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The high-energy planet
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1291-5254
2018 (English)In: Global Change, Peace & Security, ISSN 1478-1158, E-ISSN 1478-1166, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 77-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A key part of the ecomodern discourse of a 'Good Anthropocene' is the vision of a 'high-energy planet' characterized by universal access to modern energy. Recognizing the crucial historical role that rising energy consumption has played in driving social transformations, ecomodernists imagine a future with substantial global equality of opportunity powered by clean and abundant energy. Whereas traditional environmental thinking has advocated land-intensive distributed forms of renewable energy, ecomodernists have argued that such technologies are fundamentally incompatible with a world in which 7-10 billion people can live modern lives. Instead, ecomodernists believe that only breakthrough innovation can overcome the current political and cultural polarization surrounding climate change and provide a unifying pathway towards climate stability. Yet, resurging populism and nationalism, but also the statist frame of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process, make such a future unlikely as rich countries remain focused on meeting their own domestic emissions targets rather than decarbonizing the global economy as a whole. As a consequence, overall political polarization is bound to increase as radical environmental voices will call for ever harsher demand-side reductions while technocratic elites may come to see solar radiation management as the only feasible way of preventing an irreversible destabilization of the climate system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2018. Vol. 30, no 1, p. 77-84
Keywords [en]
renewable energy, nuclear energy, climate policy, sustainable development, global ethics
National Category
Political Science Climate Research
Research subject
statskunskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-144525DOI: 10.1080/14781158.2018.1428946ISI: 000427555100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-144525DiVA, id: diva2:1180398
Available from: 2018-02-05 Created: 2018-02-05 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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