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  • Transformation, adaptation and universalism

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Global Discourse on 23/03/2017 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23269995.2017.1300403

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Transformation, adaptation and universalism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Global Discourse
Issue number1
Volume7
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)23-27
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/03/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Global efforts to mitigate climate change are inadequate, making planning for adaptation to increases in temperature critically important. Adaptation comes in many forms, none of which are neutral. All responses have ethical and equity dimensions. With transformational adaptation, changes in values are likely. Looking ahead to 2100, Heatley anticipates that universalism values will come under threat from the impacts of 3-4°C warming. But breakdown of solidarity and disruption of international systems of trade and security is already within sight: self-protection values and isolationist tendencies are gaining in salience.

Self-protection values and unrealistic optimism are discussed in this paper as defences against the profound psychological threat posed by climate change. The dominant cultural worldview of progressivism is rendered untenable: we are not in control of nature. The project of progress as it is currently conceptualised must be forgotten not just for a hundred years as Heatley pleads, but altogether, and an alternative idea of human flourishing promoted instead. But who are the custodians of values that help us live in more harmonious relationship with the natural world? Who can champion adaptation as universalism? This paper asks whether spiritual leaders will be able to step up and perform this role.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Global Discourse on 23/03/2017 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23269995.2017.1300403