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Accepted Paper:

A rising tide of true democracy? Climate crisis, spirituality and action in a carboniferous zone  
Linda Connor (University of Sydney)

Paper long abstract:

Climate change can be viewed as a cultural crisis of lifeworlds that begs critical anthropological analysis. The evidence of global warming encourages thoughts of future humanity as 'survivors of a failed civilization' (Lovelock 2007, p. 202). What are the cultural resources that human societies are bringing to bear to avert the problem of a warmed and entropic future world? This paper explores the narratives and practices of religious adherents, environmentalists and community groups in a coastal region of Southeastern Australia - the Hunter Valley of New South Wales - which is both highly carboniferous and intensely vulnerable to climate change effects. New forms of local organisation and action in response to the climate threat lend force to Ernest Becker's idea of democracy as 'a doctrine of self-renewal' in terms of which alternative, hopeful futures can be imagined.

Panel W016
Envisioning the future, and hope
  Session 1