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Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Earth

1. Making Sense of Earth’s Politics  

A Discourse Approach

This chapter introduces the politics of the Earth, which has featured a large and ever-growing range of concerns, such as pollution, wilderness preservation, population growth, depletion of natural resources, climate change, biodiversity loss, and destabilization of the Earth system. It explains how the issues of Earth’s politics are interlaced with a range of questions about human livelihood, social justice, public attitudes, and proper relation to one other and other entities on the planet. It also discusses the consequences of discourses for politics and policies. The chapter clarifies how environmental issues like ecological limits, nature preservation, climate change, biodiversity, rainforest protection, environmental justice, and pollution are interconnected in all kinds of ways. It develops an environmental discourse analysis approach and shows how this approach will be applied in subsequent chapters, beginning with the positioning of environmental discourses in relation to the long dominant of discourse of industrialism.

Book

Cover The Politics of the Earth
This book provides an accessible introduction to environmental politics through a powerful, discourse-centred approach which analyzes how environmental affairs are constructed and interpreted through language. It recounts developments beginning with the arrival of environmental crisis in the late 1960s, which yielded dire warnings about global shortages and ecological collapse. It moves through subsequent decades to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the anti-environmental backlash of denial and “Gray Radicalism”. The book develops an innovative approach to understanding contemporary environmental discourses, covering ecological limits and planetary boundaries, pragmatic problem-solving, sustainability, ecological modernization, and green radicalism, as well as radical anti-environmentalism. It analyzes key developments in environmental affairs alongside many examples that illustrate how discourses shape past and current debates on the environment. It concludes by examining the radical implications of the Anthropocene concept.