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Climate Change and Green Growth: Procrastination, Oxymoron and Chimera's Theater

Jean-Marie Rousseau*

"In a little pamphlet – “It’s Not Climate Change, It’s Everything Change” (2015) – Margaret Atwood  states that “Oil [is] our secret god, our secret sharer, our magic wand, fulfiller of our every desire, our co-conspirator, the sine qua non in all we do! Can’t live with it, can’t -right at this moment -live without it. But it’s on everyone’s mind.” Through this injunction, issued to our western society, the Canadian writer, major representative of the ‘Climate Fiction’ movement, stresses the need for global responsibility in tackling the Climate Change issue. This is achieved by addressing, appealing to and confronting the whole society. This will perhaps hopefully bring about radical changes in public and political attitudes. However, this growing awareness, has not as yet led to universal changes, far from it… Margaret Atwood further claims that the “coal energy culture” was a culture of workers and production that characterised the industrial revolution, whereby people identified themselves with their job, while in the “oil energy culture” – a culture of consumption – contemporary people identify with their possessions: “they are their possessions [as they] are what they buy”. By contrast, in a “renewable energy culture”, people would be what they conserve, “what they save and protect.” Statements like these are probably taken for granted and even probably taken as gospel. Actually, since the 2000s, our society increasingly turned digital and more immaterial than ever: Internet, smartphones, database, cloud, electric vehicles, renewable energies are drastically altering our working lives and our everyday lives while upsetting our ecosystem in terms of communication, consumption, production, education, mobility, etc. Given this kind of assessment, however, perhaps we ought not to be bogged down in ‘black and white’ answers or a single way of thinking. The rationale for a new approach is threefold: (......)"

*Jean-Marie Rousseau, Bruxelles, travaille actuellement en tant que consultant indépendant à Bruxelles dans Territorial Intelligence et stratégies régionales d'innovation TAO-ITINeRIS]. Il est membre du Conseil scientifique du CIFE.

La note de recherche - en anglais uniquement - est disponible ici.

JEan Marie Rousseau CIFE Climate Change Green Growth Research

 

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