Fair-weather liberalism: institutional preparedness for severe climate change
What if we fail to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and so face its more severe impacts? I argue we must take this possibility seriously and doing so reveals a new obligation of climate justice – contingency planning for severe climate change. Contingency planning prepares us for undesirable possible futures. I argue for its philosophical grounding in an epistemology of futurity – possibilism – that imagines the future as a broad range of possibilities to be prepared for. I set out to draft a contingency plan that looks to safeguard liberal democracy against the impacts of severe climate change including scarcity, violence, and migration. I argue that many of liberalism’s most immediate theoretical resources are unhelpful in acknowledging the obligation of contingency planning, and in detailing the normative content of these plans. Much of liberalism is fair-weather. It either fails to properly identify the problems posed by severe climate change, misreads their normative contours, or fails to offer adequate solutions to them. But mapping these failures also helps us see the possibility of a new, climate-robust liberalism that can build institutional preparedness for severe climate change.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/26588
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