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Brave New UNFCCC: Spatial fixes, Environmental Utopia, and the New Governmentality of International Climate Politics

Archived Content

THEME: Science Policy Gap

TITLE: Brave New UNFCCC: Spatial fixes, Environmental Utopia, and the New Governmentality of International Climate Politics

AUTHOR(S): Medalye, J.

DATE: November 2011

TAGS: science for peace, carbon tax, cars vs. food, climate politics, Civil Society and the UNFCCC

ABSTRACT: This year Science for Peace celebrates its 30th anniversary. We can look back with pride at our history of vibrant, challenging discussions of the many life and death threats of these times: nuclear war and expansion of the military; climate change (including its roots in the carbon economy); runaway capitalism; and the enormous human toll from severe poverty, racism, and political oppression. We cannot diminish the importance of discussion and education. Veteran Science for Peace members John Valleau and Paul Hamel now research and educate about the alarming decline of the university in its essential role as the public place of the free-thinking intellectual in the face of privatization and corporatization. Discussion and education provide the necessary foundation of democracy, for how can there be democracy with an uninformed electorate? A rather startling instance of the compromised university can be found in the fact that the University of Toronto library system, one of the world’s best, still does not carry James Hansen’s 2009 book Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. However, the library carries many copies of the speculative (and irresponsible) climate books by James Lovelock and Bjorn Lomborg. Education is perhaps more crucial now than at any other time in history as we face threats of extinction through the use of nuclear weapons and through climate change. Science for Peace brings together scholars from many fields to challenge and discuss issues, a practice which is a corrective antidote to compartmentalization and simplification. In this Letter I want to present two ideas from my own field, psychoanalysis. Freud characteristically aimed to understand the whole picture and so was constantly asking what was missing. Eventually, his clinical observations led him to a conceptual structure of categories (or perspectives or points of view) that can be likened to map projections. Each projection carries different information, and the information from various projections relate to each other in numerous and varied ways. In order to approach a “complete” picture, one would have to have a conceptual understanding of the contributions from all the projections.

LINKS: To view the entire publication, go to

COPYRIGHT: Copyright © 2011 Science for Peace – The Bulletin

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Medalye, J.; February 9, 2011. ‘Brave New UNFCCC: Spatial fixes, Environmental Utopia, and the New Governmentality of International Climate Politics’, Canadian Dimension, Web Exclusive.