Note — Jun 14, 2020

This Is a Global Catastrophe that Has Come From Within

Interview with Bruno Latour reminding us that “the economy” is a narrow way of organizing life, explains some of his thinking around the framing of humanity’s “critical zone,” how it relates to Gaia, and the difference between rational scepticism, “doing your research,” and fake news.

It shows that we must not think of the personal and the collective as two distinct levels. The big climate questions can make individuals feel small and impotent. But the virus gives us a lesson. If you spread from one mouth to another, you can viralise the world very fast. That knowledge can re-empower us. […]

The pandemic has shown us the economy is a very narrow and limited way of organising life and deciding who is important and who is not important. If I could change one thing, it would be to get out of the system of production and instead build a political ecology. […]

It means we cannot just endlessly extract resources and discard our waste. In the critical zone, we must maintain what we have because it is finite, it’s local, it’s at risk and it’s the object of conflict.