Deranged, Dithering, and Precarious: “Post-truth” and Climate Change

Authors: Dylan M Harris*, Clark University
Topics: Global Change, Human-Environment Geography, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: post-truth, climate change, storytelling, environmental humanities,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Maurepas, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

With regards to climate change, what do degrees of certainty, majority scientific consensus, and facts mean in a “post-truth” world? This article explores these questions by first contextualizing our current climatic-geologic moment within what Ghosh (2016) has termed The Great Derangement and what Haraway (2016) considers The Great Dithering. Then, this article engages with “post-truth,” arguing that – despite its negative connotations in the media – the mainstream acceptance of multiple truths may provide space for creative and political resistance and ultimately a better understanding of climate change. By comparing the IPCC’s Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to the speculative world of Paolo Bacigalupi’s "The Wind-up Girl," this short article highlights the speculative leaps made, and required by, climate scientists to communicate a future earth, and how these ideas can be used to make sense of the complex realities of rapid climate change.

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