01 May On the origins of environmental bullshit
On the origins of environmental bullshit: The producers and beneficiaries of post-truth in the environmental arena
This seminar lays out one of the projects under the Sydney Post-Truth Initiative, on the political use of falsehoods, obfuscation, and denialism on a range of environmental issues. It’s about the politics of the Bull, rather than the nature of the Shit. Rather than focus on post-truth as an idea and utterance, the focus here is on tracing the political motivations and processes around the use of post-truth discourse. The talk will cover some of the research done in the field in the US (specifically the climate denial machine), some similarities and differences between the US and Australia on environmental bullshit, and an initial overview of a network analysis of politically-motivated falsehoods about the state of the Great Barrier Reef.
David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. He is known internationally for his work in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory – in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice. He is the author, most recently, of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007); co-author of Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of both The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016). Professor Schlosberg’s current research includes work on climate justice – in particular justice in climate adaptation strategies and policies, and the question of human obligations of justice to the nonhuman realm. He is also examining the sustainable practices of new environmental movement groups – in particular their attention to flows of power and goods in relation to food, energy, and sustainable fashion. And he continues with theoretical work at the interface of justice, democracy, and human/nonhuman relations in the Anthropocene.