Laurie Parsons
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Six myths that fuel carbon colonialism – and how to think differently
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The global factory is consuming the planet. On the one hand, a vast increase in the rate of globalisation has seen once-domestic manufacturing processes extended across vast tracts of space, with multiple nations now involved in the production of a single product. Making room for all this production – and the consumption to which it is linked – has seen huge tracts of land repurposed for industry and agriculture: a process of global ecological destruction which has seen a 70 per cent decline in the global population of species since 1970. The result of all this is rising temperatures and the enhanced risk of natural hazards this brings. Yet, as fast as these processes accelerate, narratives of sustainability progress proliferate still faster: comforting myths that hide the dirtiest parts of the global factory from the eyes of the many people who would be horrified to know the truth. These myths are so widespread that they can feel inescapable. They are like mile-high walls around genuine change and meaningful action. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. The way we view the world is a political choice, and like any political choice it can be unmade, if it can first be identified. Building on the lessons of the book so far, this final chapter presents six underlying myths that shape public and policy understanding of climate change. By shedding a new light on key axioms of climate thinking, these six myths are intended to unsettle our certainties, and reveal the blind spots in our understanding of environmental breakdown and the enormous injustices that lurk within them.

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Carbon Colonialism

How rich countries export climate breakdown

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