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Environmentalism in the age of climate change

Indian environmentalism has been an important, even defining, element of a distinctly Southern brand of environmentalism. Largely rooted in local struggles over access to and control over resources, a stylized Southern environmentalism is closely connected to concerns over social justice and driven by subalterns rather than professionals. From this perspective, the recent emergence of climate change as a meta-narrative for global environmentalism is profoundly unsettling. Introduced as a problem by scientists, carried forward by professional environmentalists from the North, and debated in the language of techno-managerialism and legalism, climate change would appear to be the embodiment of an ‘ecology of affluence’.