Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Realism and the Climate Crisis

Hope for Life

By John Foster

Published

Feb 17, 2022

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1529223279

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Feb 17, 2022

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1529223262

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Feb 17, 2022

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1529223286

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Feb 17, 2022

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1529223293

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Realism and the Climate Crisis

In the teeth of climate emergency, hope has to remain possible, because life insists on it. But hope also has to be realistic. And doesn’t realism about our plight point towards despair? Don’t the timid politicians, the failed summits and the locked-in consumerism all just mean that we have left things far too late to avoid catastrophe?

There is a deeper realism of transformation which can keep life powerful within us. It comes at the price of accepting that our condition is tragic. That, in turn, calls for a harsher, more revolutionary approach to the demands of the emergency than most activists have yet been prepared to adopt.

This is a book to think with, to argue and disagree with – and to hope with.

“It is a long time since I read a book with such provocative power. It will be talked about. More than that, it may be literally vital.” Rupert Read, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia and author of Parents for a Future

John Foster is a freelance philosopher and an honorary teaching fellow at Lancaster University. His previous books include The Sustainability Mirage, After Sustainability and the edited collection Facing Up to Climate Reality. He has been an environmentalist for more than 40 years.

Introduction: Hope, Realism and the Climate Crisis

1. The Demands of Realism

2. Transformation?

3. Creating Possibility

4. Responsibility Beyond Morality

5. The Bounds of Utopia

6. Climate Crisis as Tragedy

7. On the Way to Revolution

8. The New Revolutionary Dynamic

9. The Vanguard of Hope