As thousands of people gather in Paris for the 21st annual UN conference
on climate change, The Corner House is taking the opportunity to let you
know about some recent postings on its website, many of which are directly
climate-related --- but not all.
We hope you find them interesting and thought-provoking. Comments and
feedback welcome as ever.
with very best wishes
The Corner House team
1) Neoliberalism's Climate
Neoliberalism has changed the ways we look at climate: it is now defined
in units that can be bought or rented, while climate change is portrayed
as something non-human to which a monolithic 'society' must 'adapt'. These
innovations perpetuate and deepen long-standing exploitative and
neo-colonialist politics. Challenging them requires deepened dialogue with
indigenous peoples, peasants and workers.
2) The Injustices inside Climate Science
People often talk about the unjust distribution of the effects of climate
change and analyse injustices committed in the name of climate change
'mitigation' and 'adaptation'. But there are also injustices inherent in
mainstream climate science itself that activists need to take account of.
3) Energy as Abstract Social Nature: Climate Change as Labour Issue
Climate change is an energy issue, and energy issues are labour issues.
Effective radical action on climate change requires political analysis of
the 19th-century conception of energy as summarised in the science of
4) Environmental Services: A New Type of Colonial Nature
The new environmental services economy perpetuates the destructive logic
5) 'Annex Zero': A Proposal for the 2015 Paris Climate Summit
During 20 years of UN climate negotiations, countries classified according
to the UN climate convention as Annex I and II have prevented specific and
binding actions to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, the root of
global warming. The international Oilwatch network is proposing a new
Annex -- Annex Zero -- of the Indigenous Peoples and nations, provinces,
states, sub-national regions and localities that actually are doing
something to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and is collecting
commitments from like-minded people who would like to be part of Annex
6) Paths Beyond Paris: Movements, Action and Solidarity towards Climate
The main focus of the Paris climate negotiations, as of previous climate
summits, is to protect and advance the interests of large corporations and
banks. This booklet aims at helping to build stronger, more diverse and
radical movements that can engage successfully against the
counterproductive 'solutions' advocated at such conferences.
7) Mausam: Talking Climate in Public Space
Mausam is a magazine produced by India Climate Justice, a collective that
aims to connect climate issues to local struggles over 'natural
resources', fossil fuel extraction, and rights to land, livelihood and
food. Issue Five has a multi-pronged critique of the actions India
proposes to undertake to address climate change. Its plan is just one of
many 'Intended Nationally Determined Contributions' submitted by
participant countries at the Paris climate summit.
8) An Alternative to 'Alternatives'
The peremptory demand 'What's your alternative?' often needs to be met
with counter-questions such as 'Alternative for whom?' and 'Alternative to
what?' In many circumstances, the question 'Whose side are you on?' is
9) Translation as Class Struggle
At the core of capitalist labour lies interpretation. Yet interpretation
is seldom understood as a site of political contestation or class
struggle. What are the contradictions involved in capital's approach to
interpretive labour? What are the implications for effective
10) What is Nature? Does Nature Have Rights?
Much environmental politics is concerned with what nature is and whether
it has rights. This short piece attempts to frame the issues.
11) The Global Politics of the Nexus: Who and What is Missing?
Dominant concepts of food, energy and water security actually create
insecurities, yet people’s responses to such insecurities are increasingly
being categorised themselves as security threats.
12) Resource Politics and Social Justice:
Scarcity, Politics, Securitisation and the Green Economy
Social justice is unlikely to be achieved by a few policy tweaks, not
least because it is an evolving set of relationships that are never fixed
but constantly being created and recreated. Where justice is concerned,
building long-term relationships will always be more important than
conducting short-term, in-and-out 'campaigns' driven by funding priorities
or the need to present 'policy' to the next international conference. Here
are some promises and pitfalls of alliance-building against the emerging
13)Concept and Metaphor in Political Mobilization
'Making common cause' -- What does that really mean? Finding shared
issues? Formulating a shared platform? Or also seeing your struggle as a
metaphor for others?
14) Drowning a Valley, Destroying a Civilisation:
Fact-Finding Mission Report on the Sardar Sarovar Dam, July 2015
In May 2014, the Indian government authorised the height of the
controversial Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river in central-western
India to be raised. Thousands of people, villages and towns will be
submerged. This report calls for construction work to be halted
immediately until all those people affected have been appropriately
15) Global Looting -- A Snapshot
The gap between rich and poor nationally, regionally and internationally,
has widened massively over the past 30 years as value has been
progressively extracted from ordinary people.
16) Testimonies of Justice
An outline of The Corner House’s approach to solidarity work and research.
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