Amerigenic Climate Change: An Indictment of Normalcy

Schönfeld, Martin
December 2010
Human Ecology Review;Winter2010, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p117
Academic Journal
Climate forcing can be gauged by national contributions. Human GHG (CO2) emissions can be compared by country and year but, ranking annual national emissions by per-capita shares tell us more. That measure, together with cumulative emissions over time as well as policy actions, reveals the USA as the dominant contributor to warming. Anthropogenic climate change is thus largely Amerigenic. / argue that this circumstance arises from the unusually high reliance on fossil fuels as well as from a specific geography of thought that informs conventional culture and affects policy in the US. Salient features of this geography are monotheismn (Protestantismn), individualism, capitalism, and skepticismn. Each of these prevailing social traits is innocuous by itself but they coalesce to a critical mass — a square of flawed cognition — in the context of climate change. Climate change is ultimately a cultural problem, and US normalcy is to be blamed for worsening climate forcing and for delaying rational policy.


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