Are Ozone's Relationships of Normative Importance?

Staff, Postgraduate students
Event type
Department seminar

Politics Seminar presented by Dr Christine Winter


Limiting depletion of stratospheric ozone is painted as a global success story: one of exemplary human cooperation. I approach the Ozone Boundary as an object of colonisation and weave an anti-colonial approach to human responsibilities to ozone. The Planetary Boundaries describe a 'safe operating space for humanity' (Seffen et al 2015).

I will trouble this notion by focussing on the relational entanglements of the planetary system—human, animal, vegetable, mineral and elemental. Secondly, the description camouflages ongoing colonial practices of privatising the commons: it assumes a right to pollute (up to some predetermined limit), a right to 'colonise' the stratosphere. The underlying assumption is some degree of environmental harm is tolerable, even when it involves appropriation of a global commons (Liboiron 2021).

My argument is an anticolonial planetary boundary for ozone requires a relational ethic in which duties and responsibilities are to the relationships that inhere to ozone.

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