News at salon.com of Marilyn Baptiste’s victory in Canada—Baptiste and others managed to convince the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) of the dangers involved in Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Limited’s plan to drain Fish Lake in order to build a huge gold and copper mine.
Played a round of Clim' Way, an online game in which the player attempts to manage public, private, and citizen efforts to manage climate change. The game, while not the most exciting ever for various reasons, gives a good idea of just how difficult it is to think about long-term vs. short-term objectives, how different parts of the ecosystem fit together, which actions one should take first. Is it better to start research on sites for new wind turbines? Or to kick-off citizen-run efforts around carpooling or home compositing? Or should solar panels be created, even if in the short term that means actually producing pollutants? How does "ecotourism" fit in? What about fishing? Who should do what? What are the dangers that you're not seeing at the present time? Few people are in the position--anyone?--of being in a position of overviewing all the different elements, as here, especially over such a long (50 year) timespan. In "reality" there would be lots more squabbling, no ideal gameplay possible, because even if you have all the facts, even if you're in a position of political power, you're unlikely to be in the position of benevolent dictator of the whole world--that's perhaps the biggest difference between this game and "reality." Still, a useful lesson in complexity and ecological thought--as the images below show, my first try to manage things didn't go so well...
A group of “kayaktivists” in Seattle, reports the NYT, protest the Shell Oil’s proposes leasing of a terminal in the Port of Seattle for its Arctic drilling fleet. shellno.org phrases the problem as follows: “On January 8, we learned that Shell will be hosting their Arctic drilling rigs in Terminal 5 of the Port of Seattle. That same day the journal Nature published an article saying that Arctic oil MUST be left in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Drilling for Arctic oil is an open attack on people in the global south, who are already losing communities to rising seas and extreme weather. It could also spell disaster for one of the most unique wilderness areas on the planet and all of its inhabitants.” Seattle’s Mayor, Ed Murray, seemingly agrees with the spirit of the protest: “We need to focus our port, our businesses, on the new economy, on things like clean energy of the future and not on the old economy that is dying out, such as oil.” The kayaks, by gathering on the waters, make visible an “extraction landscape” that might otherwise remain somewhat invisible since far away from the shores and the city.
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment)
Environmental Humanities (journal)
Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
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