Friday, April 18, 2014

Theme: Environment

  • The Green Party as a whole had never really grappled with the contradiction between environmental sustainability and the economic expansionism that is inherent to capitalist accumulation; nor did the majority develop a consistent critique of what was at first a small group of eco-libertarians in their midst, who preached the ‘gospel of eco-efficiency’; in favour of free markets and opposed to state intervention, this was initially directed against the ‘big machine’ of industrialism and statism alike.Read more
  • Turkey is living through remarkable days which will be long remembered. Many thousands of people have taken to the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities, braving the teargas liberally sprayed by riot-police. Their cause: the future of Turkish politics and society. Read more
  • The question of how to prevent climate change – we’re way past that point now – has morphed into the question of how to slow it down. There’s no shortage of theoretical answers about the best way to pump fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, or suck more of them out, or lower the temperature by other means.Read more
  • Migration likely brings to mind the familiar sight of geese flying overhead in their iconic V formation, honking stridently as they fly toward their faraway goal. But the migration of many birds is a rarely observed phenomenon. Most passerine birds, a group that includes songbirds and groups taxonomically related to them, migrate at night. Read more
  • For most of my adult life, beginning, really, in the rebellious years of adolescence, I have been against nature. This phrase, against nature, is the standard title for the English translation of J.-K. Huysmans' splendid 1884 novel, À rebours, but when I use it here, I don't mean generally perverted or out-of-whack. I mean I have cultivated a consummately urban existence, and have insisted that people who rush off to commune with the great outdoors are wasting their time. Read more
  • If you had to be an endangered animal, you’d be better off as a tiger than a toad. If you were a tiger, filmmakers might cast you in wildlife documentaries and journalists might write heart-rending stories about the disappearance of your kind. Your furry mug might appear on magazine covers and postage stamps.Read more
  • Sandra Steingraber reads her essay about the fiftieth anniversary of ecologist Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, accompanied by fracking photographs by Nina Berman.Read more
  • I got a new lesson on the force of narrative during the blackout that affected much of the mid-west and east coast in early July. It was the third time our own neighborhood had experienced an extended power outage in four years. This time, however, the temperatures soared to the 100F mark for eight powerless days.Read more
  • Can capitalism effectively respond to climate change? This is the timely and critically important question posed by Peter Newell and Matthew Paterson at the beginning of their book, Climate Capitalism. It is the same question that motivated me to focus my own research on the topic of business and climate change nearly fifteen years ago.Read more
  • This is intended to be a conservation book with a difference. While most others concentrate on the gloom and doom, my aim is to explore the glimmers of good news. ere is no doubt that nature is in grave trouble and that time is fast running out. The year 2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity, during which the world’s governments admitted they had failed to meet internationally agreed-upon targets to slow nature’s disappearance. But is nature’s continued loss inevitable, or are there grounds for hope?Read more
  • You can’t see through cement – and neither can I. When I look at Lahore and the ways in which cement has cordoned off sight-lines, I see a city full of people blind-folded. The gated communities were the first variant – ghettos of the elite – where cement walls rose up to seclude and to protect. Read more
  • Deep in the African rainforest and three days from home, a tribal hunter, punting down a backwater, puts aside his spear and takes out a GPS handset. He doesn’t need the Global Positioning System to know where he is. He is intimate with every inch of his tribe’s forests. But he taps an icon on the screen to identify the burial ground, sacred grove, or wildlife-rich swamp he is passing, then puts the handset back in his hunting bag, and carries on. Read more
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