Fukushima Daiichi: a Never-Ending Story of Pain or Outrage?
Keywords:environmental education, cosmopolitanism, Fukushima, ethical responsibility, storytelling
AbstractThis article aims to contribute to scholarship on cosmopolitanism and education, with particular relevancy for environmental education. While much of current research in this area has underscored cosmopolitanism as a politico-philosophical project for global justice or a worldly sensibility that can be cultivated through literal and/or metaphoric travel to different lands, I argue that cosmopolitanism ought also to be understood in phenomenological-environmental terms. Drawing from Ulrich Beck’s work on world risk society and Hannah Arendt’s on responsibility, I examine the Fukushima nuclear disaster as a case of actually existing cosmopolitanism. When understood as a global risk (turned catastrophe), cosmopolitanism presents an urgent occasion to summons a “postnational ethics of responsibility” (Beck). Such an ethics centralizes the importance that story and metaphor play in planetary sustainability.