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Publication Details

Lovelock՚s Concept of Sustainable Retreat and its Consequences

(Original title: Lovelockov koncept udržateľného ústupu a jeho konzekvencie)
Filozofia, 74 (2019), 5, 352-365.
Type of work: Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The aim of this study is to identify the key terms and arguments of J. Lovelock՚s sustainable retreat concept and their analysis with emphasize on the consequences of this concept for political, social and environmental thinking. J. Lovelock points out that considering rapid and complex changes in global environment, marked by the term Anthropocene; we do not have enough time and sources to realize the sustainable development concept. For that reason, it is, according to him, necessary to formulate sustainable retreat concept as a strategy which will allow to prepare for climate change in a way that not only a man as a biological specie, but also civilized society could survive. Even basic theses of this concept indicate a need to revalue majority political concepts, mainly concepts of sovereignty, citizenship, also the freedom of movement and residence, freedom of business and consume, which are fundamentals of neoliberal economic-political system. Retreat expects elaborated and organized migration to beforehand chosen and arranged areas. Opposite to retreat is mass escape chaos that reduces human relations to fight for survival. As J. Lovelock proposed in his sustainable retreat concept, relocating people from areas affected by climate changes to climate oases would mean that rich northern countries give up their current, in fact, isolationistic politics that refuses climate migrants. Therefore the sustainable retreat concept requires much greater competence and mainly willingness to cooperate not only on national, but also on international and global level more than humanity is able to do it currently.


Anthropocene, Environmental authoritarianism, Lovelock, Sustainable development, Sustainable retreat, Tribalism

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