The power of utopia

Our way out of the climate crisis

Utopias get a bad rap. The imagining of better futures, without any kind of details about how to achieve them, is seen as a form of escapism from life’s real problems. But utopian thinking can be much more than simply a way of consoling ourselves that better days will come. Utopias can help us retrain our desires and prepare us for different ways of living. And while authoritarianism is always a danger lurking in utopian thinking, the risk of simply continuing to live as we have is much greater, writes Mathias Thaler.   


In the public debate, the climate emergency has broadly given rise to two opposing reactions: either resignation, grief, and depression in the face of the Anthropocene’s most devastating impacts; or a self-assured, hubristic faith in the miraculous capacity of science and technology to save our species from itself.

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