what it is now,” (Lowe 2011).



Anderlini-D’Onofrio, S. & Hagamen, L. 2015, Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform:America.

Archer, G. 2013, Mountaintop Removal: Two Ecosexuals Fight Back Hard, Huff Post, viewed September 2017.

Black Mirror 2012, motion picture, Zeppotron, United Kingdom.

Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015, EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants, Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, viewed September 2017.

Department of Mining & Energy 2014, What is protected under the EPBC Act?, Australian Government, viewed September 2017.

Forsyth, A. 2017, Keep Cup: Feel Good, Do Good, KeepCup. Viewed September 2017.

Hack, S. 2017, Meet an ecosexual:When mother nature is your lover, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), viewed September 2017.

Her 2013, motion picture, Annapurna Pictures, USA.

Lowe, I. 2011, 2050: our future State of the Environment report, The Conversation – Online, viewed September 2017.

McArthur, N. 2016, Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex With the Earth Could Save It, VICE, Online, viewed September 2017.

Patterson, R. 2014, What is Peak Oil?, Peak Barrel Oil, viewed September 2017.

Orr, C. 2013, Why Her is the best film of the year, The Atlantic Media Inc., Online, viewed September 2017.

Townsend, M. & Burke, J. 2002, Earth ‘will expire by 2050’. UK News – The Observer, viewed Spetember 2017.



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