P002
Economies of growth or ecologies of survival? Fear and hope in an overheated world

Convenors:
Elisabeth Schober (University of Oslo)
Chris Hann (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Format:
Panels
Location:
A-222
Start time:
2 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The double bind between economic growth and environmental sustainability may well be the most significant conundrum that humans face today. This panel will give room to ethnographies of uncertainty, hope and fear in the interstices between unhampered growth and environmental accountability.

Long abstract:

The double bind between economic growth and environmental durability may well be the most significant conundrum that humans, and indeed the planet as such, face at the onset of the 21st century. Amidst a growing sense of global climate crisis and local environmental deterioration, the dilemma of profit-seeking at all costs (the neoliberal doctrine) versus the sustainability of life on this planet can be felt in different terrains worldwide. This panel will explore ethnographic spaces of hope and fear amidst accelerated change and the intensification of global processes. We will look into the interstices between unhampered growth and environmental sustainability to explore some of the following questions: What kind of local responses emerge in reaction to environmental crises triggered by outside forces? What structures of blame arise amidst the tensions caused by the progressive "Overheating" of both the economy and the environment? How much ecological destruction are various actors willing to calculate into their equations of economic growth? How are decisions leading to environmental destruction made? What is the relationship between long-term and short-term consequences of planned change, and how do local concerns articulate with global anxieties? What scenarios of hope are painted to counter these developments? This panel will examine the frictions created by the volatility of the global neoliberal system and the concomitant versatile reactions to environmental degradation in local communities across the globe. While the empirical locus will be placed on local life-worlds, we urge participants to interweave their small-scale ethnographic narratives with large-scale processes of global capitalism.