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Anoraks, train timetables, bus rides and biscuits: taking on the impossible in the politics of climate change


Williams, Stewart, Anoraks, train timetables, bus rides and biscuits: taking on the impossible in the politics of climate change, Local Global: identity, security, community, 10 pp. 58-80. ISSN 1832-6919 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 RMIT Globalism Research Centre

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In this paper I explore a climate change politics which is deemed ‘impossible’ by some yet still offering opportunities for radical difference. Neoliberal managerialist approaches to climate change combine a consensual populism and technical economic instrumentalism to reflect what Žižek and Rancičre, among others, heralds an end to politics. However, the demands for social action around sustainable transport, for example, challenge such ‘post-politics’. My own role on a community advisory panel established to evaluate a light rail proposal for the city of Hobart provides an opportunity to examine social action as it unfolds in this context. Recounting some of the interactions among government and community members involved in this project, I discuss how individual experiences of concession, failure and resistance under a post-political paradigm can still give effect to a real and meaningful politics. Indeed, it is in the contingent materiality of our everyday practices that we get to take on the seemingly impossible politics of climate change as we engage ethical issues—explained in Derridean terms as the undecidability of aporia—which force difficult decisions and thus enact the political as it might be better understood.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Williams, Stewart (Dr Stewart Williams)
ID Code:78210
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-06-18
Last Modified:2017-11-14
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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