In How to Blow Up a Pipeline? (2020) Andreas Malm argues that economic sabotage is an effective form of climate activism that is woefully under-utilised in contemporary climate movements. This seminar, which will take the form of a moderated discussion with Malm himself, aims to build on this work, and critically asses the moral dimensions of ecotage, asking questions like: Who is liable to having their property sabotaged? When is ecotage too risky? Who, if anyone, has a duty to do ecotage? How should governments respond to ecotage? How should we balance ecotage’s potential harms to existing generations against its potential benefit to future generations?
Andreas Malm is an associate professor of human ecology at Lund University. As a researcher and climate activist, he radically revisited 19th century politics in the transition from hydropower to coal in his already seminal book Fossil Capital (2016). Since, Malm has published prolifically, addressing topics such as: the nature-society nexus in The Progress of this Storm (2017), the role of the State in times of crisis in Corona, Climate and Chronic Emergency (2020), the far right and fossil fascism in White Skin, Black Fuel (2021), and the moral justification of eco-sabotage in How to Blow Up a Pipeline? (2020). Associated with activist outlets such as Ende Gelände and the Zetkin Collective, he works in dialogue with radical wings of the climate movement in Europe.
The seminar is taking place thanks to the support of the Faculty of Philosophy as well as the Economy and Society Research Cluster at the School of Geography and the Environment (SOGE).