Facing the Unprotectable:
Emergency Democracy for
Post-Glacial Landscapes

By Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Published in Along Ecological Lines: Contemporary Art and Climate Crisis, edited by Barnaby Drabble (Manchester: GAIA Project, 2019)

The politics of climate change is moving as fast as its science. A heightened sense of uncertainty arises from the alarming realisation that the threshold of irreversible global warming might have already been passed. The gathering speed of polar ice sheet melt and the global retreat of permafrost, as well as the ever more frequent occurrence of previously rare extreme weather events, with droughts, floods and gale-force winds sweeping indiscriminately across continents, are disconcerting manifestations of climate disruption that are a unifying experience for the living generation on the planet. It is increasingly evident that the hard-won recognition of the interconnectedness of species extinction, biodiversity loss, soil
degradation, acidification of oceans and atmospheric pollution with anthropogenic climate breakdown also leads to the drawing of political conclusions. Resolutely, it is no longer possible to consider ecological crisis apart from political crisis.