Climate change at the intersection of science, society and the individual

Date

2007-09-14T00:02:27Z

Authors

Vardy, Mark Christopher

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Abstract

Recent scientific investigations into ice sheet disintegration posit the possibility of rapid sea level rise and raise the social and political issue of how we, as individuals and collectives, will respond to potential non-linear Earth-system events prompted by climate change. Should non-linear events in the Earth-system be experienced as crises in social, economic and political systems, they may provide opportunities for the establishment of authoritarian political orders. In light of this consideration, this thesis explores the contribution radical phenomenology, which theorizes the relation between non-linear events and dominant modes of understanding, makes to maintaining and extending democratic traditions in the face of potential non-linear Earth-system events. In-depth qualitative interviews with campaign and communication staff in two B.C. environmental movement organizations (David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club of Canada – B.C. Chapter) explore dominant themes in current public-political articulations of climate change that are then put into conversation with understandings offered through radical phenomenology.

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Keywords

climate change, radical phenomenology

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