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ERIC Number: EJ971333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0270-4676
Counter-Commoditization: Decision Making, Language, Localization
Princen, Thomas
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v32 n1 p7-17 Feb 2012
Commoditization seems immutable and unstoppable but, like other social processes, its prevalence is context dependent. The enabling context for commoditization has been cheap fossil fuels, economic growth, and ever-increasing energy and material throughput. In fact, the scientific findings of ecological, climate, footprint, and material flow studies all point in the same direction--"excess" throughput. We cannot grow our way out of growth-driven crisis; new technologies will not create new sources of energy or new waste sinks. Counter-commoditization measures can take the form of formal policies or of informal social change processes, including processes now under way. Three social change processes are relational decision making, ecological language, and localization. The common thread is relations (between humans and between human systems--especially the economy--and natural systems), context (spatial and temporal, ecological and social). Applied to fossil fuels it is clear that the end of the hydrocarbon era must be accelerated. The normative imperative to support and invest in the "economy of care and connection" becomes ever stronger. (Contains 2 tables and 12 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; New Zealand; United States