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Latest episodes from New Books in Environmental Studies

Jean-Thomas Tremblay, "Breathing Aesthetics" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 64:40


In Breathing Aesthetics (Duke University Press (2022), Jean-Thomas Tremblay argues that difficult breathing indexes the uneven distribution of risk in a contemporary era marked by the increasing contamination, weaponization, and monetization of air. Tremblay shows how biopolitical and necropolitical forces tied to the continuation of extractive capitalism, imperialism, and structural racism are embodied and experienced through respiration. They identify responses to the crisis in breathing in aesthetic practices ranging from the film work of Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta to the disability diaries of Bob Flanagan, to the Black queer speculative fiction of Renee Gladman. In readings of these and other minoritarian works of experimental film, endurance performance, ecopoetics, and cinema-vérité, Tremblay contends that articulations of survival now depend on the management and dispersal of respiratory hazards. In so doing, they reveal how an aesthetic attention to breathing generates historically, culturally, and environmentally situated tactics and strategies for living under precarity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Abigail Perkiss, "Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 34:43


After the tumultuous night of October 29, 2012, the residents of Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties faced an enormous and pressing question: What to do? The stories captured in this book encompass their answer to that question: the clean-up efforts, the work with governmental and non-governmental aid agencies, and the fraught choices concerning rebuilding. Through a rich and varied set of oral histories that provide perspective on disaster planning, response, and recovery in New Jersey, Abigail Perkiss captures the experience of these individuals caught in between short-term preparedness initiatives that municipal and state governments undertook and the long-term planning decisions that created the conditions for catastrophic property damage. Through these stories, Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore (Cornell UP, 2022) lays bare the ways that climate change and sea level rise are creating critical vulnerabilities in the most densely populated areas in the nation, illuminating the human toll of disaster and the human capacity for resilience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Fred Spier, "How the Biosphere Works: Fresh Views Discovered While Growing Peppers" (CRC Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 77:27


How the Biosphere Works: Fresh Views Discovered While Growing Peppers (CRC Press, 2022) offers a simple and novel theoretical approach to understanding the history of the biosphere, including humanity's place within it. It also helps to clarify what the possibilities and limitations are for future action. This is a subject of wide interest because today we are facing a great many environmental issues, many of which may appear unconnected. Yet all these issues are part of our biosphere. For making plans for the future and addressing our long-term survival and well-being, an integrated knowledge of our biosphere and its history is therefore indispensable. Key Features: Documents what the biosphere is, and what our position as humans within it is today. Describes how the biosphere has become the way it is.  Summarizes the novel simple theoretical model proposed in the book, and thus, how the biosphere functions.  Predicts what the possibilities and limitations are for future human action  Emphasizes how simple but careful observations can lead to far-reaching theoretical implications. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Andrea Ballestero, "A Future History of Water" (Duke UP, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 82:09


Based on fieldwork among state officials, NGOs, politicians, and activists in Costa Rica and Brazil, A Future History of Water (Duke UP, 2019) traces the unspectacular work necessary to make water access a human right and a human right something different from a commodity. Andrea Ballestero shows how these ephemeral distinctions are made through four technolegal devices—formula, index, list and pact. She argues that what is at stake in these devices is not the making of a distinct future but what counts as the future in the first place. A Future History of Water is an ethnographically rich and conceptually charged journey into ant-filled water meters, fantastical water taxonomies, promises captured on slips of paper, and statistical maneuvers that dissolve the human of human rights. Ultimately, Ballestero demonstrates what happens when instead of trying to fix its meaning, we make water's changing form the precondition of our analyses. Andrea Ballestero is Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Southern California. Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is PhD candidate in Social Anthropology. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Martin Kalb, "Environing Empire: Nature, Infrastructure and the Making of German Southwest Africa" (Berghahn, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 54:04


German ambitions to transform Southwest Africa in the early part of the twentieth century were futile and resulted in the widespread death and suffering of indigenous populations. For years colonists wrestled ocean waters, desert landscapes, and widespread aridity as they tried to reach inland in their effort to turn outwardly barren lands into a profitable settler colony. In Environing Empire: Nature, Infrastructure and the Making of German Southwest Africa (Berghahn Books, 2022), Martin Kalb outlines the development of the colony up to World War I, deconstructing the common settler narrative, all to reveal the importance of natural forces and the Kaiserreich's everyday violence. Martin Kalb is an Associate Professor of History at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Eric Grube is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Boston College. He also received his PhD from Boston College in the summer of 2022. He studies modern German and Austrian history, with a special interest in right-wing paramilitary organizations across interwar Bavaria and Austria. "Casualties of War? Refining the Civilian-Military Dichotomy in World War I", Madison Historical Review, 2019 "Racist Limitations on Violence: The Nazi Occupation of Denmark", Essays in History, 2017. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Nancy Fraser, "Cannibal Capitalism: How our System is Devouring Democracy, Care, and the Planet and What We Can Do About It" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 59:09


Capital is currently cannibalizing every sphere of life–guzzling wealth from nature and racialized populations, sucking up our ability to care for each other, and gutting the practice of politics. In Cannibal Capitalism: How our System is Devouring Democracy, Care, and the Planet and What We Can Do About It (Verso, 2022), leading Marxist feminist theorist Nancy Fraser charts the voracious appetite of capital, tracking it from crisis point to crisis point, from ecological devastation to the collapse of democracy, from racial violence to the devaluing of care work. These crisis points all come to a head in Covid-19, which Fraser argues can help us envision the resistance we need to end the feeding frenzy. What we need, she argues, is a wide-ranging socialist movement that can recognize the rapaciousness of capital - and starve it to death. Nancy Fraser is Henry and Louise A. Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of Fortunes of Feminism and The Old is Dying and the New Cannot be Born, and co-author of Capitalism: A Conversation and Feminism for the 99%. Brian Hamilton is Chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Abby L. Goode, "Agrotopias: An American Literary History of Sustainability" (UNC Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 39:57


In this book, Abby L. Goode reveals the foundations of American environmentalism and its enduring connections to racism, eugenics, and agrarian ideals. Throughout the nineteenth century, writers as diverse as Martin Delany, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Walt Whitman worried about unsustainable conditions such as population growth and plantation slavery. In response, they imagined agrotopias—sustainable societies unaffected by the nation's agricultural and population crises—elsewhere. Though seemingly progressive, these agrotopian visions depicted selective breeding and racial "improvement" as the path to environmental stability. In this fascinating study, Goode uncovers an early sustainability rhetoric interested in shaping, just as much as sustaining, the American population. Showing how ideas about race and reproduction were central to early sustainability thinking, Goode unearths an alternative environmental archive that ranges from gothic novels to Black nationalist manifestos, from Waco, Texas, to the West Indies, from city tenements to White House kitchen gardens. Exposing the eugenic foundations of some of our most well-regarded environmental traditions, this book compels us to reexamine the benevolence of American environmental thought. Dr. Abby Goode is Associate Professor with tenure at Plymouth State University, where she teaches in the English and Sustainability Studies programs. Twitter.  Brian Hamilton is Chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Joshua Duclos, "Wilderness, Morality, and Value" (Lexington Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 68:29


What if wilderness is bad for wildlife? This question motivates the philosophical investigation in Wilderness, Morality, and Value (Lexington Books, 2022). Environmentalists aim to protect wilderness, and for good reasons, but wilderness entails unremittent, incalculable suffering for its non-human habitants. Given that it will become increasingly possible to augment nature in ways that ameliorate some of this suffering, the morality of wilderness preservation is itself in question. Joshua S. Duclos argues that the technological and ethical reality of the Anthropocene warrants a fundamental reassessment of the value of wilderness. After exposing the moral ambiguity of wilderness preservation, he explores the value of wilderness itself by engaging with anthropocentricism and nonanthropocentrism; sentientism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism; and instrumental value and intrinsic value. Duclos argues that the value of wilderness is a narrow form of anthropocentric intrinsic value, one with a religio-spiritual dimension. By integrating scholarship from bioethics on the norms of engineering human nature with debates in environmental ethics concerning the prospect of engineering non-human nature, Wilderness, Morality, and Value sets the stage for wilderness ethics—or wilderness faith—in the Anthropocene. Kyle Johannsen is an academic philosopher who does research in animal and environmental ethics, and in political philosophy. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). You can follow him on Twitter @KyleJohannsen2. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Alex Nathanson, "A History of Solar Power Art and Design" (Routledge, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 24:22


Alex Nathanson's book A History of Solar Power Art and Design (Routledge, 2021) examines the history of creative applications of photovoltaic (PV) solar power, including sound art, wearable technology, public art, industrial design, digital media, building integrated design, and many others. The growth in artists and designers incorporating solar power into their work reflects broader social, economic, and political events. As the cost of PV cells has come down, they have become more accessible and have found their way into a growing range of design applications and artistic practices. As climate change continues to transform our environment and becomes a greater public concern, the importance of integrating sustainable energy technologies into our culture grows as well. The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, design history, design studies, environmental studies, environmental humanities, and sustainable energy design. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Government Affairs and as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam. btoepfer@toepferarchitecture Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Philip Lymbery, "Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future" (Bloombury, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 38:05


From the United Kingdom to Italy, from Brazil to the Gambia to the USA, Philip Lymbery, the internationally acclaimed author of Farmageddon, goes behind the scenes of industrial farming and confronts 'Big Agriculture', where mega-farms, chemicals and animal cages are sweeping the countryside and jeopardising the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature that we treasure. In his investigations, however, he also finds hope in the pioneers who are battling to bring landscapes back to life, who are rethinking farming methods, rediscovering traditional techniques and developing technologies to feed an ever-expanding global population. Impassioned, balanced and persuasive, Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future (Bloomsbury, 2022) not only demonstrates why future harvests matter more than ever, but reveals how we can restore our planet for a nature-friendly future. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Mrill Ingram, "Loving Orphaned Space: The Art and Science of Belonging to Earth" (Temple UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 46:18


How we relate to orphaned space matters. Voids, marginalia, empty spaces—from abandoned gas stations to polluted waterways—are created and maintained by politics, and often go unquestioned. In Loving Orphaned Space: The Art and Science of Belonging to Earth (Temple UP, 2022), Mrill Ingram provides a call to action to claim and to cherish these neglected spaces and make them a source of inspiration through art and/or remuneration. Ingram advocates not only for “urban greening” and “green planning,” but also for “radical caring.” These efforts create awareness and understanding of ecological connectivity and environmental justice issues—from the expropriation of land from tribal nations, to how race and class issues contribute to creating orphaned space. Case studies feature artists, scientists, and community collaborations in Chicago, New York, and Fargo, ND, where grounded and practical work of a fundamentally feminist nature challenges us to build networks of connection and care. The work of environmental artists who venture into and transform these disconnected sites of infrastructure allow us to rethink how to manage the enormous amount of existing overlooked and abused space. Loving Orphaned Space provides new ways humans can negotiate being better citizens of Earth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 27:37


Can spiritually and religiously inspired environmental movements in Asia help reach the global goal of environmental sustainability? This question lies at the heart of the research project “Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise” that we focus on in this episode. Also known as TRANSSUSTAIN, the project builds on the observation that scholars, activists, and even politicians in many Asian countries have found inspiration in traditional knowledge and in the premodern texts and practices of, for instance, Daoist, Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian traditions to envision more ecologically sustainable futures. Exploring the mobilization and recalibration of such traditional Asian religio-philosophical ideas in response to the global environmental crisis, the project seeks to assess the potential of Asian environmental movements for helping us build sustainable global futures. Mette Halskov Hansen is professor of China Studies at the University of Oslo. Amita Baviskar is professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology and Anthropology at Ashoka University. Lu Chen is a Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oslo. Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an Associate Professor at the dept. of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Beronda L. Montgomery, "Lessons from Plants" (Harvard UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 21:26


We know that plants are important. They maintain the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They nourish other living organisms and supply psychological benefits to humans as well, improving our moods and beautifying the landscape around us. But plants don't just passively provide. They also take action. Beronda L. Montgomery explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They "know" what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world. Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears. They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight. Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment. Lessons from Plants (Harvard UP, 2021) enters into the depth of botanic experience and shows how we might improve human society by better appreciating not just what plants give us but also how they achieve their own purposes. What would it mean to learn from these organisms, to become more aware of our environments and to adapt to our own worlds by calling on perception and awareness? Montgomery's meditative study puts before us a question with the power to reframe the way we live: What would a plant do? Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Jennifer L. Allen, "Sustainable Utopias: The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 74:58


By most accounts, the twentieth century was not kind to utopian thought. The violence of two world wars, Cold War anxieties, and a widespread sense of crisis after the 1973 global oil shock appeared to doom dreams of a better world. The eventual victory of capitalism and, seemingly, liberal democracy relieved some fears but exchanged them for complacency and cynicism. Not, however, in West Germany. In Sustainable Utopias: The Art and Politics of Hope in Germany (Harvard UP, 2022), Jennifer Allen showcases grassroots activism of the 1980s and 1990s that envisioned a radically different society based on community-centered politics―a society in which the democratization of culture and power ameliorated alienation and resisted the impotence of end-of-history narratives. Berlin's History Workshop liberated research from university confines by providing opportunities for ordinary people to write and debate the story of the nation. The Green Party made the politics of direct democracy central to its program. Artists changed the way people viewed and acted in public spaces by installing objects in unexpected environments, including the Stolpersteine: paving stones, embedded in residential sidewalks, bearing the names of Nazi victims. These activists went beyond just trafficking in ideas. They forged new infrastructures, spaces, and behaviors that gave everyday people real agency in their communities. Undergirding this activism was the environmentalist concept of sustainability, which demanded that any alternative to existing society be both enduring and adaptable. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Neoliberalism

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2022 20:40


In this episode, Troy Vettese talks with us about neoliberalism. It turns out the neoliberals aren't actually a secret cabal of dastardly villains, but a group of right wing public intellectuals who want to be taken seriously by the academic establishment, and who have been remarkably successful in reshaping the world in their image. In the episode, Troy references the work of Quinn Slobodian, Philip Mirowski, and Dieter Plehwe on the history of neoliberalism. They have written a book together on the Nine Lives of Neoliberalism (Verso, 2020). He also points out that the Mont Pelerin Society, the “secret society” of the neoliberals, which isn't so secret at all, has a website: www.montpelerin.org Troy recently co-authored a book with Drew Pendergrass called Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change and Pandemics (Verso, 2022). They also made a game, in collaboration with some super cool game designers, where you can make your own plan to avoid ecological catastrophe. You can find it at play.half.earth. Eco-Marxists are a rare breed. Troy Vettese is an environmental historian, who writes about animal studies and energy history in addition to penning proposals to save the world. He received his PhD in 2019 from NYU and is currently a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute. He also has very curly hair. This episode's image is a diagram in ISOTYPE, a picture language popularized by a socialist planner named Otto Neurath, who appears in the book and the episode. It is taken from a statistical world atlas made by Neurath, held by the David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries, and available in a digital form through archive.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Erin James, "Narrative in the Anthropocene" (Ohio State UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 46:13


In Narrative in the Anthropocene (Ohio State UP, 2022), Erin James poses two complementary questions: What can narrative teach us about our current geological epoch, defined and marked by the irrevocable activity of humans on the Earth's geology and ecosystems? and What can our current geological epoch teach us about narrative? Drawing from a wide range of sources—including Jane Austen's Mansfield Park,Maria Popova's collective biography Figuring, Richard McGuire's graphic novel Here,Indigenous and Afrofuturist speculative fiction, and more—James argues that a richer understanding of the forms and functions of narrative in the Anthropocene provides us with invaluable insight into how stories shape our world. At the same time, she contends that the Anthropocene alters the very nature of narrative. Throughout her exploration of these themes, James lays the groundwork for an “Anthropocene narrative theory,” introducing new modes of reading narrative in the Anthropocene; new categories of narrative time, space, narration, and narrativity; and a new definition of narrative itself as a cognitive and rhetorical tool for purposeful worldbuilding. Prof. Erin James teaches world literatures in English, Critical Theory and literatures of the Climate Crisis at the University of Idaho. Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Peter S. Alagona, "The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 65:39


The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities (U California Press, 2022) tells the story of how cities across the United States went from having little wildlife to filling, dramatically and unexpectedly, with wild creatures. Today, many of these cities have more large and charismatic wild animals living in them than at any time in at least the past 150 years. Why have so many cities—the most artificial and human-dominated of all Earth's ecosystems—grown rich with wildlife, even as wildlife has declined in most of the rest of the world? And what does this paradox mean for people, wildlife, and nature on our increasingly urban planet? The Accidental Ecosystem is the first book to explain this phenomenon from a deep historical perspective, and its focus includes a broad range of species and cities. Cities covered include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Austin, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Digging into the natural history of cities and unpacking our conception of what it means to be wild, this book provides fascinating context for why animals are thriving more in cities than outside of them. Author Peter S. Alagona argues that the proliferation of animals in cities is largely the unintended result of human decisions that were made for reasons having little to do with the wild creatures themselves. Considering what it means to live in diverse, multispecies communities and exploring how human and non-human members of communities might thrive together, Alagona goes beyond the tension between those who embrace the surge in urban wildlife and those who think of animals as invasive or as public safety hazards. The Accidental Ecosystem calls on readers to reimagine interspecies coexistence in shared habitats, as well as policies that are based on just, humane, and sustainable approaches. Peter S. Alagona is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Brady McCartney is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist at the University of Florida. Email: Brady.McCartney@UFL.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Jerry C. Zee, "Continent in Dust: Experiments in a Chinese Weather System" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 69:08


Today Julia Keblinska and I had the pleasure of talking to Assistant Professor Jerry Zee about his book, Continent in Dust: Experiments in a Chinese Weather System, published by University of California Press in 2022. Continent in Dust offers a political anthropological account of strange weather. It is an ethnography of China's meteorological contemporary - the transformed weather patterns whose formations and fallouts have accompanied decades of breakneck economic development. Focusing on intersections among statecraft, landscape, atmosphere and society, Jerry Zee's research is beautifully articulated taking the reader on a journey from state engineering programs that attempt to choreograph the movement of mobile dunes in the interior, to newly reconfigured bodies and airspace in Beijing, and beyond. Timely and original, Continent in Dust considers contemporary China as a weather system to reconsider how we can better understand “the rise of China” literally, as the country itself rises into the air. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Josh Milburn, "Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 80:50


Animal lovers who feed meat to other animals are faced with a paradox: perhaps fewer animals would be harmed if they stopped feeding the ones they love. Animal diets do not raise problems merely for individuals. To address environmental crises, health threats, and harm to animals, we must change our food systems and practices. And in these systems, animals, too, are eaters. Moving beyond what humans should eat and whether to count animals as food, Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022) answers ethical and political questions arising from thinking about animals as eaters. Josh Milburn begins with practical dilemmas about feeding the animals closest to us, our pets or animal companions. The questions grow more complicated as he considers relationships with more distance – questions about whether and how to feed garden birds, farmland animals who would eat our crops, and wild animals. Milburn evaluates the nature and circumstances of our relationships with animals to generate a novel theory of animal rights. Looking past arguments about what we can and cannot do to other beings, Just Fodder asks what we can, should, and must do for them, laying out a fuller range of our ethical obligations to other animals. Kyle Johannsen is an academic philosopher who does research in animal and environmental ethics, and in political philosophy. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). You can follow him on Twitter @KyleJohannsen2. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Frederico Freitas, "Nationalizing Nature: Iguazu Falls and National Parks at the Brazil-Argentina Border" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 70:49


In Nationalizing Nature: Iguazu Falls and National Parks at the Brazil-Argentina Border (Cambridge UP, 2021), Frederico Freitas uncovers the crucial role played by conservation in the region's territorial development by exploring how Brazil and Argentina used national parks to nationalize borderlands. In the 1930s, Brazil and Argentina created some of their first national parks around the massive Iguazu Falls, shared by the two countries. The parks were designed as tools to attract migrants from their densely populated Atlantic seaboards to a sparsely inhabited borderland. In the 1970s, a change in paradigm led the military regimes in Brazil and Argentina to violently evict settlers from their national parks, highlighting the complicated relationship between authoritarianism and conservation in the Southern Cone. By tracking almost one hundred years of national park history in Latin America's largest countries, Nationalizing Nature shows how conservation policy promoted national programs of frontier development and border control. The book received an honorable mention in the Bryce Wood Book Award (Latin American Studies Association) as an outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English, and an honorable mention in the Sérgio Buarque de Holanda Prize (Latin American Studies Association's Brazil Section) for the best book in the social sciences on Brazil. Elena McGrath is an Assistant Professor of History at Union College. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Becky O'Connor, "The ESG Investing Handbook: Insights and Developments in Environmental, Social and Governance Investment" (Harriman House, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 62:13


As global governments and regulators set an agenda for net zero carbon emissions, the focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria among investors, from pension scheme members to institutions, is on the rise. The ESG Investing Handbook: Insights and Developments in Environmental, Social and Governance Investment (Harriman House, 2022) is an indispensable guide to the history, developments and latest thinking into the future of ESG investing from some of the most influential names in the business. Featuring interviews with: Lisa Beauvilain, Director, Impax Asset Management Tony Burdon, CEO, Make My Money Matter Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Chairman, Carbon Tracker Amy Clarke, Chief Impact Officer, Tribe Impact Capital Keith Davies, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, Federated Hermes Ltd Bruce Davis, co-founder, Abundance Investment Ingrid Holmes, Director, Green Finance Institute Yan Swiderski, co-founder, Global Returns Project Richard Wilson, CEO interactive investor The Baillie Gifford Global Stewardship Team Expert Editor, Becky O'Connor covers the big questions and key themes, such as the effectiveness of divestment versus engagement strategies for promoting positive change as well as difficult topics, such as greenwash. John Emrich has worked for decades in corporate finance, business valuation and fund management. He has a podcast about the investment advisory industry called Kick the Dogma. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Mathew Lawrence and Adrienne Buller, "Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 44:43


Adrienne Buller (The Value of a Whale) and Mathew Lawrence (Planet on Fire) have penned a radical manifesto for the transformation of post-pandemic politics: Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis (Verso, 2022). The question of ownership is the critical fault line of our times. During the pandemic this issue has only become more divisive. Since March 2020 we have witnessed the extraordinary growth of asset manager capitalism and the explosive concentration of wealth within the hands of the already super-rich. This new oligarchy controls every part of our social and economics lives. In the face of crisis, the authors warn that mere redistribution within current forms of ownership is not enough; our goal must be to go beyond the limits of the current system, dominated by private enclosure and unequal ownership. Only by reimagining how our economy is owned and by whom can we address the crises of our time - from the fallout of the pandemic to ecological collapse - at their roots. Building from this insight, the authors argue the systemic change we need hinges on a new era of democratic ownership: a reinvention of the firm as a vehicle for collective endeavour and meeting social needs. Against the new oligarchy of the platform giants, a digital commons that uses our data for collective good, not private profit. In place of environmental devastation, a new agenda of decommodification - of both nature and needs - with a Green New Deal and collective stewardship of the planet's natural wealth. Together, these proposals offer a road map to owning the future, and building a better world. Adrienne Buller is Director of Research at the UK-based think tank Common Wealth.  Mathew Lawrence is Common Wealth's founder and director. Brian Hamilton is Chair of the Department of History and Social Science at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Temperatures on the Rise: Adapting to Heat Extremes in South Asia

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 28:41


Between March and May of this year, large parts of India and Pakistan were hit by a severe heat wave that claimed at least 90 lives and seriously impacted people's livelihoods and the environment. What made this heat wave so different and possibly worse than previous ones? Who was particularly at risk? And where does India stand in terms of adaptation strategies? In this episode, Hanna Geschewski talks with climate change researchers Dr. Chandi Singh and Dr. Emmanuel Raju about the recent heat wave and how to deal with increasingly frequent temperature extremes. Dr. Chandni Singh is a Senior Researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore, India. She is also a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC where she covered topics of vulnerability and adaptation in Asia in the Assessment Report 6 published in March 2022. She works on examining what drives differential vulnerability to climate change and how and why certain people adapt while others don't or can't. Dr. Singh wrote about the 2022 heat wave in her New York Times guest essay, “Spring Never Came to India This Year.” Dr. Emmanuel Raju is an Associate Professor at the Global Health Section at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He is also currently the Director of the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), which provides a platform for interdisciplinary research on disaster and climate change. Dr. Raju recently co-authored a study titled "Climate Change made devastating early heat in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely," which highlighted the most severe impacts of the recent heat wave and how it can be attributed to climate change. Hanna Geschewski is a PhD researcher in Human Geography at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and the University of Bergen in Norway, focusing on socio-ecological adaptation processes in Tibetan refugee settlements in Karnataka, India. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

The Poison Paradigm: What a Toxic Chemical Tells us about the Politics of Science

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 58:52


We are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals daily. This is no accident; it is by design. They are everywhere – coating our consumer products, in our food packaging, being dumped into our lakes and sewers, and in countless other places. However, for the most part, regulators say that we need not worry. That assessment is based on a simple 500-year-old adage, “the dose makes the poison.” The logic is simple: anything is poisonous, depending on how large a dose. Dosing yourself with a miniscule amount of lead will cause no harm; while drinking an enormous amount of water will kill you. Regulators then try to find safe exposure levels for these chemicals—and they assume a simple, direct relationship (less is fine, more is worse). So, no matter how toxic the chemical, you only need to worry if it passes a certain exposure threshold. But what if that's wrong? This episode of Darts and Letters predecessor, Cited, asks that question. This episode is a central part of Darts and Letters' DNA. We're interested in the politics of science and academia. We like asking questions like who gets to be the expert, how does funding impact research outcomes, that kind of stuff. This is a story about how what one chemical, bisphenol A, or “BPA”, tells us about the politics of science. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Annah Lake Zhu, "Rosewood: Endangered Species Conservation and the Rise of Global China" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 37:04


Money does strange things to people, as Annah Lake Zhu notes in her latest book Rosewood: Endangered Species Conservation and the Rise of Global China (Harvard University Press: 2022) In Madagascar, loggers, flush with cash from the rosewood trade, don't quite know how to react to their newfound largesse, sometimes demanding less money for their wares out of confusion. Rumors abound of how loggers make their money. There's no way that simple wood could garner so much profit, people say, so observers think they must be trading something else–like human bones. Annah's book studies globalization, the rise of China, and global environmental politics through trade in one commodity: Madagascar rosewood, used in furniture. In this interview, Annah and I talk about this important material–the commodity, the cultural product, and the conservation target–in China and Madagascar. Annah Lake Zhu is Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, a veteran of the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar. Her work has been published in Science, Geoforum, and Political Geography. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Rosewood. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Paolo Squatriti, "Weeds and the Carolingians: Empire, Culture, and Nature in Frankish Europe, AD 750-900" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 52:40


In Weeds and the Carolingians: Empire, Culture, and Nature in Frankish Europe, AD 750–900 (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Dr. Paolo Squatriti asks: Why did weeds matter in the Carolingian empire? What was their special significance for writers in eighth- and ninth-century Europe and how was this connected with the growth of real weeds? In early medieval Europe, unwanted plants that persistently appeared among crops created extra work, reduced productivity, and challenged theologians who believed God had made all vegetation good. For the first time, in this book weeds emerge as protagonists in early medieval European history, driving human farming strategies and coloring people's imagination. Early medieval Europeans' effort to create agroecosystems that satisfied their needs and cosmologies that confirmed Christian accounts of vegetable creation both had to come to terms with unruly plants. Using diverse kinds of texts, fresh archaeobotanical data, and even mosaics, this interdisciplinary study reveals how early medieval Europeans interacted with their environments. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

The Future of Net Zero: A Discussion with Eric Lonergan

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 49:33


There is no shortage of words written about climate change and the goal of reaching net zero - but there is a shortage of practical suggestions about to get to net zero. Even governments committed to net zero are wondering how they are going to do it. Eric Lonergan has tried to address that problem with the book Super Charge Me: Net Zero Faster (Agenda, 2022) - co-authored with Corrine Sawyers - which sets out to suggest ways Net Zero can be achieved. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Ron Broglio, "Animal Revolution" (U Minnesota Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 50:02


Animals are staging a revolution—they're just not telling us. From radioactive boar invading towns to jellyfish disarming battleships, Animal Revolution (U Minnesota Press, 2022) threads together news accounts and more in a powerful and timely work of creative, speculative nonfiction that imagines a revolution stirring and asks how humans can be a part of it. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we should pay attention to how we bump up against animal worlds and how animals will push back. Animal Revolution is a passionate, provocative, cogent call for us to do so. Ron Broglio reveals how fur and claw and feather and fin are jamming the gears of our social machine. We can try to frame such disruptions as environmental intervention or through the lens of philosophy or biopolitics, but regardless the animals persist beyond our comprehension in reminding us that we too are part of an animal world. Animals see our technologies and machines as invasive beings and, in a nonlinguistic but nonetheless intensive mode of communicating with us, resist our attempts to control them and diminish their habitats. In doing so, they expose the environmental injustices and vulnerabilities in our systems. A witty, informative, and captivating work—at the juncture of posthumanism, animal studies, phenomenology, and environmental studies—Broglio reminds us of our inadequacy as humans, not our exceptionalism. Ron Broglio is professor of English, director of Desert Humanities, and associate director of the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. He is author or editor of several books, including Beasts of Burden: Biopolitics, Labor, and Animal Life and Surface Encounters: Thinking with Animals and Art. Callie Smith is a poet and a PhD candidate in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Max Foran, "The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife: Failures of Principle and Policy" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 47:13


Hardly a day goes by without news of the extinction or endangerment of yet another animal species, followed by urgent but largely unheeded calls for action. An eloquent denunciation of the failures of Canada's government and society to protect wildlife from human exploitation, Max Foran's The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife: Failures of Principle and Policy (McGill-Queen's UP, 2018) argues that a root cause of wildlife depletions and habitat loss is the culturally ingrained beliefs that underpin management practices and policies. Tracing the evolution of the highly contestable assumptions that define the human–wildlife relationship, Foran stresses the price wild animals pay for human self-interest. Using several examples of government oversight at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels, from the Species at Risk Act to the Biodiversity Strategy, Protected Areas Network, and provincial management plans, this volume shows that wildlife policies are as much – or more – about human needs, priorities, and profit as they are about preservation. Challenging established concepts including ecological integrity, adaptive management, sport hunting as conservation, and the flawed belief that wildlife is a renewable resource, the author compels us to recognize animals as sentient individuals and as integral components of complex ecological systems. Kyle Johannsen is an academic philosopher who does research in animal and environmental ethics, and in political philosophy. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). You can follow him on Twitter @KyleJohannsen2. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Adam Sundberg, "Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 99:51


By the early eighteenth century, the economic primacy, cultural efflorescence, and geopolitical power of the Dutch Republic appeared to be waning. The end of this Golden Age was also an era of natural disasters. Between the late seventeenth and the mid-eighteenth century, Dutch communities weathered numerous calamities, including river and coastal floods, cattle plagues, and an outbreak of strange mollusks that threatened the literal foundations of the Republic.  Adam Sundberg's new book, Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age (Cambridge UP, 2022), demonstrates that these disasters emerged out of longstanding changes in environment and society. They were also fundamental to the Dutch experience and understanding of eighteenth-century decline. Disasters provoked widespread suffering, but they also opened opportunities to retool management strategies, expand the scale of response, and to reconsider the ultimate meaning of catastrophe. This book reveals a dynamic and often resilient picture of a society coping with calamity at odds with historical assessments of eighteenth-century stagnation. Douglas Bell is a writer, teacher, and historian who lives in the Netherlands. His research interests center on American military history, American foreign policy, German history, and European Studies. Tweet him @douglasibell. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke, "The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945" (Harvard UP, 2016)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 68:15


The Earth has entered a new age—the Anthropocene—in which humans are the most powerful influence on global ecology. Since the mid-twentieth century, the accelerating pace of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and population growth has thrust the planet into a massive uncontrolled experiment. J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke's book The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (Harvard UP, 2016) explains its causes and consequences, highlighting the role of energy systems, as well as trends in climate change, urbanization, and environmentalism. More than any other factor, human dependence on fossil fuels inaugurated the Anthropocene. Before 1700, people used little in the way of fossil fuels, but over the next two hundred years coal became the most important energy source. When oil entered the picture, coal and oil soon accounted for seventy-five percent of human energy use. This allowed far more economic activity and produced a higher standard of living than people had ever known—but it created far more ecological disruption. We are now living in the Anthropocene. The period from 1945 to the present represents the most anomalous period in the history of humanity's relationship with the biosphere. Three-quarters of the carbon dioxide humans have contributed to the atmosphere has accumulated since World War II ended, and the number of people on Earth has nearly tripled. So far, humans have dramatically altered the planet's biogeochemical systems without consciously managing them. If we try to control these systems through geoengineering, we will inaugurate another stage of the Anthropocene. Where it might lead, no one can say for sure. J.R. McNeill holds the appointment of University Professor at Georgetown University, serving as a faculty member of the School of Foreign Service and History Department. Professor McNeill is also a past president of American Society for Environmental History and the American Historical Association. Peter Engelke is the Deputy Director of Foresight at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Strategy Initiative and a Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center. Brady McCartney is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist at the University of Florida. Email: Brady.McCartney@UFL.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Lindsay Starkey, "Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond" (Amsterdam UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 54:14


What is holding the oceans back from entirely flooding the earth? While a twenty-first century thinker may approach the answer to this question within a framework of gravity and geologic deep-time, Lindsay Starkey demonstrates in her monograph, Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond: Redefining the Universe Through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) how thinkers from antiquity to the sixteen-century held their own beliefs explaining the complex relation between dry land and water. After providing a detailed intellectual genealogy connecting the Early Modern Period with antiquity based on the transmission of knowledge through bookish methods, Starkey provides an extensively researched analysis explaining how and why perspectives and concerns about water began shifting in the sixteenth century due to sea voyages that revised medieval speculation about geographic composition of land-mass and oceans in the southern hemisphere. As we join the bookish lineage with Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond please enjoy the episode not just for the incredible insight into the past, but to use as an opportunity to reconsider our current water crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Environmental Catastrophe

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 15:32


In this episode John Yargo speaks with Kim about Environmental Catastrophe. In the episode John quotes Hannah Arendt and N.K. Jemisin, discusses a Shakespeare play and a 17th century Peruvian painting, and optimistically suggests that environmental catastrophe will save us. He references the work of many scholars in the field of environmental humanities, including Geoffrey Parker and Dagomar Degroot on the Little Ice Age in Early Modern Europe, Gerard Passannante's work on Catastrophizing, and Gavin Bailey on the Andean Baroque. He also talks about Amitav Ghosh's recent work The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (UChicago Press, 2016) and Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell (Penguin Random House, 2010). In the longer version of the conversation, John told Kim about how he teaches the literature of catastrophe in reverse, starting with the present and working backward, to upset teleological readings of cultural history. The image for this week's episode is Leonardo DaVinci's drawing “A deluge” c. 1517-18, held by the Royal Collection Trust. You can read more about the painting in an “Anatomy of an Artwork” feature written by Skye Sherwin on 8 Feb 2019 in The Guardian. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Michael J. Hathaway, "What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 67:40


What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton University Press, 2022) by Dr. Michael Hathaway pushes today's mushroom renaissance in compelling new directions. For centuries, Western science has promoted a human- and animal-centric framework of what counts as action, agency, movement, and behavior. But, as Michael Hathaway shows, the world-making capacities of mushrooms radically challenge this orthodoxy by revealing the lively dynamism of all forms of life. The book tells the fascinating story of one particularly prized species, the matsutake, and the astonishing ways it is silently yet powerfully shaping worlds, from the Tibetan plateau to the mushrooms' final destination in Japan. Many Tibetan and Yi people have dedicated their lives to picking and selling this mushroom—a delicacy that drives a multibillion-dollar global trade network and that still grows only in the wild, despite scientists' intensive efforts to cultivate it in urban labs. But this is far from a simple story of humans exploiting a passive, edible commodity. Rather, the book reveals the complex, symbiotic ways that mushrooms, plants, humans, and other animals interact. It explores how the world looks to the mushrooms, as well as to the people who have grown rich harvesting them. Dr. Hathway gives us a surprise-filled journey into science and human culture, this exciting and provocative book shows how fungi shape our planet and our lives in strange, diverse, and often unimaginable ways. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Sébastien Philippe and Tomas Statius, "Toxique: Enquête sur les essais nucléaires français en Polynésie" (Companyédition PUF/Disclose, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 63:35


What happens when you bring together an important collection of previously secret archival documents dealing with France's nuclear detonations in the Pacific from 1966 to 1996, a nuclear scientist, and an investigative journalist? Working together beginning in early 2020, Sébastien Philippe and Tomas Statius, the authors of Toxique: Enquête sur les essais nucléaires français en Polynésie (Presses universitaires de France and Disclose, 2021) have now shared with readers the meaningful and provocative results of just such a collaboration. Revisiting the history of France's nuclear weapons program over a period of three decades (following an initial set of atmospheric and underground detonations in the Algerian Sahara from 1960 to 1966), Toxique is a scientific and journalistic interrogation of the immediate and long-term health and environmental effects of the 193 bombs the French military exploded in the region, exposing civilians, as well as French military and other personnel to the fallout and radiation emitted by these explosions.  The significance of this interdisciplinary investigation cannot be overstated. As Toxique shows, these nuclear detonations continue to have harmful effects on the everyday lives of thousands of local residents, along with those veterans who served in the area. As Philippe and Statius have shown, the toxicity of these nuclear blasts has been consistently underestimated and misrepresented by the French military and state. Holding important implications for the victims of these detonations in terms of both recognition and financial compensation, the book and its accompanying online platform, Moruroa Files, have made a huge impact. I was thrilled to have the chance to speak with these remarkable researchers and writers and hope listeners will learn from and enjoy our conversation. The more people within and beyond the field of French Studies who are aware of this damaging past and present, the better. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

China's Role in the Future of Green Energy

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 22:49


How green is green energy really? And what role does Asia, more specifically China play in the transition to green energy? On the 7th of July, International Energy Agency came out with a press release warning the world to diversify the solar panel supply chain, which as of now is dominated by China. In this episode, Saskia Lilli Lehtsalu, an intern at University of Tartu Asia Center will take a look at the current energy green energy dilemma and discuss the future scenarios with energy expert Einari Kisel from Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in Estonia. Einari is the current Head of Partnerships and Strategy in the Fin-est Center for Smart Cities in TalTech and former World Energy Council Regional Manager for Europe. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-a... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

American Chernobyl, Part 2: The Most Poisonous Place in the USA

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 58:45


Hanford is the most-polluted place in America. In our last episode, you heard about the nuclear plant's largely-forgotten history--how it poisoned the people living downwind. On our season finale: a nuclear safety auditor tries to get it shut down, the downwinders struggle for justice, and we take you into the plant itself. This is part two, if you haven't heard part one yet go check out yesterday's episode. The story of Hanford reveals that expertise is always a political battle, and never as straightforward as simply collecting facts--whether it's executives putting profit over a safety auditor's well-documented warnings, a community-based research pitted against government-backed studies, or turning a world-changing nuclear reactor into a scientific lecture. This episode is from the pre-Darts and Letters era when we produced a documentary series called Cited. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Fred Delcomyn and James L. Ellis, "A Backyard Prairie: The Hidden Beauty of Tallgrass and Wildflowers" (Southern Illinois UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 30:48


In 2003 Fred Delcomyn imagined his backyard of two and a half acres, farmed for corn and soybeans for generations, restored to tallgrass prairie. Over the next seventeen years, Delcomyn, with help from his friend James L. Ellis scored, seeded, monitored, reseeded, and burned these acres into prairie. In A Backyard Prairie: The Hidden Beauty of Tallgrass and Wildflowers (Southern Illinois UP, 2021), they document their journey and reveal the incredible potential of a backyard to travel back to a time before the wild prairie was put into plow rows. It has been said, “Anyone can love the mountains, but it takes a soul to love the prairie.” This book shows us how. The first book to celebrate a smaller, more private restoration, A Backyard Prairie offers a vivid portrait of what makes a prairie. Delcomyn and Ellis describe selecting and planting seeds, recount the management of a prescribed fire, and capture the prairie's seasonal parades of colorful flowers in concert with an ever-growing variety of animals, from the minute eastern tailed-blue butterfly to the imperious red-winged blackbird and the reclusive coyote. This book offers a unique account of their work and their discovery of a real backyard, an inviting island of grass and flowers uncovered and revealed. We often travel miles and miles to find nature larger than ourselves. In this rich account of small prairie restoration, Delcomyn and Ellis encourage the revival of original prairie in our backyards and the patient, beauty-seeking soul sleeping within ourselves. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Government Affairs and as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam. btoepfer@toepferarchitecture Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

America's Chernobyl, Part 1: Living in a Poison Town

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 53:12


In this episode of Cited: What it means to live in a place where your home can give you cancer. Richland, Washington is a company town that sprang up almost overnight in the desert of southeastern Washington. Its employer is the federal government, and its product is plutonium. The Hanford nuclear site was one of the Manhattan Project sites, and it made the plutonium for the bomb that devastated Nagasaki. The official history is one of scientific achievement, comfortable houses, and good-paying jobs. But it doesn't include the story of what happened after the bomb was dropped -- neither in Japan, nor right there in Washington State. In part one of this Cited two-parter we tell the largely-forgotten story of the most toxic place in America. This episode was produced before Darts and Letters existed, when Cited Media was all about a documentary series called Cited. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we'd really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there's bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor, "Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity" (Routledge, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 50:12


The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (Routledge, 2020) brings the ecological turn to sociocultural understandings of self. Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor introduce a broad, insightful assembly of original theory and research on planetary positionalities in flux in the Anthropocene – or what in this Handbook cultural ecologist David Abram presciently renames the Humilocene, a new “epoch of humility.” Forty international authors craft a kaleidoscopic lens, focusing on the following key interdisciplinary inquiries: Part I illuminates identity as always ecocultural, expanding dominant understandings of who we are and how our ways of identifying engender earthly outcomes. Part II examines ways ecocultural identities are fostered and how difference and spaces of interaction can be sources of environmental conviviality. Part III illustrates consequential ways the media sphere informs, challenges, and amplifies particular ecocultural identities. Part IV delves into the constitutive power of ecocultural identities and illuminates ways ecological forces shape the political sphere. Part V demonstrates multiple and unspooling ways in which ecocultural identities can evolve and transform to recall ways forward to reciprocal surviving and thriving. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity provides an essential resource for scholars, teachers, students, protectors, and practitioners interested in ecological and sociocultural regeneration. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity has been awarded the 2020 Book Award from the National Communication Association's (USA) Environmental Communication Division. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Carl H. Nightingale, "Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 63:18


This is a biography of Earthopolis, the only Urban Planet we know of. It is a history of how cities gave humans immense power over Earth, for good and for ill. Carl Nightingale takes readers on a sweeping six-continent, six-millennia tour of the world's cities, culminating in the last 250 years, when we vastly accelerated our planetary realms of action, habitat, and impact, courting dangerous new consequences and opening prospects for new hope. In Earthopolis we peek into our cities' homes, neighborhoods, streets, shops, eating houses, squares, marketplaces, religious sites, schools, universities, offices, monuments, docklands, and airports to discover connections between small spaces and the largest things we have built.  Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet (Cambridge UP, 2022) exposes the Urban Planet's deep inequalities of power, wealth, access to knowledge, class, race, gender, sexuality, religion and nation. It asks us to draw on the most just and democratic moments of Earthopolis's past to rescue its future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

Erica Gies, "Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 57:31


Trouble with water – increasingly frequent, extreme floods and droughts – is one of the first obvious signs of climate change. Meanwhile, urban sprawl, industrial agriculture and engineered water infrastructure are making things worse. As our control attempts fail, we are forced to recognize an eternal truth: sooner or later, water always wins. In Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge (U Chicago Press, 2022), award-winning science journalist Erica Gies follows water 'detectives' as they search for clues to water's past and present. Their tools: cutting-edge science and research into historical ecology, animal life, and earlier human practices. Their discoveries: a deeper understanding of what water wants and how accommodating nature can protect us and other species. Modern civilizations tend to speed water away. We have forgotten that it must flex with the rhythms of the earth, and that only collaboration with nature will allow us to forge a more resilient future. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

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