I’m Sian, and I’m a fossil fuel addict: on paradox, disavowal and (im)possibility in changing climate change

Sullivan, S (2021) 'I’m Sian, and I’m a fossil fuel addict: on paradox, disavowal and (im)possibility in changing climate change.' In: Böhm, S and Sullivan, S, eds. Negotiating climate change in crisis. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, pp. 139-156. ISBN 9781800642621

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0265

Abstract

In recent years I have returned to west Namibia to work with elders of families I have known for more than two decades. Oral histories, recorded as we find and revisit places my companions knew as home, have increasingly struck a chord as a record of lives lived largely untouched by fossil fuels. As the complexity of these pasts has come further into focus, it has become impossible to avoid the gulf between this kind of attunement to environmental contexts and my own life, especially the reality that I am completely dependent on fossil fuels and the products they make possible. This essay is an attempt to fully face this paradox of maintaining hope for binding international climate agreements that have teeth, whilst being aware of my dependence on the fossil fuel extracting and emissions-spewing juggernaut that permeates all our lives. Drawing critically on twelve-step thinking and psychoanalysis literatures I reflect on fossil fuel addiction, and the destructive paradox of not being able to live up to internalised but unreachable values regarding environmental care in a fossil-fuelled world.

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Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2021 12:00
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 12:00
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