第9回支倉セミナー "Facing the 21st Century From Climate Anxiety to Deep Adaptation"
Gerard van der Ree is assistant professor in International Relations at University College Utrecht, the Netherlands. His research focuses on the interaction between knowledge and power, the politics of belonging, and political life in the Anthropocene. His published works include “The Politics of Scientific Representation in International relations” (2013) “Being-in-the-World of the International” (2015).
Climate change confronts us with a radically uncertain future. We face drastic changes at a scale we cannot possibly oversee and the impacts of which are beyond our control. Meanwhile our everyday lives seem to continue as always, despite an endless flow of increasingly alarming reports. On the one hand, ‘our house is on fire’, as Greta Thunberg put it last summer. On the other, and despite our well-intentioned yet half-hearted attempts at greener consumption, we continue ‘business as usual’.
This state of cognitive dissonance brings with it with conflicting emotional states: anxiety, denial, hope, and despair.
This presentation will explore these psychological dynamics and connect them to different patterns of political, social and technological action. It will go on to consider what Foster (2015) calls ‘environmental tragedy’: acknowledging that life as we know it will end to exist. This will include letting go of the modern Western cosmology, reformulating human-nature relations, and seeking to attain a full humanity in the face of uncertainty, instability, and danger.