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On preparing for the great gift of community that climate disasters can give us

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There is a widespread (if rarely voiced) assumption, among those who dare to understand the future which climate chaos is likely to yield, that civility will give way and a Hobbesian war of all against all will be unleashed. Thankfully, this assumption is highly questionable. The field of ‘Disaster Studies’, as shown in Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, makes clear that it is at least as likely that, tested in the crucible of back-to-back disasters, humanity will rise to the challenge, and we will find ourselves manifesting a truer humanity than we currently think ourselves to have. Thus the post-sustainability world will offer us a tremendous gift amidst the carnage. But how well we realise this gift depends on our preparing the way for it. In order to prepare, the fantasy of sustainable development needs to be jettisoned, along with the bargain-making mentality underpinning it. Instead, the inter-personal virtues of generosity, fraternity and care-taking need fostering. One role a philosophically informed deep reframing can play in this process of virtuous preparation for disaster is in helping people to understand that, in order to care for their children, they need to care for their children in turn, and so on, ad infinitum.
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Keywords: Climate change; care; children; community; disaster; hope

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

    The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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