Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Conflicting temporalities

Two weeks into the semester, I have already had a lot of fun with my two classes. I really could not wish for more ambitious or brighter students. In the political philosophy class, the next week will cover the different political ideologies while the future police officers are preparing to submit their first major assignment.

In terms of research, I spent this morning putting together an abstract for the book chapter that I have been invited to write. With a title seemingly taken straight from the bewildering world of Rawls & Me, my intention is to think about different time perspectives and try to better pinpoint what exactly it is that we are disagreeing about.

Title: "Conflicting temporalities and the ecomodernist vision of rewilding"


Ecomodernism offers a progressive and humanist vision of the Anthropocene, one in which publicly funded innovation has made possible both universal prosperity and planetary-scale rewilding. However, given the present primitive state of technology, ecomodernism is surely guilty of fabulism as its realization would depend on technologies that may not be available for many decades, including molecular assemblers, intelligent machine labour and advanced nuclear technologies. Still, ecomodernists maintain that even in the present, ecomodernism offers a more realistic way of protecting non-human nature than traditional environmentalism. Instead of seeking to harmonize with nature and employ land-extensive forms of agriculture and energy production, ecomodernists believe that greater separation and intensification will spare marginal lands and natural habitats. Equally controversial, ecomodernists argue that rather than treating sustained global poverty as an acceptable price for reducing climate and other environmental risks, there is an overriding moral imperative to accelerate the transition to a fully integrated high-energy planet. Nevertheless, doing so would undoubtedly increase near-term environmental stress and accentuate the need for climate engineering – all further raising the stakes in Anthropocene political debates.

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