Down to earth : politics in the new climatic regime / Bruno Latour ; translated by Catherine Porter.

by Latour, Bruno [author.]Looking glass.

Publisher: Cambridge, England ; Polity, [2018]Edition: English edition.Description: x, 128 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781509530571.Subject(s): Climatic changes -- Political aspectsLooking glass | EqualityLooking glass | Globalization -- Political aspectsNote: Includes bibliographical references and index. Language: Translated from the French. Alternative form: Electronic version: 9781509530595 Down to earth
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Short loan Chelsea College of Arts
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Printed books 320.58 LAT (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 06/12/2021 54259807
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people.
What holds these three phenomena together is the conviction, shared by some powerful people, that the ecological threat is real and that the only way for them to survive is to abandon any pretense at sharing a common future with the rest of the world. Hence their flight offshore and their massive investment in climate change denial.
The Left has been slow to turn its attention to this new situation. It is still organized along an axis that goes from investment in local values to the hope of globalization and just at the time when, everywhere, people dissatisfied with the ideal of modernity are turning back to the protection of national or even ethnic borders.
This is why it is urgent to shift sideways and to define politics as what leads toward the Earth and not toward the global or the national. Belonging to a territory is the phenomenon most in need of rethinking and careful redescription; learning new ways to inhabit the Earth is our biggest challenge. Bringing us down to earth is the task of politics today.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Translated from the French.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. viii)
  • 1 A hypothesis as political fiction: the explosion of inequalities and the denial of climate change are one and the same phenomenon (p. 1)
  • 2 Thanks to America's abandonment of the climate agreement, we now know clearly what war has been declared (p. 3)
  • 3 The question of migrations now concerns everyone, offering a new and very wicked universality: finding oneself deprived of ground (p. 7)
  • 4 One must take care not to confuse globalization-plus with globalization-minus (p. 12)
  • 5 How the globalist ruling classes have decided to abandon all the burdens of solidarity, little by little (p. 17)
  • 6 The abandonment of a common world leads to epistemological delirium (p. 21)
  • 7 The appearance of a third pole undoes the classical organization of modernity torn between the first two poles, the Local and the Global (p. 25)
  • 8 The invention of "Trumpism" makes it possible to identify a fourth attractor, the Out-of-This-World (p. 33)
  • 9 In identifying the attractor we can call Terrestrial, we identify a new geopolitical organization (p. 38)
  • 10 Why the successes of political ecology have never been commensurate with the stakes (p. 45)
  • 11 Why political ecology has had so much trouble breaking away from the Right/Left opposition (p. 48)
  • 12 How to ensure the relay between social struggles and ecological struggles (p. 56)
  • 13 The class struggle becomes a struggle among geo-social positions (p. 58)
  • 14 The detour by way of history makes it possible to understand how a certain notion of "nature" has immobilized political positions (p. 64)
  • 15 We must succeed in breaking the spell of "nature" as it has been pinned down by the modern vision of the Left/Right opposition (p. 70)
  • 16 A world composed of objects does not have the same type of resistance as a world composed of agents (p. 74)
  • 17 The sciences of the Critical Zone do not have the same political functions as those of the other natural sciences (p. 78)
  • 18 The contradiction between the system of production and the system of engendering is heating up (p. 82)
  • 19 A new attempt at describing dwelling places - France's ledgers of complaints as a possible model (p. 90)
  • 20 A personal defense of the Old Continent (p. 99)
  • Figures (p. 108)
  • Notes (p. 110)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Public intellectual and Renaissance man Latour (Sciences Po, France) has finally returned to Earth. With his well-deserved celebrity, Latour's philosophical streams of consciousness have swirled about for decades as though on a quest for justice. The Coriolis effect of this quest in the global North has now swept him down to the intersection of three momentous events congealed into a "new climatic regime": Brexit's search for a lost empire, Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and the migrations of impoverished peoples seeking escape from the yoke of globalization. Because of the directional deflection of this effect, Latour splashed on migrants' search for new land and ecological warriors' preservation of pristine soil as the politics of neoliberals turns their own conquests inside out of already repurposed territory to exploit the planet anew. In the inescapable rightist flow, Latour attends to the imbroglio of modernists and globalists fighting ideological battles for the terrestrial right of another first occupancy or out-of-this-world supremacy. Still, his analytical cobweb-up-the-waterspout captures a conglomeration of theoretical morsels that are seasoned predictably but only for the trendier of connoisseurs. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --John R. Pottenger, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bruno LaTour was born in the French province of Burgundy, where his family has been making wine for many generations. He was educated in Dijon, where he studied philosophy and Biblical exegesis. He then went to Africa, to complete his military service, working for a French organization similar to the American Peace Corps. While in Africa he became interested in the social sciences, particularly anthropology.

LaTour believes that through his interests in philosophy, theology, and anthropology, he is actually pursuing a single goal, to understand the different ways that truth is built. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, LaTour has written about the philosophy and sociology of science in an original, insightful, and sometimes quirky way. Works that have been translated to English include The Pasteurization of France; Laboratory Life; Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society; We Have Never Been Modern; and Aramis, or the Love of Technology.

LaTour is a professor at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation, a division of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines, in Paris.

(Bowker Author Biography)