Collapse, social tipping dynamics, and framing climate change

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Date
2023
Authors
Steel, Daniel
Mintz-Woo, Kian
DesRoche, C. Tyler
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Publisher
Sage
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Abstract
In this article, we claim that recent developments in climate science and renewable energy should prompt a reframing of debates surrounding climate change mitigation. Taken together, we argue that these developments suggest (1) global climate collapse in this century is a non-negligible risk, (2) mitigation offers substantial benefits to current generations, and (3) mitigation by some can generate social tipping dynamics that could ultimately make renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. We explain how these claims undermine familiar framings of climate change, wherein mitigation is understood as self-sacrifice that individuals and governments must be morally persuaded or incentivized to undertake.
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Keywords
Climate change , Climate collapse , Climate ethics , Climate justice , Intergenerational justice , Mitigation , Societal collapse , Tipping points
Citation
Steel, D., Mintz-Woo, K. and DesRoches, C.T. (2023) ‘Collapse, social tipping dynamics, and framing climate change’, Politics, Philosophy & Economics, (22 pp). https://doi.org/10.1177/1470594X231196432