Democracy and Climate Change
The original Charter of Athens had very different environmental inclinations than exist today. So the purpose of writing this new Charter of Athens, which we hope will not just be a document that sits on the shelf, is to focus on an issue that wasn’t on the minds of Le Corbusier or Gropius – the issue is climate. And more specifically, it focuses on the relation between climate change and politics, looking at what the problems are in the relation between coping with climate change and acting in a politically effective and democratic manner. How do we think about the politics of climate change? It would be very nice if the subject were resolvable with easy clichés - that is, that the best way to cope with climate change is though democratic processes, from the bottom up. It would be wonderful if it was so simple, but likely that is not the case. We are interested in identifying where the complexities are in thinking about this relationship between political action and the actions needed to address climate change. Before considering how we can solve this problem, we need to think about is what is difficult about it.