Title: Getting out of the CAR: decarbonisation, climate change and sustainable society

Authors: Ronnie D. Lipschutz

Addresses: Department of Politics, University of California, 234 Crown College, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA

Abstract: The search for a sustainable civilisation - an essential concomitant of dealing with global warming - will be driven, in part, by the 'normalisation' of a low-carbon lifestyle. To date, most research and discussion of this transition have centred on technological fixes and their economic equivalent, 'getting prices right'. Although both approaches seem to point to reduced levels of consumption as a result of more 'efficient' processes and practices, neither really addresses the material and cognitive changes associated with need for drastic reductions in carbon burning. There is a glaring contradiction between the impetus for high rates of economic growth and the major modifications of 'lifestyle' necessitated by environmental crisis. 'Lifestyle' is usually approached as an individual attribute. This disregards the governmentalisation of consumption through advertising and other forms of preference-shaping, which serve to link lifestyle to 'identities'.

Keywords: decarbonisation; socialisation; consumption; social engineering; low carbon lifestyle; automobility; governmentality; biopolitics; climate change; sustainability; sustainable development; global warming; economic growth; environmental crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2012.049405

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2012 Vol.4 No.4, pp.336 - 356

Available online: 03 Oct 2012

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