Polity podcasts: John Urry – Climate Change and Society

John Urry Climate Change and SocietyJohn Urry is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. His many publications include Sociology Beyond Society and After the Car.

I met him recently in Lancaster to talk to him about his latest book, Climate Change and Society, which explores the significance of human behaviour for understanding the causes and impacts of changing climates and responding to those impacts.

1. I began by asking him about his central thesis, that sociology ought to replace economics as the main discourse for understanding anthropogenic climate change. [Click here]

2. Next I asked about whether understanding how complex systems functioned in the past and present can provide any guidance to the future. [Click here]

“Sociology can bring out the enduring social and economic conflicts which inhibit change…”

3. John Urry reflects on how sociology can sharpen our understanding the vested interests of the “carbon military-industrial complex” and how those interests constrain responses to climate change. [Click here]

4. In Climate Change and Society, John Urry writes that we shall all have to become futurologists by necessity. I asked him about the difficulty of this, given that we are dealing with two highly complex systems: the climate and human societies. [Click here]

“There is a very good reason why no future is good…”

5. John Urry on the “narrowed range of possibilities” that the twentieth century bequeathed the twenty-first. [Click here]

To watch a short video about the book, click here.

To listen to the complete interview, click here.

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