Recovering from the Recovery Narrative: On Glocalism, Green Jobs and Cyborg Civilization
26 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2013 Last revised: 3 Oct 2015
Date Written: September 11, 2013
Climate change has fundamentally disrupted the traditional stories and narrative structures that underlie modern environmental law in the United States. This Essay, one in a series of pieces adopting a Law & Literature approach to environmental law, identifies emerging storylines that have begun to predominate in environmental law discourse and that will prove influential in the coming years. The Essay elaborates on 1) how new perceptions of scale are re-defining human beings’ attachments to a sense of “place” or “dwelling,” and are shaping new attitudes about what constitutes the local, posing potential problems for existing federalism schemes; 2) how America’s long history of nationalizing nature manifests in the discourse surrounding energy security, energy independence, and the “green economy,” a discourse which has quickly come into conflict with existing place-based preservationist storylines; and 3) how climate change impacts and the demand for adaptation can produce a reimagining of nature and culture as a kind of cyborg. The Essay concludes by noting commonalities and distinctions between new and old environmental stories, and reflecting on how more radical transformations may lay ahead.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation