1st Edition

Post-Sustainability Tragedy and Transformation

Edited By John Foster Copyright 2018
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    The sustainability discourse and policy paradigm have failed to deliver. In particular, they have failed to avert the dangerously disruptive climate change which is now inevitable. So, if there is still a case for some transformed or revitalised version of sustainability, that case must now surely be made in full acknowledgment of deep-seated paradigm-failure to date. But if we really take ourselves to be living in a post-sustainable world, the issue of ‘what next?’ must be faced, and the hard questions no longer shirked. What options for political and personal action will remain open on a tragically degraded planet? How will economic and community life, political and social leadership and education be different in such a world? What will the geopolitics (of crisis, migration and conflict) look like? Where does widespread denial come from, how might it be overcome, and are there any grounds for hope that don’t rest on it?

    The urgent challenge now is to confront such questions honestly. This collection of essays by thinkers from a diversity of fields including politics, philosophy, sociology, education and religion, makes a start.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Global Discourse.

    1. Introduction
    John Foster

    2. Paris: optimism, pessimism and realism
    Brian Heatley

    3. Transformation, adaptation and universalism: reply to Heatley
    Nadine Andrews

    4. After Development
    Mike Hannis

    5.  Reply to Hannis
    Lawrence Wilde

    6. Post-Capitalism, Post-Growth, Post-Consumerism
    Ingolfur Bluhdorn

    7. There never was a categorical imperative: reply to Blühdorn
    Daniel Hausknost

    8.  On the obsolescence of human beings in sustainable development
    Ulrike Ehgartner, Patrick Gould and Marc Hudson

    9. Apocalyptically blinded : reply to Ehgartner et al.
    Nina Isabella Moeller and J. Martin Pedersen

    10.  Beyond sustainability: hope in a spiritual revolution?
    Rachel Bathurst

    11. Reply to Bathurst
    Rachel Muers

    12.  Environmental education after sustainability: hope in the midst of tragedy
    Panu Pihkala

    13. Reply to Pihkala
    Katie Carr

    14. Education after sustainability
    Steve Gough

    15.  Learning and education after sustainability: reply to Gough
    William Scott

    16. On preparing for the great gift of community that climate disasters can give us
    Rupert Read

    17. Caring for the future? – a response to Rupert Read
    John Foster

    18. On letting go
    John Foster

    19.  The future: compassion, complacency or contempt? : reply to Foster
    Rupert Read


    John Foster is a freelance writer and philosophy teacher, and an associate lecturer in the department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, UK. His relevant publications include Valuing Nature? (ed.) (Routledge, 1997), The Sustainability Mirage (Earthscan, 2008), and After Sustainability: Denial, Hope, Retrieval (Earthscan/Routledge, 2015).