Environmental historian Bathsheba Demuth is examining capitalism, communism, and climate in the Bering Strait.
The Bering Strait is a region united by ecology but divided by politics and ideology. In the 20th century, both communist and capitalist development impacted, and were impacted by, the region's challenging ecology. Still, modern states—which depend on energy-intensive industry and agricultural production—have been able to function in a place with little solar gain or fossil fuel. In fact, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. have historically been major contributors to what some geologists term the Anthropocene, an era of profound, human-driven change, and a new field of research across disciplines. Research is ongoing to define and expand a history of the arrival of the Anthropocene in the far north.