Apocaylpse then, apocalypse now, and a future without fear : a neo-paganistic reimagining of our climate change narrative
Nelson Alexander Falkenburg
May 14, 2014
Department or Program
The narrative of apocalypse is the modern framing of our climate change issue. Beginning with the biblical story of Revelation and continuing through Bill McKibben’s Eaarth, an eschatological framework has defined western society’s concept of future time, but also the way in which we approach crises. The apocalyptic climate change narrative and its scientization—while politically effective for the environmental problems of the ‘60s and ‘70s in the United States—has disabled essential antagonistic politics, breeding an atmosphere of post-political dislocation in our modern age. In order to live with climate change and begin to confront it, we require new creative imaginings of a future divorced from apocalypse. By employing Deleuze’s “Nietzsche and St. Paul,” and D.H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse as enacting Sarah Amsler’s “Critical Pedagogies of Crisis,” I arrive at a fresh, neo-paganistic narrative to approach the climate change issue. Finally, I relate a personal experience with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos as an enactment of the neo-paganistic symbolic frame. My essay does not provide any answers for climate change, but instead posits a new relational framework of connection and ambiguity, so that we may use this crisis for creation and the reinvigoration of a more effective politics.