Climate Denialisms, Hard and Soft. Or, Why We Can't Avoid the History of Capitalism in the Climate Crisis

Big Questions Little Time - Webinars on Sustainable Development

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 15:00 to 16:00
Among the legacies of a half-century of environmental studies is a denial of the history of capitalism in the unfolding climate crisis. In this presentation, environmental historian Jason W. Moore explores -- and seeks to resolve -- two entangled problems in contemporary interpretations of climate crisis and climate justice. One tendency reduces the problem of Holocene climate history to Man and Nature. Rather than reconstruct the long history of class, climate, and civilizational change, we are delivered neo-Malthusian stories that are not only empirically flawed but politically disabling. Another tendency, common across the humanities and social science, reduces the problem of capitalism to social constructions abstracted from the modern history of climate and environmental change, beginning the invasions of the New World in 1492. Moore shows how today's climate crisis is rooted in the emergence of a capitalist world-ecology during the Little Ice Age, and how a politics of climate justice that ignores that history recapitulates a "soft" climate denialism.  
Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian, historical geographer and professor of sociology at Binghamton University. He is the author of, most recently, for example, Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2016), and, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (2017). His books and essays on environmental history, capitalism, and social theory have been widely recognized, including the Alice Hamilton Prize of the American Society for Environmental History (2003), the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the Section on the Political Economy of the World-System, and the Byres and Bernstein Prize in Agrarian Change (2011). Furthermore, he coordinates the World-Ecology Research Network.
Read more about the seminar series here. Organised by the Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS) and CBS Sustainability.


The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Society and Communication // 01/03/2023