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The Carbon Footprint Wars

What Might Happen If We Retreat From Globalization?

Stuart Sim

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Climate change is acknowledged to be the major problem currently facing the human race, and the need to reduce our carbon footprint becomes ever more urgent as the scientific predictions of the effects of climate change become increasingly dire. Whether we are fully aware of the social and political consequences of striving for a significant reduction is more questionable. The Carbon Footprint Wars identifies the many dangers inherent in the projected solutions - such as retreating from the spread of globalization, the current socio-economic paradigm for world trade. The war of words that is being waged over the appropriate way to deal with our collective carbon footprint has critical implications for us all. Stuart Sim examines the issues in detail, raising questions about the assumptions being made on both sides of the climate change divide. He argues that we must urgently address the problem of how to engineer the best possible trade-off between economic survival and ecological disaster - and he puts forward some radical suggestions about how we should set about doing so.

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Part I: The Problems
1. Introduction: The Carbon Footprint Wars: What is at Stake?
2. Global Warming: The Evidence For
3. Global Warming: The Arguments Against
4. The Globalization Paradigm: Defenders and Detractors
Part II: The Solutions
5. Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: Altering Lifestyles
6. Living With Our Carbon Footprint: The Technological Response
Part III: The Consequences
7. Worst-Case Scenarios: Economic
8. Worst-Case Scenarios: Socio-Political
9. Worst-Case Scenarios: Technological and Environmental
Part IV: Reassessing Global Priorities
10. Reconstructing Geopolitical Relationships: The Ethical Dimension
11. Reconstructing Geopolitical Narratives: A Radical Democratic Globe?
12. Conclusion: Survival, Disaster, Trade-Off

About the Author

Stuart Sim is retired Professor of Critical Theory at Northumbria University. He has published widely on critical theory, and is a Fellow of the English Association. Amongst his recent publications are The Lyotard Dictionary (2011), Addicted to Profit: Reclaiming Our Lives from the Free Market (2012), Fifty Key Postmodern Thinkers (2013), and, with Brett Wilson and Barbara Hawkins (eds) Art, Science & Cultural Understanding (2014).