Revisiting social and deep ecology in the light of global warming

Autumn 2013

The purpose of this article is largely theoretical. It asks what type of perspective is needed in order for left libertarians and anarchists to develop a deeper understanding of global warming. This way of framing the question builds on a set of premises which I will spell out. First, global warming is real. Second, the reality of global warming exists independently of our discourse about it. Third, global warming will have real and dangerous consequences for humans and human society. Fourth, we do not have full knowledge about global warming and climate change, and we must reach a deeper understanding. Fifth, the urgency of global warming demands that we act before we know everything we want to know about it. Sixth, human societies have an inherently creative capacity to find solutions to the challenges posed by global warming. Ethical thinking about global warming cannot, therefore, be reduced to the realm of human consciousness, language and discourse; global warming forces us to rethink our relationship with nature and our possible paths to understanding nature and reality in a theoretically serious manner (in the Hegelian sense of the word ‘serious’) – that is, in terms of the unity between theory and praxis.

Anarchist Studies Vol 21 No 2