Alter-Ecologies: Envisioning Papal & Ecomodernist Nuclear Energy Policy Futures
Forthcoming in 'Laudato Si: Reflections on the Legal, Political and Moral Authority of Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis' (eds Frank Pasquale and Michael Perry) under contract with Cambridge University Press.
11 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 14, 2016
In 2015, two powerful styles of ecological thought were presented as alternatives to mainstream secular-progressive environmentalism. One was Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, which sees climate change as a moral problem exacerbated by consumerism, technocentrism, greed, and individualistic self-absorption. The other was An Ecomodernist Manifesto: a vision for pragmatic technological progress as a means for achieving poverty reduction, environmental flourishing, and economic prosperity. This chapter puts these perspectives into dialogue with one another by analyzing them as alter-ecologies: alternative calls to re-imagine environmentalism’s future ideal worlds. From this standpoint, it unpacks how these texts, especially when read together, can inspire reflection on how to pursue meaningful lives, how to reckon futures, and how to frame climate-friendly energy policies in an uncertain world.
Keywords: nuclear energy, climate change, pope francis, ecomodernism, environmentalism, nuclear power
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