Lab10
Climate change: combining cultural viewpoints in common strategies

Convenors:
Rosalyn Bold (University College London)
Format:
Labs
Location:
Palatine - PCL053
Start time:
6 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Climate change touches the communities anthropologists work with worldwide, presenting a unique point of equivocation across worlds. We are seeking to collaborate in combining cultural constructions and experiences of climate change, and to involve anthropology in wider cross-sectoral conversations.

Long abstract:

Climate change touches the communities anthropologists work with worldwide, and whilst challenging in the scale of the disaster it threatens, presents a potential point of equivocation between worlds and cultural perspectives. We are seeking to collaborate in combining cultural constructions and experiences of climate change, and to involve anthropology in wider cross-sectoral conversations. We are delighted to have the participation of Michael Kang, of the Social Lab Revolution's Gigatonne lab, (http://social-labs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/The-Gigatonne-Lab_230115.pdf ). The Gigatonne lab aims to bring together academics, government, finance, business and civil society to agree upon strategies to reduce global emissions by a gigatonne starting in 2016. Identifying the most promising ideas and approaches, it provides access to key influencers, decision-makers and financiers so that strategies for emissions reductions can be scaled more successfully. As we explore the diversity of cultural constructions of climate change, the Gigatonne lab is focused on bringing such perspectives together in elaborating common strategies for creating concrete change. In the contemporary context of collapse and crisis, existing cosmologies are shaken. Climate change challenges the modern separation of nature and culture, and the western mode of 'being in the world'. Viveiros de Castro (2014) explores the relevance of the mythopoeic register as a vehicle for imagining 'the end of the world', which is unthinkable from a scientific perspective. We will explore how cultural constructions of climate change can help communities to mitigate or come to terms with collapse and change. We hope to combine cultural perspectives to open the way for 'worlds otherwise'.