Introduction: The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability

John Barry

in The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695393
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738982 | DOI:
Introduction: The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability

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Places the book in context in terms of the evidence for and reality of global unsustainability, such as the collapse of key natural resources, climate change and peak oil. The intellectual context of the book is also laid out in terms of recent scientific and social scientific work on unsustainability, such as green political theory and the politics of climate change and energy and the emergence of what is termed ‘hard green’ or ‘eco-realist’ thinking. This chapter explains and outlines why we need to frame our analysis of the metabolism and dependent relationship between humanity and nature in the twenty-first century issue in terms of ‘actually existing unsustainability’, as opposed to the usual framing in terms of sustainability and sustainable development, here drawing explicitly from the work within recent political theory on the primacy of addressing injustice over attempts to develop a theory of justice.

Keywords: unsustainability; hard greens; injustice; Thomas Simon; green political theory

Chapter.  15195 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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