Type: Article
Title: Enjoying climate change: Jouissance as a political factor
Authors: Pohl, Lucas 
Swyngedouw, Erik
Issue Date: Mar-2023
Keywords: Climate change; Enjoyment as political factor; Lacan; Environmental politics; Critical political theory
In this paper, we explore this dissonance between knowing and acting that produces the current climate deadlock by focusing on ‘enjoyment’ as a political factor. The enjoyment that infuses the climate change consensus and climate activism stands as an avatar for the wider impasse that characterizes most attempts to inflect the trajectory of the future away from ‘accumulation for accumulation sake’ and its associated socio-ecological catastrophe. Considering enjoyment as a political factor might open avenues for re-framing the impasse of the present socio-ecological condition. We engage the Lacanian notion of enjoyment (jouissance). Our overall argument is that climate, and its change, is not only a threat to the world, but also something that is enjoyed in one way or the other. To illustrate the Lacanian take on enjoyment, we will differentiate between two dominant strands of enjoying climate change: First, a passionate engagement in destroying Nature based on an imperative to enjoy fossil fuels and what they metonymically stand for, and second, an equally passionate commitment to saving Nature based on an imaginary enjoyment that stems from renunciation and sacrifice. The paper proceeds by arguing for the need to traverse the fantasies that sustain the very deadlock of the current situation, a process that requires re-scripting the process of political subjectivation and our libidinal attachments to the enjoyment of climate change.
Subject Class (DDC): 300: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
HCU-Faculty: Geschichte und Theorie der Stadt 
Journal or Series Name: Political geography 
Volume: 101
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0962-6298
Publisher DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2022.102820
URN (Citation Link): urn:nbn:de:gbv:1373-repos-10995
Directlink: https://repos.hcu-hamburg.de/handle/hcu/864
Language: English
Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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