Rethinking the (in)human in geography: Catastrophic drive and the rupture of climate change

Annual International Conference: Royal Geographical Society with The Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), online, 31 Aug 2023

The inhuman is not the ‘other-’ or ‘more-than-human’ but a catastrophic dimension proper to the human condition itself. The paper discusses the potential of such a perspective on the inhuman for engaging with anthropogenic climate change. If we locate the inhuman at the core of human (and in particular capitalist) societies, this opens a new possibility of proposing that climate change can be defined as the inhuman impact on Earth’s climate. The uncanny mixture of rising sea levels, melting glaciers, shifting climate zones, spread of parasites and tropical diseases, more intense or more frequent severe weather phenomena and, of course, the massive increase of environmental refugees – all these are symptoms of the catastrophic drive that shapes the inhuman geographies of the past, present, and future.