Essays & Theses

The High-Energy Planet

A key part of the ecomodern discourse of a ‘Good Anthropocene’ is the vision of a ‘high-energy planet’ characterized by universal access to modern energy. Recognizing the crucial historical role that rising energy consumption has played in driving
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   This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Global Change, Peace & Security  on 5 February 2018, available online: R  ASMUS K  ARLSSON * The High-Energy Planet   * Rasmus Karlsson, PhD Associate Professor Department of Political Science   AB“T‘ACT A ke pat of the eoode disouse of a Good Athopoee is the isio of a high‐eeg plaet haateized  uiesal aess to ode eeg. ‘eogizig the uial histoial ole that isig eeg osuptio has plaed i diig soial tasfoatios, eoodeists iagie a futue ith sustatial gloal eualit of oppotuit poeed  lea ad audat eeg. Wheeas taditioal eioetal thikig has adoated lad‐itesie distiuted fos of eeale eeg, eoodeists hae agued that suh tehologies ae fudaetall iopatile ith a old i hih ‐ illio people a lie ode lies. Istead, eoodeists eliee that ol eakthough ioatio a oeoe the uet politial ad ultual polaizatio suoudig liate hage ad poide a uifig patha toads liate stailit. Yet, esugig populis ad atioalis, ut also the statist fae of the UNFCCC poess, ake suh a futue ulikel as ih outies eai foused o eetig thei o doesti eissios tagets athe tha deaoizig the gloal eoo as a hole. As a oseuee, oeall politial polaizatio is oud to iease as adial eioetal oies ill all fo ee hashe dead‐side edutios hile tehoati elites a oe to see sola adiatio aageet as the ol feasile a of peetig a ieesile destailizatio of the liate sste. Keywords:  eoodeis, ulea eeg, eeale eeg, liate poli Biographical ote:  D ‘asus Kalsso is a Assoiate Pofesso i politial siee at Ueå Uiesit. He has pulished idel o liate itigatio poli, deelopet ethis, ad gloal affais.   Thak ou idustializatio. Thak ou steel ill. Thak ou poe statio. Ad thak ou heial poessig idust that gae us tie to ead ooks. Has ‘oslig, ‐ Itroductio Fiee as the oflit oe the siee of liate hage has ee, a hae agued that the udelig soue of otetio has ot so uh ee opetig theoies of atosphei phsis as the diisie politis of itigatio Bo, :; Jaieso, :. With oth oetatios of geehouse gases i the atosphee ad gloal aeage tepeatues otiuig to soa Petes et al., , it is eoig ieasigl lea that liate stailizatio ill euie adial politial atio. Yet, i a old of . illio people ith idel shaed ateial aspiatios, the dietio ad otet of that politial atio hoee eai as uetai ad otoesial as ee Hule, . I , the Eooderist Maifesto  ought futhe fuel to the fie  suggestig that ot ol ould life i the Athopoee e ade toleale ut that eakthough tehologial ioatio, if applied ith isdo, held the ke to a good, o ee geat, Athopoee i hih all of the olds ihaitats ill e ale to lie pospeous lies Asafu‐Adjae et al., :. Tuig taditioal eioetal thikig o its head, the authos ehid the aifesto agued that athe tha haoizig ith atue ad eduig eeg use, huait should seek to oe full sepaate the eoo fo atue ad iest i lea, dese ad audat eeg soues that ould ake possile oth uiesal hua flouishig ad lage‐sale eildig. This otaia isio of a high‐eeg plaet eae the thee of the  Beakthough Dialogue a aual eet ogaized  the eoodeist thik tak The Breakthrough Istitute  ad the ai of this piee is to futhe elaoate o hat suh a isio ould etail, hile also highlightig its liitatios i tes of politial ealis. At a tie he the futue agai sees ost uetai ad the asedig gloal iagia is igitig e ideologial oflits “tege, , thee is a pooued lak of deate aout hat a sustaiale, et ealisti, log‐te plaeta futue ould atuall look like Kalsso, . Muh itial sholaship teats the liate isis as aused solel  apitalis Klei, , igoig that huas ould poal hae oth eeds ad ats ude a eooi sste. “iilal, those ho ague that the ol possile solutio to the liate isis is a adial edutio i ateial liig stadads ofte eai silet aout ho suh a edutio is supposed to i oad deoati suppot o hat to do ith a outies that ejet deads fo eologial austeit. O the   opposite side of the politial spetu, outight deial o tiializatio of liate isk eais oo, i patiula i the Uited “tates MCight & Dulap, ; Washigto & Cook, . Aodig to the ok of Da Kaha ad othes, this is ot piail a issue of lakig sietifi litea ut athe oe of ultual polaizatio Kaha et al., . “uh polaizatio is pehaps ot supisig gie ho uh the geophsial pole of liate hage has eoe oflated ith a patiula set of politial solutios poposed to fight it ad a ipliit logi that sas that if ou aept oe ou hae to aept the othe. “ie a people o the politial ‘ight fid these solutios to e detietal to thei alues ad lifestles, otestig o ee outight ejetig the udelig siee has eoe a a of lokig politial atio. Aodig to eoodeis, shiftig the fous fo the dead side to the suppl side ould offe a a of eakig this ipasse ad patiall depolitiizig the issue of liate hage. B usig pulil fuded ioatio to ake lea ad eliale eeg sigifiatl   heape tha fossil alteaties, eoodeists ot ol foesee that doesti politial diides a e oeoe “helleege et al., , the also eisio that deelopig outies a aeleate thei ise out of poet hile siultaeousl deaoizig thei eeg suppl Kalsso & “os, . ‘eogizig the uial histoial ole that isig eeg osuptio has plaed i diig oad soial tasfoatios, eoodeists eliee that ee household eletifiatio, fo istae though io‐gids, fails to poide the ipetus eessa fo deelopig outies to ake the tasitio fo agaia susistee faig to oe podutie fos of off‐fa eploet Nodhaus, Dei & Teath, . ‘athe tha fousig o ahieig a oial easue of eeg aess, eoodeists ague that the pope ai should e to poide the eeg eessa to effetiel eadiate poet ad aise oeall podutiit though opehesie uaizatio ad idustializatio Bazilia & Pielke, . Ol the, sa eoodeists, ill it e possile to iagie a futue of ope odes ad a ateial asis suffiiet to esue uiesal elfae poisio. It is that pospeous gloal futue hih eoodeists seek to aptue i the etapho of a high‐eeg plaet. Yet, as ‘olad Bathes oe put it, ol the etapho is eat Taasti, :. While eoodeists a e ight that [t]he ouse of deelopet folloed  ituall all atios deostates that people aoud the old desie a high‐eeg futue Bazilia & Pielke, :, suh a ie still otais a poleati eleet of teleolog ad lais of uiesalit ith hih eoodeis has et to full egage. If tue, it ould also ake the task of liate stailizatio iesel oe diffiult. O the othe had, it sees euall if ot oe poleati to teat peaet poet as the solutio to the liate isis. While fe ould pulil defed suh lifeoat ethis Hadi, ; Dzek, :, eoodeists ould ague that the patial effet of diffeet fos of ao oditioalit is peisel suh sustaied poet. Thaks to a ue of   doo iitiaties, the poo a ieasigl hae iteet oetiit ad sola lates ut agai, eoodeists ould ague, this ol akes thei epeiee of elatie poet ee oe ueaale. All these oflit lies hae eoe futhe ofused  the flu i hih e fid iteatioal politis i the ake of the Tup peside. Due to a oiatio of isig potetiois ad ieasig autoatio, deelopig outies a soo fid theseles i a state of peatue deidustializatio ‘odik, , a oditio futhe aggaated  the lak of eliale eeg. “iultaeousl, ith ultilateal istitutios ude siege, the idea of poidig ast oeta tasfes to the poo to help the ope ith the effets of liate hage o to fiae the deploet of sall‐sale eeale eeg sees ieasigl illuso. Agaist this akdop, eoodeists hope that the isio of a high‐eeg plaet ould offe a uifig aatie of pogessie gloal hage. Ulike taditioal eioetalis that ould euie a idig do of gloal tade ad, ultiatel, a eesal of all the geat tasfoatioal poesses of the last etuies Cose, “atos, & ONeill, , a eoodeist futue ould athe deped o a ee oe itegated old ith fee oeet of ideas, people ad teholog i ode to uikl diffuse eakthough tehologies ad ake possile a apid displaeet of fossil fuels oldide. Istead of haig to ipose a shaed episteolog ad a assoiated gloal ethi of estait, eoodeists suggest that eioetal leadig outies should fous o fiaig eakthough lo‐ao ioatios that othe outies ill the adopt fo puel eooi easos as gloalizatio ufolds. Yet, ith the futue of gloalizatio itself o at stake, the ipliatios fo eoodeis ad the pospets of a high‐eeg futue ae oth uetai ad otadito. Hoee, efoe futhe eploig this aiguous politial ladsape, soethig oe has to e said aout the oatie foudatios of eoode thikig. Social deocracy for the Athropocee At its oe, eoodeis is a huaist ad osopolita philosoph Cist, :. Ulike post‐deelopet theoies, eoodeis iagies a futue of gloal eooi oegee i hih people eehee ill e ale to ejo the fuits of odeit. While ot igoat of the Weste ad oloial oigis of odeit, eoodeists eliee that the Elighteet alues ae uiesall alid ad that thee is o aeptale oal euse fo aitaiig a diided old i hih life oppotuities eai oeheligl deteied  plae of ith Loiau, ; Moelledof, , a fato that is opletel outside the otol of the idiidual. I its stead, ad as itodued aoe, eoodeists iagie a full itegated high‐eeg plaet o hih all
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