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Addressing Anthropogenic Climate Change: How Contemporary Latent Neoliberalism is Getting in the Way

Taylor, Lisa M (2020) Addressing Anthropogenic Climate Change: How Contemporary Latent Neoliberalism is Getting in the Way. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Taylor, Lisa M
Abstract:

This paper takes an exploratory approach to examining Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) and the system involved in addressing this issue. It starts by asking ‘What needs to be done to address ACC,’ and then similar to peeling away layers of an onion, goes deeper, shifting to two linked questions: ‘Why do we seem to be slow to respond to what is possibly the greatest threat of our time’; and, ‘Why do we seem to be getting in our own way?’ Through a layered approach, the paper identifies the actors within the system, the relationships, and the underlying ideology. Initially, the paper focuses on an objective viewpoint, and then peels that objectivity back to look at the realities and context in relation to each actor’s roles, influences, and challenges. Using a causal layered analysis and a systemigram, the paper works to show why the pace of change remains slow despite the growing crisis and despite overtly expressed interest in change from the three main actor groups: the public, government, and industry. What it finds through the analysis is that aspects of neoliberalism, called ‘contemporary latent neoliberalism’ (a focus on free-market capitalism, light-touch government, a hidden ruling elite, and social/environmental issues subordinate to all else), are at the heart of the problem, creating strong resistance and slowing the progress on addressing anthropogenic climate change. Ultimately, the current system is flawed. The majority of influence and power comes from individuals and organizations that profit from lines of business that contribute to climate change, and whose profits would be negatively affected by strong rapid efforts to address ACC. Governments are unable to step in to hold these actors to account as they are designed to follow market forces, and the public is unable to effect real change as they have the least amount of influence. For real change to occur, the system has to shift in some way.

Date: 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropogenic Climate Change, Climate Change, Neoliberalism, Environment, Environmentalism, Addressing Climate Change
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 18:45
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 18:45
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3033

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