Follow the carbon: Housing movements and carbon emissions in the 21st century city
In this talk, Cohen will make an empirical argument that ordinary people’s struggles to improve their quality of life can be a force for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, and a theoretical argument that a “collective consumption” perspective (borrowing from Manuel Castells) helps to clarify how this is so. The talk will draw on fieldwork conducted in São Paulo and New York on low-carbon policy and housing politics, which in New York is culminating in pioneering low-carbon legislation informally called “A Green Dew Deal for New York.” It will also sketch results on the emergence of state-wide “just transition” campaign waged from below in New York State. And it will present early carbon footprint data, showing early results of a new big data project on whole community climate-mapping, which will look at the intersections of inequalities, the built environment, and climate at the neighborhood level across the US. The talk will argue that private consumption of goods and services, far from exhausting a climate politics of consumption, should be theorized as part of a broader, collective struggle over the social organization of consumption in its broadest sense.
This event is part of the Social Life of Climate Change Michaelmas Term Seminars
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