tschuetz Annotations

What kinds of research, collaboration and knowledge infrastructure does this text suggest will be important going forward?

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 8:25pm

The book seems to leave open what kind of collaboration and infrastructure would need to be built to link climate justice activism. It also does not suggest what future research is needed, or more specifically, what the role of universities could be.

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What questions or frustrations does this text leave you with?

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 7:53pm

Knowing that their comments on "Climate X" are kept open by choice, the book left me wanting to read more detailed accounts, e.g. of indigenous resistance, Zapatista movement, etc., that they touch on only very briefly.

A minor thing: painting with broad brushstroke ("relatively poor and powerless people as well as the other living things with whom we share this planet" 2018, 7) seemed appropriate for the (broad) scenarios they are sketching out, but also feels simplified and begging for more detail.

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What quotes from this text are exemplary or particularly evocative?

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 7:03pm

"all our thinking is environmental, even when it rebels against nature" (2018, 9)

"we appreciate Wiley-Blackwell’s and Routledge’s permission to put those thoughts to further work." (2018, 9)

"The first [condition] is whether the prevailing economic formation will continue to be capitalist or not [...] The second condition is whether a coherent planetary sovereign will emerge, that is, whether sovereignty will be reconstituted for the purposes of planetary management." (2018, 36)

"This means Climate Behemoth is founded on two not necessarily commensurable principles. In the United States, the signature affiliations of the reactionary right—market fetishism, cheap energy, white nationalism, firearms, evangelical faith—buttress reactionary Behemoth. The result is an opportunistic, but contradictory and unstable, blend of fundamentalisms: the security of the homeland, the freedom of the market, and the justice of God." (2018, 51)

"There is no meta-language that operates beyond the social world with which to fix these concepts “objectively”. Debates over the meaning of the building-block concepts for social thought are complex, interminable, and necessary." (2018, 58)

"Air conditioning is a quotidian, urban maladaptation to climate change: an adaptation that begets greater future suffering." (2018, 61)

"The strengths of the IPCC process meet their limit where we arrive at the challenge of predicting or analyzing potential systematic changes to our predominantly liberal, capitalist geopolitical economy." (2018, 66)

"There is something terribly wrong here. Surely if “adaptation” means “correction” or “adjustment,” then the most important adaptation that the world could make to address climate change would be to redistribute wealth and power to end fossil fuel use and force those responsible for climate change to reallocate the wealth its drivers have helped them accumulate at the cost of billions of people’s suffering. It is the world’s wealthy and national elites who must “adapt” so the poor and future generations will not “suffer,” and so we might prepare the bases of democracy necessary to deal justly with those already-irreversible impacts the future surely holds." (2018, 73)

"Gramsci sees it, the greatest obstacle to new conceptions of the world is that “all hitherto existing philosophies” tend to “reproduce this position of Catholicism, that they conceive of man as an individual.” They therefore fall victim to the fatal conceit that the transformation of humanity is a spiritual or “psychological” project—or even worse, an autonomous internal struggle—not the irreducibly social and political process of “active relationships” it must be." (2018, 91)

"As Hannah Arendt put it, the purpose of the “World Government” that so many dreamed would save the planet from nuclear annihilation “is to overcome and eliminate authentic politics, that is, different peoples getting along with each other in the full force of their power." (2018, 133)

"Consequently, in place of critical reflection on the current situation, we find ourselves telling each other how awesome our movement is. It is as if we obviously, most certainly, will eventually succeed, however long it takes, when in fact we are cheering our way to catastrophe." (2018, 154)

"To bring about a radical reassembly of their relation, to undo the momentum of Leviathan in these societies while overcoming capitalism, would require not only revolutionary events in both nation-states but also forms of radical transnationalism relaying struggles within and between them. We are a long way from this. At best, we have limited forms of solidarity, expressed sporadically and typically filtered through nationalist lenses." (2018, 167)

"Climate X is definitively not “the set of all the exploited and the subjugated, a multitude that is directly opposed to Empire, with no mediation between them.”28 We might, generously, take this to mean that anticolonial nationalism and communist militancy no longer monopolize the mediation of subaltern resistance, and we should not be nostalgic in the face of this development. But the “set of all” in which the multitude experiences “our wretchedness” is a myth, and an antisolidaristic myth at that. In that sense, it is not unlike the Anthropocene, the era that now puts all humans on the same geological page.29 The world’s peoples live in a multitude of geo-ecological times despite our planetary “simultaneity,” and the forces that have helped shape those worlds are not reducible to “humanity” in general, but to particular natural- historical social formations." (2018, 174)

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