Does it still make sense to talk about climate change? This seems a strange question to ask, for someone who has spent much of his adult life talking to people about climate change, but it is the question Dougald Hine has found himself wondering about lately.
When we talk about climate change, we are entering into a conversation that is framed by science, yet climate change also asks us questions that lead beyond that frame. In recent years, however, the language of science has become supercharged: from the placards that read ‘Unite Behind the Science’ to the political leaders who insist that they are ‘following the science’ in their response to the pandemic, there’s a new emphasis on the total authority of science that makes it harder to ask these frame-breaking questions. This is converging with a particular approach to climate change, one that points to a dystopian future in which the world has been remade as an object of total management. What does this mean for how we have meaningful conversations about what Dougald Hine refers to as ‘the trouble we’re in’?
Dougald Hine is a writer and culture maker. Ten years ago, Dougald co-founded The Dark Mountain Project, which has grown into world-wide community of artists and writers. He and his partner Anna Björkman now run A School Called Home, a learning community for those drawn to the work of regrowing a living culture. He also podcasts together with futurist Ed Gillespie at The Great Humbling.
This episode was recorded at a live event co-organized by the Forest of Thought Podcast and CEMUS (Centre for environment and development studies) at Uppsala University, on November 22nd, 2021 at the Uppsala Public Library, Sweden.
NOTES AND LINKS:
- Dougald Hine and Anna Björkman’s “A School Called Home”: https://aschoolcalledhome.org
- Dark Mountain manifesto by Dougald Hine and Paul Kingsnorth: https://dark-mountain.net/about/manifesto/
- Jem Bendell wrote a paper called Deep Adaptation in 2018 suggesting that near term social collapse due to climate disruption was inevitable, and that deep adaptation is required in response to this. A social movement has developed around these ideas: https://jembendell.com/category/deep-adaptation/
- William Davies on neoliberalism: https://williamdavies.blog/category/neoliberalism/
- Giorgio Agamben on the pandemic: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538157602/Where-Are-We-Now-The-Epidemic-as-Politics
- Michel Foucault and his concept of biopower: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopower
- Paul Kingsnorth’s series of essays (the fish tank analogy is in the article called “The Green Grace”, behind paywall, but many others are available for free): https://paulkingsnorth.substack.com
- Yanis Varoufakis’s book The Adults in the Room: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/15/adults-in-room-battle-europes-deep-establishment-yanis-varoufakis-review
- Per Johansson and Eric Schüldt’s series on history of science and the history of technology: http://www.myterochmysterier.se/category/kunskapenstrad/ https://sverigesradio.se/manniskanochmaskinen
- David Cayley’s “How to think about science” radio series: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/how-to-think-about-science-part-1-24-1.2953274
- David Cayley’s early analysis of the pandemic drawing on ideas of Ivan Illich: https://www.davidcayley.com/blog/2020/4/8/questions-about-the-current-pandemic-from-the-point-of-view-of-ivan-illich-1
- Vanessa Machado de Oliveira’s new book Hospicing modernity: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hospicing-modernity-facing-humanitys-wrongs/9781623176242-item.html
- Ivan Illich: The shadow that the future throws http://www.davidtinapple.com/illich/1989_shadow_future.PDF
- Anna Tsing’s book The Mushroom at the End of the World: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691220550/the-mushroom-at-the-end-of-the-world
- Gustavo Esteva & Madhu Suri Prakash on Grassroots Postmodernism: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/grassroots-postmodernism-9781783601844/
- Karl Polanyi’s idea of The Double Movement in his book The Great Transformation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Movement
- “Folkbildning”: Swedish word that has to do with the life-long right of all people to freely seek knowledge: https://www.folkuniversitetet.se/in-english/about-folkuniversitetet/what-is-folkbildning/
- “Folkrörelsen”, in Swedish directly translated as “the people’s movement”, in this case referring to the self-organising at community level seen in Sweden during the early socialist democratic movements
- Chris Smaje: A Small Farm Future: https://smallfarmfuture.org.uk
- EP Thomson: The Making of the English Working Class: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Making_of_the_English_Working_Class
- John Berger: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/324430/ways-of-seeing-by-john-berger/
- Jeremy Seabrook and Trevor Blackwell: The Revolt Against Change
- Exiting the Vampire castle by Mark Fisher: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/exiting-vampire-castle/
- Jonathan Rose: The Intellectual Life of the British Working Class: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/jul/14/historybooks.highereducation1
- Jeremy Seabrook’s book What Went Wrong? Working people and the ideals of the labour movement (1978)
- Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth: http://www.bruno-latour.fr/node/754.html
- Robin Wall Kimmerer: Braiding Sweetgrass: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/23/robin-wall-kimmerer-people-cant-understand-the-world-as-a-gift-unless-someone-shows-them-how
- Rights of Nature: https://www.garn.org
- Tyson Yunkaporta’s book Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save The World: https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/sand-talk
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