There is a disconnect between ever more alarming scientific projections of anthropogenic climate disruption and the contrasting conservatism of mainstream ‘business as usual’ political discourse. This wholly irrational future is the focus of our new book Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015). It is a disjuncture that makes imagining economic, let alone social or environmental futures a somewhat bizarre enterprise. Nevertheless, let’s consider the conventional view of our future world as presented by mainstream business and political commentators. Continue reading Challenging ‘Fossil Fuels Forever’
So having just finished a post on climate futures and argued that we should look to climate fiction (cli-fi) for inspiration, last week I read the excellent fictional future history, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. Both authors are probably well known to readers for their outstanding 2010 non-fiction treatise on the history of climate change denial, Merchants of Doubt, which explored how a number of contrarian scientists served the interest of tobacco companies and later the fossil fuel industry in promoting public skepticism and denial over the dangers of their sponsors’ products.
Climate change has rapidly emerged as a major threat to our future. Indeed the increasingly dire projections of increasing global temperatures and escalating extreme weather events highlight the existential challenge that climate change presents for humanity.
In popular and political discourse, climate change is depicted as an environmental or ‘natural’ problem that requires ‘rational’ responses based on scientific evidence. However, there is also a need to view climate change as a social and politically embedded phenomenon, linked to patterns of production and consumption and the ideological assumptions that underpin the economic system and our collective sensemaking processes.