The Triple Bottom Lie: Nietzsche and Environmental Sustainability

By:
Mr Scott Rawlings
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Humanity has become disconnected from the biosphere that sustains it. How significantly has human ecology been altered by our interface with modern technology? How does the resultant disconnection with our natural environment contribute to the crisis of the technosomatic subject and our increasingly unsustainable behaviour? What can this understanding teach us, if anything, about the failed projects in sustainability theory? This paper will explore the above questions with reference to post-Hiroshima literature and Nietzsche's 'The Gay Science', specifically Chapter 3 and 'The Four Errors' of knowledge. We live in an era dominated by the rationalisms of science, technology, economics, commerce and their common ground. Sustaining the human, both ecologically and culturally, will require new ways of representing, perceiving and articulating the human. Literature and the nomadic politics of Nietzsche and the generations of philosophers he inspired, provide insights into potentially new streams of ecological discourse. It is the lie of the triple bottom line that provokes community outrage towards Government environmental initiatives. Economic growth is such a pillar in public policy that it is seen as an eternal and unconditional good (Nietzsche's 'Fourth Error'). When urban sprawl digitalises what remains of our rural landscape, when in pursuit of growth we have destroyed the last remnant of indigenous culture within a 50-kilometre radius of Melbourne, how meaningful is the term triple bottom line then? When the single economic bottom line has eclipsed the other two?


Keywords: Environmentalism, Ecology, Technology, Arts Practice and Theory, Sustainability, Public Policy, Literature, Inter-disciplinarity, Nietzsche, Technosomatic
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies, Knowledge, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Triple Bottom Lie, The


Mr Scott Rawlings

PhD candidate, Literary Studies in the School of Communication and Creative Arts, in the Faculty of Arts, Deakin University
Australia

Scott Rawlings is a PhD candidate at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia). His current research explores ethical discourse on the environment in post-Hiroshima literature drawing on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari. He has published academic papers and presented at a number of international conferences on the subject. Scott also works as a principal analyst for the Department of Sustainability and Environment, where he has contributed analysis and writing to a number of government policy frameworks including the 'Victorian Greenhouse Strategy'. Therefore, he is in the rare position of being able to continually explore synergies between the humanities and public policy, apply his research where appropriate, and cross the threshold between theory and praxis. In his proposed paper for the Third International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, 'The Triple Bottom Lie: Nietzsche and Environmental Sustainability', Scott will discuss these synergies and demonstrate how research in literature can inform public policy production in the environmental domain.

Ref: H05P0770