Chapter 15: The political economy of climate vulnerability: searching for common ground in a retrotopian world
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Climate injustices have reached untenable proportions. A widespread policy response champions the reduction of climate vulnerability through mitigation and adaptation schemes. However, critical scholarship suggests that this goal is ultimately unreachable as it rests on a faulty social imaginary that advantages the wealthy at the expense of the poor. In this paper I argue that one such worldview, a retrotopia according to Zygmunt Bauman, is a key dimension of climate injustices. In problematizing climate policy goals, I situate climate vulnerability amidst the failure of the contemporary social imagination according to Latour, Swyngedouw and Bauman. I then discuss the significance of retrotopia in contemporary political economy and the notion of social class in the face of growing climate vulnerability. Ultimately, I stress the need to escape a retrotopian worldview in order to tackle climate injustices.

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