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Automobility: Global Warming as Symptomatology

Author

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  • Gary Backhaus

    () (Loyola College in Maryland, Department of Philosophy, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Maryland 21210-2699, USA)

Abstract

The argument of this paper is that sustainability requires a new worldview-paradigm. It critically evaluates Gore’s liberal-based environmentalism in order to show how “shallow ecologies” are called into question by deeper ecologies. This analysis leads to the notion that global warming is better understood as a symptom indicative of the worldview that is the source for environmental crises. Heidegger’s ontological hermeneutics and its critique of modern technology show that the modern worldview involves an enframing (a totalizing technological ordering) of the natural. Enframing reveals entities as standing reserve (on demand energy suppliers). My thesis maintains that enframing is geographically expressed as automobility. Because of the energy needs used to maintain automobility, reaching the goal of sustainability requires rethinking the spatial organization of life as a function of stored energy technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Backhaus, 2009. "Automobility: Global Warming as Symptomatology," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(2), pages 1-22, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:187-208:d:4655
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global warming; symptomatology; automobility; sustainability; enframing; standing reserve; unearthed; unrootedness; leveled; de-geographication; respectful humility; uprootedness;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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