RCJGC Panel 3

Global Crisis, Radical Justice

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“Responding to Abrupt, Irreversible Climate Change”

Guy McPerson, University of Arizona (emeritus)

3 replies
  1. David Jones
    David Jones says:

    Benjamin Weinger’s analysis addresses a void I have noticed for some time in climate action theory. My question to Ben is: how do you see the relationship between states in competition and the various layers of global capital formation also in competition? Is it not this matrix which has stymied progress on emissions reductions through the UN process? The nation state requires growth to maintain legitimacy and capital needs growth to maintain profit/investment. It seems to me the UN COP is elaborate theatre at the level of real hegemony.

  2. Felicia Winfrey
    Felicia Winfrey says:

    Thank you for a wonderful panel! I was alarmed to hear the projections about ice in the arctic ocean. I am interested in learning more about how this will affect responses to climate change both by states and by the media and how this will change depending on the state.

  3. Andrew Smith
    Andrew Smith says:

    Thanks to Reed Kurtz for a clear and largely persuasive defense for viewing climate crisis through a materialist, capitalogenic frame. I am curious, though, why your critique of climate discourse doesn’t instead center on colonization rather than capitalism. For example, is security the ultimate raison d’être of the state, or is it instead a proximate one? What is the value of security, and what is being secured? Particularly in settler colonial nation-states, it’s the ongoing power to extract “resources” from the lives and lands of Indigenous peoples. This is a prerequisite for capitalism, no?

    As you well note, racialized differentiations serve capital. More specifically, they facilitate extractive practices that are required for capital to maintain power. As such, I wonder if it might be helpful to consider how decolonizing work can serve as a point of intervention and perhaps even as a way to frame climate crisis. You draw on examples such as the Standing Rock water protectors and Indigenous peoples in Brazil resisting the exploitation of the Amazon. I’m not familiar with the discourse offered by the latter, but the former speak of the climate crisis in relational terms. Properly construed, this need not contradict the materialist approach you’re taking. It’s my sense, though, that it could fill it out or offer a richer picture of the deep roots of climate crisis.

    For what it’s worth, the work of Zoe Todd, “Indigenizing the Anthropocene,” (2015) is but one place to start. Kyle Whyte also is a great source.

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