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Accepted Paper:

Climate Generosity and the 'Median Commons'  
Jonathan Marshall (University of Technology, Sydney)

Paper short abstract:

Climate generosity is based on the idea of giving useful climate technology to communities, without going through the complex organisation of generating a formal commons, or struggling over ownership and control. This idea is illustrated by community action movements in the Bega Region of NSW.

Paper long abstract:

Capitalist property comes from appropriation - what Marx called primitive accumulation - not referring to so-called primitive societies but to the early stages of capitalism itself. It has since become obvious that often violent appropriation of public goods, ideas and land is necessary to the continued function of capitalism, as with the destruction of aboriginal lands in Australia.

This paper suggests that capitalist ideas of property get in the way of a successful energy transition, and obstruct State action, and this can be, to some extent overcome by a new venture in commoning. This venture demonstrated by groups like Clean Energy for Eternity in the Bega region of NSW involves community gifting of solar panels to local community buildings. These are common property, but not a commons as such. It circumvents problems with organising commons and with disputes over ownership. It also signals the local council that people are supportive of renewable energy action, and will put their own money into the common good.

Panel P043a
Commoning-decommoning dynamics in climate and energy politics [Energy Anthropology Network] I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -