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Monday, 4 January 2010

Climate change and apocalyptic political imagination

Mark Bahnisch has an important article over at Larvateus Prodeo "The politics of climate change, the impossibility of conservatism, and the role of the imaginary".

Mark has an interesting discussion on apocalyptic politics drawing on the recent book First As Tragedy, Then As Farce by Slavoj Žižek. For details on the book see First as Tragedy then as Farce

Mark starts his piece by observing that:
One of the accusations frequently made by climate change deniers or ’skeptics’ against those who would like to see concerted action taken to ameliorate the impacts of anthropogenic global warming is that of being somehow apocalyptic. A related charge is that climate change activism is somehow a screen or cover for an unstated political agenda.

Futile as the attempt to deny and disavow the fact that a process of climate change is  koccurring, and that human actors are causal agents, it’s nevertheless the case that this discourse is not without its effects in the world. So it’s worth analysing this phenomenon.

There is no doubt that apocalyptic politics are in style.
He then provides an interesting introduction the discussion of apocalyptism in  Žižek's book and the task of developing a new vision of for human society.

The irony is that climate change deniers are using the rhetorical move of asserting that climate change is simply and only a cover for a hidden political agenda when the challenge is that the task of imagining a new sustainable political world order, a politics beyond business as normal, that is called for by the reality of climate change has barely begun.

The theology and practice of the tradition of radical Christianity has something to bring to the work that has to begin.

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