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New Concepts

New Thinking

New Concepts

Lets’ kick this off by introducing 3 new foundational concepts ….

  • Climate as a Hyperobject
  • Slow Violence
  • Climate and Environmental Change as a Hyperthreat

1. Climate as a hyperobject

 Thinker: Timothy Morton Eco-philosopher. Blog site: Ecology without Nature


A ‘thing’ massively distributed in time and space relative to humans.

Hyperobjects – 5 Characteristics


Like fog, it is everywhere

Temporal undulation

Planetary––not human––time frames


Humans can’t tell which phase state they are in


Disrupted cause and effect


Operates through other ‘objects.’ We see impacts, never see ‘it’.

Climate change becomes a  ‘thing’… a strange type of monster….

2. Slow Violence

Thinker: Rob Nixon


Violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all (Nixon, 2011 p.130).


  • Industrial or mining activity which illegally poisons rivers systems, and gradually deprives downstream people of food supply (fish), income and livelihood (fishing), health or capacity to grow food (fresh water).
  • The Bhopal Gas Disaster, India, 1984. 500,000 people were exposed to the gas, which may have led to around 8,000 deaths.

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3. Hyperthreat of Climate & Environmental change

Thinker: EG Boulton

  • Draws from Morton’s work, but hones in upon the destructive capacity and violence.
  • Incorporates global warming & environmental degradation and destruction.
  • Proposes that in the 21st century, the way in which harm, mass killing and destruction will occur, is fundamentally new… the nature of ‘threat’ has utterly changed….
  • Therefore, our collective security and threat response methods need to be utterly revised…
  • We need to start imagining what a hyper-response could look like….

Hyperthreat Definition:

The hyperthreat of climate and environmental change has warlike destructive capabilities that are so diffuse that it is hard to see the enormity of the destruction coherently nor who is responsible for its hostile actions. It defies existing human thought and institutional constructs.


It is powered and energised by three key enablers:

Invisibility and unknowability

Ability to evade all existing human threat-response mechanisms

Human hesitancy––the slower humans are to act, the stronger it becomes.

Give me more! I’m ready for metaphysics!

Patience grasshopper…Let those new neuron pathways consolidate…