Shared pretenses for collective inaction: the economic growth imperative, COVID-19, and climate change

Diana Stuart, Brian Petersen, Ryan Gunderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines how the economic growth imperative not only drives climate change and created the conditions for the development and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic but is also the context for climate change inaction and ineffective responses to the pandemic. Focusing on the United States, the paper identifies pretenses for collective inaction on COVID-19 that are similar in content to familiar justifications for delay in climate action: (1) denialism, (2) individualism, and (3) techno-optimism. These justifications must be identified as strategies to maintain the status-quo and benefit the wealthy few while allowing avoidable human suffering and loss. Adequately addressing climate change and future pandemics requires overcoming these false narratives and transitioning to social conditions that are resilient, healthy, and sustainable – specifically conditions where social and ecological well-being are prioritized over economic growth for the sake of profit maximization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-425
Number of pages18
JournalGlobalizations
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Climate change
  • capitalism
  • economic growth
  • inaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Shared pretenses for collective inaction: the economic growth imperative, COVID-19, and climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this