Monday 20 April 2015

Speaking of determinism and possibilism... (and ecomodernism)

Speaking of determinism and possibilism, Simon Dalby has just uploaded his paper to be presented at the AAG 2015 annual convention in Chicago. It's titled "Framing the Anthropocene: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."

He examines, zeitgeistily enough, the ecomodernist movement and its critics before closing with remarks on determinism and possibilism:
Determinism has been finally demolished by the earth system discussions of the Anthropocene; insights from the earth system framing of current options now need much more attention from scholars in the humanities. 
A reworked notion of possibilism, one shaped by the much more comprehensive understandings of both earth system science on one hand and political ecology with its focus on lived environments on the other, offers a much better encompassing interpretive frame for present circumstances. It does so because it demands political action to shape the future, recognizing that we live in a world that, in William’s Connolly’s terms, is about fragile things and self-organizing processes that now urgently require democratic activism in the face of persistent neoliberal fantasies. Naomi Klein’s arguments for linking various forms of political activism in a coalition of fossil fuel divestment, protest against mines and pipelines and a reconstruction or rural economies using renewable energy, offers a broad outline of what is needed. Climate change adds urgency to activism in a world where opposition to fossil fuel production is obviously necessary if the majority of those fossil fuels are to stay in the ground and the planet not push pass 2 degrees Celsius heating.
Well worth reading.