Asking himself how deep the reconstruction of the project of Enlightenment has to go, McCarraher’s answer is an emphatically italicized “all the way down” I think he’s right.
Self-possession implies property in some sense – being able to claim a personal right to generate wellbeing from the world we share with other people and organisms.
I apologise for my part in a civilization that made Apocalypse Never a bestseller. I hope that you will have both the capacity inherited from my generation and a fortitude of your own to learn from my failings, and to build a better civilization over the ashes of mine.
But I do have a Plan B if George’s vision succeeds. In that eventuality, I’m going to slip the fence of his urban dystopia with my sheep, find a pleasant grassy spot somewhere, and make my living as a mammal and a farmer, surrounded by other wild creatures.
But nothing other than dramatic societal transformation will be sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change for the vast majority of the world’s population – and eventually, everyone. It may sound daunting, but rejecting the ecologically harmful assumptions on which our culture is currently built offers us a unique chance to build a healthier and fairer world.
The left urgently needs to get over its long-term fascination with “productivism”, to realise that the best line of attack against capitalism is to focus on limits and sustainability, and to plunge into Transition Towns and related initiatives.
It’s as if, as environmental humanities scholar Anthony Galluzzo posted recently, humanity, not tech is—ha—the engine of history. Again, it’ll be people, not science alone, environmental scientist Erle Ellis wrote in another Times op-ed, who’ll save us from ecological collapse.
Game of Thrones was arguably about climate change, but the HBO series turned this narrative around by presenting a last-minute technological solution as magically saving the day, the planet, and existence.
My feeling on the contrary is that only by properly inhabiting that romance and re-enchanting the relationship between people and land as a precious food-giving resource will the problems George identifies be solvable.
Phillips, like many AC fans before him, falls back on the sly trope that all “attacks” on air-conditioning are motivated by an “obsession with individual asceticism.” No, they’re not.
After nineteen chapters of amiable good sense, Wilson suddenly goes full ecomodernist, as if some devilish Breakthrough Institute hacker finally figured out how to make him stop his anti-Anthropocene agitating by messing with his neurons like a cordyceps fungus attacking one of his beloved ants.
In this context, degrowth is the proposal to intentionally shrink the physical size of wealthy economies, whereas decoupling is the hope that growing economies will at last break free from growing resource use and environmental damage.