Unformatted text preview: 1/18/15 Powerpoint 1/7/15 CAPITALISM vs CLIMATE • Spokesmen @ Heartland InsAtute’s Sixth InternaAonal Conference on Climate Change contend: • Movement to combat global warming = = a green Trojan horse = an aMack on middle-‐class American capitalism = plot to remove freedoms • Climate of Corrup.on, climate change “has liMle to do with the state of the environment and much to do with shackling capitalism and transforming the American way of life in the interests of global wealth redistribuAon.” Climate Change • “97 percent of the world's climate scienAsts aMest ... The heat-‐trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically diﬀerent energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain” (Klein 2011) 1 1/18/15 Powerpoint 1/12/15 • “My childhood percepAons were part of a narraAve I call the Story of the People, in which humanity was desAned to create a perfect world through science, reason, and technology: to conquer nature, transcend our animal origins, and engineer a raAonal society” (Eisenstein 2013). • WHAT IS AT ISSUE HERE? Powerpoint 1/12/15 2 1/18/15 Climate Change • “97 percent of the world's climate scienAsts aMest ... The heat-‐trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically diﬀerent energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain” (Klein 2011) • the real-‐world consequences of those scienAﬁc ﬁndings – Demand deep changes not just to our energy consumpAon BUT ALSO to the underlying logic of our economic system Klein/Shiva/Eisenstein argue **central myth on which our economic model is based: • Assumes – nature is limitless – we will always be able to ﬁnd more of what we need – if something runs out it can be seamlessly replaced by another resource that we can endlessly extract. • Climate crisis calls into quesAon: – The expansionist, extracAve mindset that progress is based on limitless growth and exploitaAon of nature & those associate with it. 3 1/18/15 “The dominant ideology of post-‐war development has been exclusively concerned with the conversion of nature into a resource and the use of natural resources for commodity producAon and capital accumulaAon. It ignore the ecological processes that have been regeneraAng nature outside the domain of human acAvity. It also ignore the requirements of the huge number of people whose needs are not being saAsﬁed through market mechanisms” (Shiva 2997). “The ignorance or neglect of these two vital economies of nature’s processes and people’ survival has been the reason why development has posed such a threat of ecological destrucAon and a threat to human survival, both of which have, however, remained the ‘hidden negaAve externaliAes’ of the development process” (Shiva 2007). ènot just demand green products and market-‐based soluAons • èdemands a new story/paradigm: – one grounded not in dominance over nature but in respect for natural cycles of renewal • and acutely sensiAve to natural limits, including the limits of human intelligence. • èClimate change = a message telling us that many of our culture's most cherished ideas are no longer viable. – profoundly challenging revelaAon for all of us raised on Enlightenment ideals of progress 4 1/18/15 Bruno Latour: -‐French Philosopher/Sociologist/
Anthropologist of Science & Technology We Have Never Been Modern (1993, 1991 in France) We have Never Been Modern (opening Paragraph) “On page four of my daily newspaper, I learn that the measurements taken above the AntarcAc are not good this year: the hole in the ozone layer is growing ominously larger. Reading on, I turn from upper-‐atmosphere chemists to Chief ExecuAve Oﬃcers of Atochem and Monsanto, companies that are modifying their assembly lines in order to replace the innocent chloroﬂuorocarbons, accused of crimes against the ecosphere. A few paragraphs later, I come across heads of state of major industrialized countries who are geong involved with chemistry, refrigerators, aerosols and inert gases. But at the end of the arAcle, I discover that the meteorologists don't agree with the chemists ; they're talking about cyclical ﬂuctuaAons unrelated to human acAvity. So now the industrialists don't know what to do. The heads of state are also holding back. Should we wait? Is it already too late? Toward the boMom of the page, Third World countries and ecologists add their grain of salt and talk about internaAonal treaAes, moratoriums, the rights of future generaAons, and the right to development.” Latour: “miracle” of 1989
• dismantling of the Wall & global environmental conferences – End of Socialism – End of limitless Nature • Tragic Irony= just as recognize that ‘modernity’ has had a serious negaAve impact on the environment the triumph of Capitalism is heralded – “nature, over which we were supposed to gain absolute mastery, dominates us in an equally global fashion, and threatens us all.” 5 1/18/15 We Have Never Been Modern, Bruno Latour (1993) **describes the Cons.tu.on that has produced and deﬁned modernity QUESTIONS: 1. What does he mean by “ConsAtuAon”? 2. What does he mean by “modern”? ConsAtuAon= • Set of fundamental principles and rules that deﬁne the nature and extent of government • Together these principles and rules make up (i.e. cons.tute) an enAty (i.e. naAon-‐state) and deﬁne how power and governance will be divided within it. Modern= ConvenAonal deﬁniAon: • secularizaAon of society – Divine power no longer determines • invenAon of humanism – Emphasis given to human agency (individually & collecAvely) and thought (raAonalism) and evidence (empiricism), vs. to established doctrine or faith • emergence of the sciences – Science (from LaAn scien.a, meaning "knowledge”) being a systemaAc enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanaAons and predicAons about the universe • mechanizaAon of the world – Implies machinery and devices that cause & speed changes; enables industrialism 6 1/18/15 But according to Latour • Secularism, raAonality, science, and industrial producAon are NOT what deﬁne Modernity …Rather… Modernity= • Is consAtuted (or believes itself to be consAtuted) by two “double separaAon” 1. Human/Nonhuman 2. PuriﬁcaAon/MediaAon (of TranslaAon) AND 1. Humans/Nonhumans 2. Human/Divine (or what happens 'above’/what happens 'below’ Human/Nonhuman
Purification/Mediation 7 ...
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- Spring '08
- • movement, Bruno Latour, – End