University of the West of Scotland
• In trying to establish humanity’s place in the
world, where should we begin?
• Do we consider our role in evolution, our
relationship to other species, our relationship
with non-animal species, our planet?
• These considerations are relevant to
posthumanism, since we are in the business of
considering how humanity may shift in the
coming years, as a result of technological
Context: Technological Change
• To this end, answering our question about what
defines posthuman envirnoments requires
defining the limits of technology
• While we may talk about technologies as
apparatus or artifacts, we may also claim that
each of these devices are, in fact, environmental
• They shape our existence and limit our
interactions with the world
• By extension, posthumanism is the study of our
environmental interactions, from the clothes we
wear, to the impact of our carbon omissions on
• This is why environmental change is central to
the posthumanist debate.
• We can also identify the disciplinary shifts that
have occurred over the last 10 years and identify
‘environmental ethics’ as a part of the ‘applied
ethical’ movement towards ‘bio’ issues.
• Yet, perhaps more than any other topic we have
discussed, the environment engages politics in a
way that draws attention to
– The limits of ethical debate
– the public context within which policy debates
are played out
• It is also the one issue where the evidence base
is most crucial and controversial
• Should we have concern for non-human life?
– How far should we expand this concern?
• Is a change in society the right way to handle
• Is the ‘technological fix’ a better strategy?
• What does ‘respect’ for the environment
• How should this issue be handled on a global
– is it reasonable to require developing
countries to adhere to same standards?
• An Inconvenient Truth (2007)
• The Great Global Warming Swindle
– Focus on this as the more interesting cultural
artifact, not because it is right about the issue,
but because it allows us to understand the
way in which a dilemma becomes a norm and
the impact of this
• Cop15 – UN Climate Change Conference (2009)
meet of parties to United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change
• BP Deep Water Horizon (2010)
• Climate Gate – controversy around University of
East Anglia (2009)
• Self-censorship and science: a geographical review of media coverage of climate tipping points,
Public Understanding of Science March 1, 2010 19: 240-256
• Ideological cultures and media discourses on scientific knowledge: re-reading news on climate
change, Public Understanding of Science April 1, 2007 16: 223-243
• Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: How to
improve communication across ideological divides?, Public Understanding of Science November
1, 2010 19: 743-761
• Global warming--global responsibility? Media frames of collective action and scientific certainty,
Public Understanding of Science July 1, 2009 18: 421-436
• From Carbon Markets to Carbon Morality: Creative Compounds as Framing Devices in Online
Discourses on Climate Change Mitigation, Science Communication March 1, 2010 32: 25-54
• Gardner, Stephen M., A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the
Problem of Moral Corruption, Environmental Values, Volume 15, Number 3, August 2006 , pp.
We should NOT adapt our lifestyles out of a
concern for the environment.