Anarchy, War, or Revolt? Radical Perspectives for Climate Protection, Insurgency and Civil Disobedience in a Low-Carbon Era

Energy Research & Social Science Volume 86, April 2022, 102416, Forthcoming

Posted: 30 Jan 2022

See all articles by Benjamin K. Sovacool

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Science Policy Research Unit; Boston University - Department of Earth and Environment; Department of Business Technology & Development

Alexander Dunlap

University of Oslo

Date Written: December 7, 2021

Abstract

What radical tactics might those seeking transformational action on climate or environmental sustainability undertake? What options are capable of stopping actors and institutions who already realize their actions and behavior may harm millions, degrade the biosphere, and contaminate the climate, but continue to do so, despite the scientific or moral reasons not to? This paper explores efforts that can vigorously confront apathy and inaction and potentially subvert power relations currently perpetuating climate catastrophe and environmental destruction. We examine the tactics employed over time from civil disobedience and (strict) nonviolence, antiauthoritarian strategies and self-defense as well as guerrilla warfare perspectives, and distill from them options for potential climate action. In doing so, we offer a comprehensive inventory of 20 distinct direct action tactics that, while unsavory in some contexts, offer a chance of creating social change. In doing so, we also draw from the wealth of knowledge regarding protests, social movements, self-organization, and an array of different struggles and strategies.

Keywords: Green anarchism, Social movements, Social opposition, Guerilla warfare, Resistance, Covert climate action, Obstructive direct action

Suggested Citation

Sovacool, Benjamin K. and Dunlap, Alexander, Anarchy, War, or Revolt? Radical Perspectives for Climate Protection, Insurgency and Civil Disobedience in a Low-Carbon Era (December 7, 2021). Energy Research & Social Science Volume 86, April 2022, 102416, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3979688

Benjamin K. Sovacool (Contact Author)

Science Policy Research Unit ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/373957

Boston University - Department of Earth and Environment ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

Department of Business Technology & Development ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/id(fca10105-c4eb-4f0f-99a7-a354a8a8a47a).html

Alexander Dunlap

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

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