Going against both the naive techno-optimism of ‘greening business as usual’ and a resurgent ‘catastrophism’ within green thinking and politics, The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability offers an analysis of the causes of unsustainability and diminished human flourishing. It makes a case for seeing that it is profound and deepening unsustainability and growing injustice that characterizes the modern world. The books locates the causes of unsustainability in dominant capitalist modes of production, debt-based consumerism, and the imperative for orthodox economic growth. It suggests that valuable insights into the causes of and alternatives to unsustainability can be found in a critical embracing of human vulnerability and dependency as both constitutive and ineliminable aspects of what it means to be human. Rather than seeing invulnerability as the appropriate response, the book defends resilience, the ability to ‘cope with’ rather than ‘solve’ vulnerability, as a more productive strategy.
The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon Constrained World
By John Barry, Oxford University Press