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War on Warming

The seminar takes a lead from a paper published by Paul Gilding and Jorgen Randers in 2010, titled “The one degree war plan”.  Their thesis was that restricting global warming to any reasonable level (they hoped for 1 degree above pre-industrial) “…would require a level of mobilisation and global cooperation similar to that of a world war.”

Gliding and Randers refer to the speed and scale of mobilisation undertaken at the commencement of WWII as an example. If political and public will are aligned, the necessary actions can be taken, and a “wartime economy” could (have been) put in place to bring about the  changes necessary to restrict warming to 1 degree.

The seminar explores the idea of a “War on Warming”, along with associated terms and ideas such as “Climate Emergency” and “Green New Deal” and “(a) Great Disruption”, with a view to discussing three key questions:

  • How well do these terms serve as metaphor and as rhetoric?
  • How else should we describe the real political conflict that is being played out (by more or less non-violent means) over climate change in international diplomacy, politics, media and the global economic system?
  • What role might Ecological Economics and ecological economists play: in analysing the conflict, identifying and promoting policy solutions to resolve it, or to help “win the war”?