Climate Risks and Democracy

anthropocene -

Ecological crises can make politics horrible: panic-inducing scarcity, ethnic and religious conflict, hunger driven imperialism. In his latest essay “Climate Apocalypse and/or Democracy, Professor Jedediah Purdy is shedding light on the fact that an ecological apocalypse is a fundamentally political problem and needs to be tackled before turning into a harsh reality. In his view, a “livable Anthropocene future would have to be democratic (…): a people would have to accept, willingly, limits on the demands they make on the natural world.” Professor Purdy argues that the chance at a workable future is crucially dependent on an “international democratic effort to take joint responsibility for the planet: “It isn’t (even) that a democratic Anthropocene is a nice idea”, he says, “it’s just that its slim chance is better than any alternative.”

You can read the full essay on the Huffington Post website. Professor Purdy’s new book “After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene” is now available in hardback.

Image (modified): CC by 2.0, courtesy of Doc Searls/

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