Towards a transition in communication practices in face of the irreversibility of climate change, the foreseeable end of easy oil and resource scarcity
Journal Razón y Palabra 91
(September – November 2015)
Special issue title: “Towards a transition in communication practices in face of the irreversibility of climate change, the foreseeable end of easy oil and resource scarcity”
José Luís Piñuel
Ilza Maria Tourinho Girardi
In its 5th Assessment Report, the IPCC made its sharpest analysis yet of anthropogenic climate change and its irreversible risks. Scientists are increasingly assertive in alerting to the fact that we cannot proceed with the current status quo if we are to avoid dangerous interferences with the climate system. A technological, institutional and human turn of Copernican dimensions is required. It must have immediate effect, global range and enact substantial inversions in current practices of energy production and use (IPCC press release, 13 April 2014).
In the last few years numerous social movements and networks have been proposing and experimenting with alternatives that are showing effective at small scales in performing a shift towards a low-carbon future. Complementing the existing ecologist movement, “eco-villages”, Transition initiatives, “degrowth” groups, cooperatives, projects focusing on “voluntary simplicity”, “slow pace”, ecological economics, political ecology, the “good life” (sumak kawsay, suma qamaña or teko kavi) and other ideas have been emerging far and wide.
Given current and projected levels of greenhouse gas emissions, action plans must take planetary limits into account. Those limits are also related to resource depletion and the foreseeable end of the era of easy oil. The International Energy Agency estimates that the production of conventional oil peaked in 2006 and several reports signal that coal and gas peaks will take place in the next five decades.
Against this context, the editors of this special issue invite research and reflection on the necessary (and inevitable) transition in communication practices about these subjects. The importance of communication in transition processes cannot be overstated. Communication practices can promote resistance to crossing boundaries that would take planetary systems out of balance and into uncharted territory. New modes of communication may offer a counterweight to the discourses that feed hegemonic structures. From the media, a commitment is needed with a paradigmatic cultural shift founded upon sustainability. All of this can decisively help in overcoming intelligibility problems regarding climate change, changing obsolete models for thinking and seeing things, and adopting new patterns of collective behaviour and civic participation while taking advantage of critical opportunities for change at this crucial time.
Some of the themes that are welcome in this special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Alternative media and discourses on climate change
- The end of easy oil and media representations
- Resource scarcity and debates on alternatives
- Communication and social movements enacting experiences of transition
- Conditions and characteristics of communication for transition
Editorial policy of the journal Razón y Palabra:
Manuscripts are accepted in the following languages:
- Deadline for submission of manuscripts: 30 June 2015
- Reviewing: 1-15 July 2015
- Submission of revised versions of manuscripts: 30 July 2015
- Publication of special issue: September 2015
Manuscripts should be sent to the following email addresses, which can also be used for questions or any other purpose regarding this special issue:
firstname.lastname@example.org (in Spanish and English)
email@example.com (in Portuguese)