Ecomodernist metaphors: what they reveal and what they hide

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The article analyzes two metaphors for representing ecomodernism, i.e., the idea that humans should use technology to decouple the effects that human activities have on the environment from the environment. As metaphors are powerful representation tools, their study contributes to understand how and why a specific environmental ideology can be pushed on the frontline of political action. The two metaphors are (i) a rocket traveling through the atmosphere (Bostrom, Glob Policy 4(1):15–31, 2013; Karlsson, Anthropocene Rev 3(1):23–32, 2016) and (ii) a truck driver moving past an emerging multi-vehicles pile-up (Szerszynski, Environ Human 7(1):239–244, 2015). While, at a first look, they seem quite similar, their differences reveal their authors’ profound disagreement over the ecomodernist project. On the other hand, the similarities hide important aspects of the ecomodernist project which are not considered in either of the two metaphors. Both ecomodernist metaphors conceal ideological commitments, normative presuppositions, and assumptions about the physical and the social world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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