Ulrich Beck, German sociologist and professor at Munich University and London School of Economics analyzes the elitist discourse on the issue of climate politics. The category of "Environment" according to Mr. Beck should be integrated to social and human problems.
The key question is: Why is there no storming of the Bastille because of the environmental destruction threatening mankind, why no Red October of ecology?
Climate for Change, or how to create a Green Modernity?
The discourse on climate politics so far is an expert and elitist discourse in which peoples, societies, citizens, workers, voters and their interests, views and voices are very much neglected. So, in order to turn climate change politics from its head onto its feet you have to take sociology into account.
There is an important background assumption which shares in the general ignorance concerning environmental issues and, paradoxically, this is incorporated in the specialism of environmental sociology itself – this is the category of ‘the environment’. If ‘the environment’ only includes everything which is not human, not social, then the concept is sociologically empty. If the concept includes human action and society, then it is scientifically mistaken and politically suicidal.
Read more here
Ulrich Beck is Professor for Sociology at the University of Munich, the British Journal of Sociology Visiting Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and, since 2009, Senior Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Design School. He is editor of Soziale Welt, editor of the Edition Second Modernity Suhrkamp (Frankfurt am Main) and founding director of a research centre at the University of Munich (in cooperationwith four other universities in the area).
NGO Solon would like to thank Mr. Beck for his permission in publication of his article.
21 August 2010
Photo from London School of Economics