“Sites of Utopia” Response

The discussion of the commonalities between End Times Ecology and Technocratic Ecomodernist thinking was particularly interesting to me since they weren’t connections I drew myself. Their definition of human beings as inherent environmental degraders, preoccupation with a poorly defined notion of “growth,” frequent lack of acknowledgement for sentient publics, and often colonially-tinged imaginings also bring to mind a piece called Apocalypse by Junot Díaz that I recently read. In Apocalypse, Díaz discusses the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, and unpacks the responses to and readings of so-called “natural disasters,” which he re-terms “social disasters.” He does this to reroute the typical trajectory of blame — to the victims, to nature, to god — and reveal the complex ways in which the fates of those affected are determined by a “social calculus.” This is a refusal of the evasive tactics that the two modes of thinking about ecological futures you discuss employ to deny the discrete, multifaceted relations between groups of people. The way we navigate the notion of ecological distress and the design problems that accompany it demand a desegregated, multi-disciplinary approach in order to better serve the interests of those most acutely affected by calamity and change.

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