Carlo Andrea Tassinari

Duration and catastrophe. Temporality regimes and ecological conflicts in the age of environmental globalization

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Political Ecology, Temporality Crisis, Limits to Growth, Earth Summit, Sustainable Development.

Elaborating from anthropology of nature and semiotic of culture, the work aims to illustrate that every ecological crisis is, also, a temporality crisis. In order to do so, it compares different visions of future – and, therefore, of the present of the enunciator – that shape international environmental crisis between ’60 and ’70. The first, insisting on risks, comes from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advising about the Limits to Growth; the second, insisting on risk normalization, comes from UN first Earth Summit; both discourses are registered in reports published in 1972 and read worldwide. The analysis shows that while the MIT report successfully points the temporality crisis represented by the synchronization of geo-history and human-history, and values the present of the enunciator as a crossroad between catastrophe and salvation, it fails to build new values for the future of a “society of equilibriumµ. At the same time, the Earth Summit Report denies the incompatibility between growth and environment, fails to build the present as a time of choice and invests all his drive on the future as a time of hope. That shows, in conclusion, that the search for a narrative which articulates an effective timeline for imagining human and non-human prosperity is a crucial asset for political ecology.

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