The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-07-09
  • Publisher: Mit Pr

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The idea of sacrifice is the unspoken issue of environmental politics. Politicians, the media, and many environmentalists assume that well-off populations won't make sacrifices now for future environmental benefits and won't change their patterns and perceptions of consumption to make ecological room for the world's three billion or so poor eager to improve their standard of living. The Environmental Politics of Sacrificechallenges these assumptions, arguing that they limit our policy options, weaken our ability to imagine bold action for change, and blind us to the ways sacrifice already figures in everyday life. The concept of sacrifice has been curiously unexamined in both activist and academic conversations about environmental politics, and this book is the first to confront it directly. The chapters bring a variety of disciplinary perspectives to the topic. Contributors offer alternatives to the conventional wisdom on sacrifice; identify connections between sacrifice and human fulfillment in everyday life, finding such concrete examples as parents' sacrifices in raising children, religious practice, artists' pursuit of their art, and soldiers and policemen who risk their lives to do their jobs; and examine particular policies and practices that shape our understanding of environmental problems, including the carbon tax, incentives for cyclists, and the perils of green consumption. The Environmental Politics of Sacrificeputs "sacrifice" firmly into the conversation about effective environmental politics and policies, insisting that activists and scholars do more than change the subject when the idea is introduced. Contributors: Peter Cannavo, Shane Gunster, Cheryl Hall, Karen Litfin, Michael Maniates, John M. Meyer, Simon Nicholson, Anna Peterson, Thomas Princen, Sudhir Chella Rajan, Paul Wapner, Justin Williams

Author Biography

Michael Maniates is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Science at Allegheny College. He is the coeditor, with Thomas Princen and Ken Conca, of Confronting Consumption (MIT Press, 2002). John M. Meyer is Professor of Politics and also teaches in the graduate Program on Environment and Community at Humboldt State University. He is the author of Political Nature: Environmentalism and the Interpretation of Western Thought (MIT Press, 2001).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Must We Sacrifice?: Confronting the Politics of Sacrifice in an Ecologically Full Worldp. 1
Asking the Right Questionsp. 9
A Democratic Politics of Sacrifice?p. 13
Sacrifice in an Age of Comfortp. 33
Freedom, Values, and Sacrifice: Overcoming Obstacles to Environmentally Sustainable Behaviorp. 61
Seeing Sacrifice in Everyday Lifep. 87
Ordinary and Extraordinary Sacrifices: Religion, Everyday Life, and Environmental Practicep. 91
The Sacred and the Profane in the Ecological Politics of Sacrificep. 117
Consumer Sovereignty, Heroic Sacrifice: Two Insidious Concepts in an Endlessly Expansionist Economyp. 145
Parental Sacrifice as Atonement for Future Climate Changep. 165
Obstacles and Opportunitiesp. 185
Self-Interest, Sacrifice, and Climate Change: (Re-)Framing the British Columbia Carbon Taxp. 187
Civic Virtue and Sacrifice in a Suburban Nationp. 217
Bikes, Sticks, Carrotsp. 247
Intelligent Design?: Unpacking Geoengineering's Hidden Sacrificesp. 271
Struggling with Sacrifice: Take Back Your Time and Right2Vacation.orgp. 293
Conclusion: Sacrifice and a New Environmental Politicsp. 313
List of Contributorsp. 321
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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