Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dipesh Chakrabarty Liveblog 2

In history we assume a human is always explainable by relation to the historical and social context.
Assumption that the reader can imagine herself into the situation of a historical character.

One thing we do in humanities is to think about the human condition. Except not always philosophically.

Good history is ultimately a kind of aesthetic sensibility about the human condition at a certain time and place.

What climate change raises is, has the human condition changed on the planet?

The human condition comes to us in this question of climate justice through the deployment of “anthropogenic” etc. What DC was drawn to were the political implications of that. The scientists: such as James Hansen, Storms for my Grandchildren, has a chapter called “Humanity's Trap.” Discomfort in third world commentators. They raise this objection: “Why name the entire of humanity as the culprit when we know that most people in the world are poor? Fossil fuel interests, profit seeking, etc. are to blame. We did not all sign on to this pact. Why not speak of capitalism, consumerism?”

Articles in Indian newspapers on this. US emissions 20 times higher: “See, the solution is obvious.”
DC received criticism for his essay for not blaming capitalism.
Peter Nowell, Univ of East Anglia, Matthew Bennison, have expressed this third world sense of discomfiture in Climate Capitalism. “it is clear that some people and countries contribute to it disproportionately...it is the people that will suffer most that contribute least...climate change is [not so much scientific as] deeply political and moral.”

 Sunita Narayan, Center for Science and Environment: “Climate change we know is intrinsically linked to the model of economic growth...” (her blurb for Climate Capitalism). A problem of uneven economic development.

While the scientists speak of humanity and as a problem for all humans, the more political writers are saying it's a problem of capitalism.

So what DC found himself drawn to a very important question of scale, the scale on which you think of the problem. This comes down to what kinds of science you read on the topic.

Climate change cannot be reduced to capitalism... (cont.)


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