The harms of innocence and normality in the face of climate disruption.

Dr. Rene Sušais a coauthor with members of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures collective, of a chapter in the forthcoming book on Deep Adaptation, which is now available for advance purchase. In this guest blog, he explores how desires for innocence and “normality” can make us cause even more harm in the long term, as societies are disrupted due to environmental change.

Slightly over a year ago, our collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures was invited to contribute a chapter to the Deep Adaptation: Navigating Realities of Climate Chaos book, edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read. Our writing focused on the subject of mapping different responses to climate change and potential climate collapse. At that time, we mapped four main groups of responses (romantic, revolutionary, rational, reactionary) that we were able to observe in our work with various social justice movements, sustainability initiatives, policy makers, advocates and activists, mostly in the global North.  We did not, and still do not, consider this mapping as exhaustive of all possibilities, deterministic or fixed, but rather as a provisional tool that helped us outline some of the prevailing (problematic) patterns that we were able to observe in the four main groups of responses to climate change, identify some key absences and disavowals, and mobilise further conversations and reflections. One of the main reasons why we engage with this topic, is, because in our work with various (mostly Indigenous) communities in the global South, as well as with marginalized communities in the North, we have been noticing that it is often them and their immediate surroundings that suffer the most direct and gravest consequences of our denials, inconsideration, irresponsibility and self-centredness. Read More

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