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New Books in Environmental Studies

English, Education, 2 seasons, 891 episodes, 5 days, 18 hours, 54 minutes
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Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books
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The Climate Crisis as a Problem of Collective Action: A Discussion with Dana Fisher

In this episode of International Horizons, Professor Dana Fisher, Director of the Center for Environment, Community, & Equity (CECE) and Professor in the School of International Service at American University, discusses with RBI Director John Torpey her approach to dealing with the climate crisis. Fisher explains how the climate crisis is really a social crisis for which collective action seems impossible. Fisher further explains the actions of the players involved in resisting the problem of climate change and their interests in doing so. Finally, she explains how important it is to approach change through strong communities and the solid infrastructures that support them. Fisher is the author of Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action (Columbia UP, 2024). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/18/202440 minutes, 34 seconds
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At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans

Today’s book is: At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans (Columbia UP, 2024), by Tessa Hill and Eric Simons, which takes readers beneath the waves and along the coasts, to explore how climate change and environmental degradation have spurred the most radical transformations in human history. The world’s oceans are changing at a drastic pace. In response, the people who know the ocean most intimately are taking action for the sake of our shared future. Community scientists track species in California tidepools. Researchers dive into the waters around Sydney to replant kelp forests. Scientists and First Nations communities collaborate to restore clam gardens in the Pacific Northwest. In At Every Depth, the oceanographer Dr. Tessa Hill and the science journalist Eric Simons profile these and other efforts to understand and protect marine environments, taking readers to habitats from shallow tidepools to the deep sea. By sharing the stories of scientists, coastal community members, Indigenous people, shellfish farmers, and fisheries workers, At Every Depth brings together varied viewpoints, showing how scientists’ research and local and Indigenous knowledge can all complement each other to inform a more sustainable future. Our guest is: Dr. Tessa Hill, who is a professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of California, Davis. She teaches and researches oceanography and climate change. She is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and she was awarded the Rachel Carson Lecture by the American Geophysical Union. Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, the producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell. Listeners may also enjoy these episodes with women in science: Climate Change Explained Women in Shark Sciences This conversation with Dr. Ware about dragonflies The surprising world of wasps When Dr. Martin was considering whether to stay or drop out Welcome to Academic Life, the podcast for your academic journey—and beyond! Join us again to learn from more experts inside and outside the academy, and around the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/16/202449 minutes, 35 seconds
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"Orion" Magazine: A Discussion with Sumanth Prabhaker

Sumanth Prabhaker is the editor-in-chief of Orion and the founding editor of Madra Press. He earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he was an editor for the journal Ecotone. Founded in 1982, Orion has evolved as a magazine over the years from the quieter, reverential environmental sensitivity that continues to distinguish it into also a wider awareness of global injustices that especially impact the Global South. In this episode, three essays were discussed that under his leadership, Sumanth Prabhaker nurtured into existence over a span that sometimes stretched into years. First among them is “How the Lark Got Her Crest” by Marianne Jay Erhardt from the Summer 2023 issue. It works from the slightest of bases, the few lines of Aesop’s fable about a lark, into a rather profound piece about how one might bury one’s father “in your head’ like the lark does. Language and honoring one’s parent becomes the grounding in this case. Second up, “The Other Bibles” by Katrina Vanderberg from the Spring 2024 issue began as almost a lark: why not include a book review of The Bible in a special issue devoted to religious rituals? The essay is at once a memorial to a husband who died of AIDS as a result of poorly monitored blood transfusions meant to help treat his hemophilia, as well as exploring the spiritual ecology of texts that come to us via illustrations in Bibles or the handiwork of the Earth itself. Third, the episode concludes by discussing “Natural Selection” by Erica Berry from the Winter 2023 issue. A Tinder ad about dating practices led into a piece on romance and even four Romance novels also written during the Year Without a Summer in 1916 when a volcanic eruption in Indonesia caused famine and disease and led, among other output, to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley setting to work on Frankenstein. Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/15/202434 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ban Wang, "At Home in Nature: Technology, Labor, and Critical Ecology in Modern China" (Duke UP, 2022)

In his latest book At Home in Nature: Technology, Labor, and Critical Ecology in Modern China (Duke UP, 2022), Ban Wang uses an ecocritical lens to examine anthropocentrism, technoscientific hubris, and ecologically destructive modes of production in modern China. Analyzing modern discourse, literature, film, and science fiction, Wang asserts that the domination of nature and labor under capitalism and technocrats is the culprit of ecological crises and human alienation. Alternatively, Wang argues, utopianisms of nonalienated labor keep alive the ideals of resonance between humans and Earth. Ban Wang is the William Haas Endowed Chair Professor in Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His major publications include China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision (Duke UP, 2022), Illuminations from the Past: Trauma, Memory, and History in Modern China (Stanford UP, 2004), History and Memory: A Critique of Global Modernity (Oxford UP, 2004), Narrative Perspective and Irony in Chinese and American Fiction (Edwin Mellen, 2002), and The Sublime Figure of History: Aesthetics and Politics in Twentieth-Century (Stanford UP, 1997). Ailin Zhou is a PhD student in Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include transnational Chinese cinema, Asian diasporic visual culture, contemporary art, and feminist and queer theories. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/15/202451 minutes, 46 seconds
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Liliana Doganova, "Discounting the Future: The Ascendancy of a Political Technology" (Princeton UP, 2024)

Forest fires, droughts, and rising sea levels beg a nagging question: have we lost our capacity to act on the future? Dr. Liliana Doganova’s book Discounting the Future: The Ascendancy of a Political Technology (Princeton University Press, 2024) sheds new light on this anxious query. It argues that our relationship to the future has been trapped in the gears of a device called discounting. While its incidence remains little known, discounting has long been entrenched in market and policy practices, shaping the ways firms and governments look to the future and make decisions accordingly. Thus, a sociological account of discounting formulas has become urgent. Discounting means valuing things through the flows of costs and benefits that they are likely to generate in the future, with these future flows being literally dis-counted as they are translated in the present. How have we come to think of the future, and of valuation, in such terms? Building on original empirical research in the historical sociology of discounting, Dr. Doganova takes us to some of the sites and moments in which discounting took shape and gained momentum: valuation of European forests in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; economic theories devised in the early 1900s; debates over business strategies in the postwar era; investor-state disputes over the nationalisation of natural resources; and drug development in the biopharmaceutical industry today. Weaving these threads together, the book pleads for an understanding of discounting as a political technology, and of the future as a contested domain. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses 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
5/14/20241 hour, 1 minute, 56 seconds
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Inhuman

In this episode of High Theory, Rasheed Tazudeen tells us about the inhuman. The inhuman offers a way of moving beyond the legacies of humanism and across categories and scales of being. Thinking with the inhuman world, from spools of thread to microplastics, helps us try and think otherwise about the complex assemblages that shape our lives. If you want to learn more, check out Rasheed’s new book, Modernism’s Inhuman Worlds (Cornell UP, 2024). The book explores the centrality of ecological precarity, species indeterminacy, planetary change, and the specter of extinction to modernist and contemporary metamodernist literatures. Modernist ecologies emerge in response to the enigma of how to imagine inhuman being—including soils, forests, oceans, and the earth itself—through languages and epistemologies that have only ever been humanist. Rasheed asks how (meta)modernist aesthetics might help us to imagine (with) inhuman worlds, including the worlds still to be made on the other side of mass extinction. Rasheed Tazudeen is a lecturer in English at Yale University. His work is focused broadly on the intersections between ecology, race, and sound in 19th- and 20th-century literature and music. He is currently at work on a second project tentatively titled The Musicked Earth: Towards a Decolonial Sound Ecology, focused on the resonances between Black/Afro-Caribbean and Indigenous theories of sound, music, festival, and ecology through the work of Sylvia Wynter, Édouard Glissant, Leanne Simpson, and Alice Coltrane. This week’s image was made by Saronik Bosu in 2024. It represents a humanoid creature in fetal position, merging with the inhuman world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/14/202420 minutes, 53 seconds
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Per Högselius and Achim Klüppelberg, "The Soviet Nuclear Archipelago: A Historical Geography of Atomic-Powered Communism" (CEU Press, 2023)

In this episode of the CEU Press Podcast, host Andrea Talabér (CEU Press/CEU Review of Books) sat down with Per Högselius and Achim Klüppelberg to discuss their new book with CEU Press entitled, The Soviet Nuclear Archipelago: A Historical Geography of Atomic-Powered Communism (CEU Press, 2023). The book is available Open Access, click here to download. The war in Ukraine, with the exposure of nuclear power stations and the danger of atomic warfare, has made the legacy of the Soviet nuclear sector of critical importance. The two authors map the Soviet nuclear industry in a shifting historical context, making sense of a complex socio-technical and environmental history. Taking an innovative approach, this book explores the history of atomic power in the former Soviet Union using the spatial dimensions of the nuclear industry as a point of departure. Per and Achim’s book is part of our new series, CEU Press Perspectives. The series offers the latest viewpoints on both new and perennial issues, these books address a wide range of topics of critical importance today. The new series, originating from an international collection of leading authors, encourages us to look at issues from a different viewpoint, to think outside the box, and to stimulate debate. You can learn more about the series here. The CEU Press Podcast delves into various aspects of the publishing process: from crafting a book proposal, finding a publisher, responding to peer review feedback on the manuscript, to the subsequent distribution, promotion and marketing of academic books. We will also talk to series editors and authors, who will share their experiences of getting published and talk about their series or books. Interested in CEU Press’s publications? Click here to find out more here.  Stay tuned for future episodes and subscribe to our podcast to be the first to be notified. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/12/202423 minutes, 41 seconds
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Dan Chapman, "A Road Running Southward: Following John Muir's Journey Through an Endangered Land" (Island Press, 2022)

In 1867, John Muir set out on foot to explore the botanical wonders of the South, keeping a detailed journal of his adventures as he traipsed from Kentucky southward to Florida. One hundred and fifty years later, on a similar whim, veteran Atlanta reporter Dan Chapman, distressed by sprawl-driven environmental ills in a region he loves, recreated Muir’s journey to see for himself how nature has fared since Muir’s time. Channeling Muir, he uses humor, keen observation, and a deep love of place to celebrate the South’s natural riches. But he laments that a treasured way of life for generations of Southerners is endangered as long-simmering struggles intensify over misused and dwindling resources. Chapman seeks to discover how Southerners might balance surging population growth with protecting the natural beauty Muir found so special. Each chapter touches upon a local ecological problem—at-risk species in Mammoth Cave, coal ash in Kingston, Tennessee, climate change in the Nantahala National Forest, water wars in Georgia, aquifer depletion in Florida—that resonates across the South. Chapman delves into the region’s natural history, moving between John Muir’s vivid descriptions of a lush botanical paradise and the myriad environmental problems facing the South today. Along the way he talks to locals with deep ties to the land—scientists, hunters, politicians, and even a Muir impersonator—who describe the changes they’ve witnessed and what it will take to accommodate a fast-growing population without destroying the natural beauty and a cherished connection to nature. A Road Running Southward: Following John Muir's Journey Through an Endangered Land (Island Press, 2022) is part travelogue, part environmental cri de coeur, and paints a picture of a South under siege. It is a passionate appeal, a call to action to save one of the loveliest and most biodiverse regions of the world by understanding what we have to lose if we do nothing. Matt Simmons is an Assistant Professor of History at Emmanuel University where he teaches courses in U.S. and public history. His research interests focus on the intersection of labor and race in the twentieth-century American South. Connect with him at Matthew Simmons | LinkedIn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/11/202459 minutes, 54 seconds
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MC Forelle on Cars, Chipification, and Repair

Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel, talks with MC Forelle, Assistant Professor of Engineering & Society at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at University of Virginia, about their research on the “chipification” of automobiles. MC’s work examines how computerization affects repair and a wide variety of other automotive experiences. In recent years, they have continued broadening out to include electric and autonomous vehicles and the environmental impacts thereof. Lee and MC also chew the fat about a bunch of other issues along the way. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/6/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 27 seconds
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Salar Mameni, "Terracene: A Crude Aesthetics" (Duke UP, 2023)

In Terracene: A Crude Aesthetics (Duke UP, 2023), Salar Mameni historicizes the popularization of the scientific notion of the Anthropocene alongside the emergence of the global war on terror. Mameni theorizes the Terracene as an epoch marked by a convergence of racialized militarism and environmental destruction. Both the Anthropocene and the war on terror centered the antagonist figures of the Anthropos and the terrorist as responsible for epochal changes in the new geological and geopolitical world orders. In response, Mameni shows how the Terracene requires radically new engagements with terra (the earth), whose intelligence resides in matters such as oil and phenomena like earthquakes and fires. Drawing on the work of artists whose practices interrogate histories of settler-colonial and imperial interests in land and resources in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Syria, Palestine, and other regions most affected by the war on terror, Mameni offers speculative paths into the aesthetics of the Terracene. Salar Mameni is an art historian specializing in contemporary transnational art and visual culture in the Arab/Muslim world with an interdisciplinary research on racial discourse, transnational gender politics, militarism, oil cultures and extractive economies in West Asia. Mameni has published articles in Signs, Women & Performance, Al-Raida Journal, Fuse Magazine, Fillip Review and Canadian Art Journal, and has written for exhibition catalogues in Dubai, Sharjah and Istanbul. Mameni was the curator of “Snail Fever,” at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai that explored art as a pandemic bringing together artists from the region whose works consider the embodied, viral and contaminating nature of sonic and visual aesthetics. Najwa Mayer is an interdisciplinary cultural scholar of race, gender, sexuality, and Islam in/and the United States, working at the intersections of politics, aesthetics, and critical theory. She is currently a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/5/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 59 seconds
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Michael Gilson, "Behind the Privet Hedge: Richard Sudell, the Suburban Garden and the Beautification of Britain" (Reaktion Books, 2024)

Britain is a nation of gardeners; the suburban garden, with its roses and privet hedges, is widely admired and copied across the world. But it is little understood how millions across the nation developed an obsession with their colourful plots of land. Behind the Privet Hedge: Richard Sudell, the Suburban Garden and the Beautification of Britain (Reaktion, 2024) by Michael Gilson explores the history of this development and how, despite their stereotype as symbols of dull, middle-class conformity, these new open spaces were seen as a means to bring about social change in the early twentieth century. Gilson restores to the story a remarkable but long-forgotten figure, Richard Sudell, who spent a lifetime ‘evangelising’ that the garden be in the vanguard of progress towards a new egalitarian society with everyday beauty at its centre. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses 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
5/3/202453 minutes, 15 seconds
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John J. Berger, "Solving the Climate Crisis: Frontline Reports from the Race to Save the Earth" (Seven Stories Press, 2023)

Solving the Climate Crisis: Frontline Reports from the Race to Save the Earth (Seven Stories Press, 2023) is a hopeful and critical resource that makes a convincing and detailed case that there is a path forward to save our environment. Illustrating the power of committed individuals and the necessity for collaborative government and private-sector climate action, the book focuses on three essential areas: The technological dimension move to 100% clean renewable energy as fast as we possibly can through innovations like clean-steel, "green" cement, and carbon-reuse companies; The ecological dimension enhance and protect natural ecosystems, forests, and agricultural lands to safely store greenhouse gases and restore soils, transforming how we grow, process, and consume food; The social dimension update and create new laws, policies and economic measures to recenter human values and reduce environmental and social injustice. Based on more than 6 years of research, Berger traveled the nation and abroad to interview governors, mayors, ranchers, scientists, engineers, business leaders, energy experts, and financiers as well as carbon farmers, solar and wind innovators, forest protectors, non-profit leaders, and activists. With real world examples, an explanation of cutting-edge technologies in solar and wind, and political organizing tactics, Solving the Climate Crisis provides a practical road map for how we effectively combat climate change. Replacing the fossil-fuel system with a newly invigorated, modernized, clean-energy economy will produce tens of millions of new jobs and save trillions of dollars. Protecting the climate is thus potentially the greatest economic opportunity of our time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/3/202447 minutes, 47 seconds
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Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen, "Brand Antarctica: How Global Consumer Culture Shapes Our Perceptions of the Ice Continent" (U Nebraska Press, 2023)

Antarctica is, and has always been, very much “for sale.” Whales, seals, and ice have all been marketed as valuable commodities, but so have the stories of explorers. The modern media industry developed in parallel with land-based Antarctic exploration, and early expedition leaders needed publicity to generate support for their endeavours. Their lectures, narratives, photographs, and films were essentially advertisements for their adventures. At the same time, popular media began to use the newly encountered continent to draw attention to commercial products. These advertisements both trace the commercialization of Antarctica and reveal how commercial settings have shaped the dominant imaginaries of the place. By contextualising and analysing Antarctic advertisements from the late nineteenth century to the present, Brand Antarctica: How Global Consumer Culture Shapes Our Perceptions of the Ice Continent (University of Nebraska Press, 2023) by Dr. Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen identifies five key framings of the South Polar continent: a place for heroes, a place of extremity, a place of purity, a place to protect, and a place that transforms. Demonstrating how these conceptual framings of Antarctica in turn circulate through our culture, Dr. Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen challenges common assumptions about Antarctica’s past and present, encouraging readers to rethink their own relationship with the Far South. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses 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
5/1/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 27 seconds
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Hiromi Ito, "Tree Spirits Grass Spirits" (Nightboat Books, 2023)

A collected series of intertwined poetic essays written by acclaimed Japanese poet Hiromi Ito--part nature writing, part travelogue, part existential philosophy. Written between April 2012 and November 2013, Tree Spirits Grass Spirits (Nightboat Books, 2023) adopts a non-linear narrative flow that mimics the growth of plants, and can be read as a companion piece to Ito's beloved poem "Wild Grass on the Riverbank". Rather than the vertiginously violent poetics of the latter, Tree Spirits Grass Spirits serves as what we might call a phyto-autobiography: a recounting of one's life through the logic of flora. Ito's graciously potent and philosophical prose examines immigration, language, gender, care work, and death, all through her close (indeed, at times obsessive) attention to plant life. For a better understanding of this collection and the author, the following books are recommended by translator Dr. Jon Pitt: Hiromi Ito - Wild Grass on the Riverbank Hiromi Ito - The Thorn Puller Robin Wall Kimmerer - Braiding Sweetgrass Hope Jahren - Lab Girl Jeanie Shinozuka - Biotic Borders Banu Subrahmaniam - Ghost Stories for Darwin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/28/202450 minutes, 23 seconds
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Steven C. Beda, "Strong Winds and Widow Makers: Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in Pacific Northwest Timber Country" (U Illinois Press, 2022)

Imagine an environmentalist. Are you picturing a Birkenstock-clad hippie? An office worker who hikes on weekends? A political lobbyist? What about a modern day timber worker?  This last group is at the center of University of Oregon historian Steven C. Beda's new book, Strong Winds and Widow Makers: Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in Pacific Northwest Timber Country (U Illinois Press, 2023). In Beda's telling, it's timber workers, as lovers of the outdoors who also rely upon healthy forests for their livelihoods, who are often at the forefront of local environmentalism, including organizing at the crossroads of labor and environmental activism. From the late 19th century onwards, timber works imbued the Pacific Northwest with a sense of place inaccessible to upper-class Northern California newcomers who changed the region's cultural and political calculus in the late 20th century. We live in a timber society, Beda argues, and no one knows what that means nearly as much as the workers who turn trees into books like this. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/26/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 8 seconds
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Charis Enns and Brock Bersaglio, "Settler Ecologies: The Enduring Nature of Settler Colonialism in Kenya" (U Toronto Press, 2024)

Settler Ecologies: The Enduring Nature of Settler Colonialism in Kenya (University of Toronto Press, 2024) tells the story of how settler colonialism becomes memorialized and lives on through ecological relations. Drawing on eight years of research in Laikipia, Kenya, Charis Enns and Brock Bersaglio use immersive methods to reveal how animals and plants can be enrolled in the reproduction of settler colonialism. The book details how ecological relations have been unmade and remade to enable settler colonialism to endure as a structure in this part of Kenya. It describes five modes of violent ecological transformation used to prolong structures of settler colonialism: eliminating undesired wild species; rewilding landscapes with more desirable species to settler ecologists; selectively repeopling wilderness to create seemingly more inclusive wild spaces and capitalize on biocultural diversity; rescuing injured animals and species at risk of extinction to shore up moral support for settler ecologies; and extending settler ecologies through landscape approaches to conservation that scale wild spaces. Settler Ecologies serves as a cautionary tale for future conservation agendas in all settler colonies. While urgent action is needed to halt global biodiversity loss, this book underscores the need to continually question whether the types of nature being preserved advance settler colonial structures or create conditions in which ecologies can otherwise be (re)made and flourish. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/20/202434 minutes, 53 seconds
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Robin Visser, "Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan" (Columbia UP, 2023)

Indigenous knowledge of local ecosystems often challenges settler-colonial cosmologies that naturalize resource extraction and the relocation of nomadic, hunting, foraging, or fishing peoples. Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan (Columbia UP, 2023) explores recent ecoliterature by Han and non-Han Indigenous writers of China and Taiwan, analyzing relations among humans, animals, ecosystems, and the cosmos in search of alternative possibilities for creativity and consciousness. Informed by extensive field research, Robin Visser compares literary works by Bai, Bunun, Kazakh, Mongol, Tao, Tibetan, Uyghur, Wa, Yi, and Han Chinese writers set in Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Southwest China, and Taiwan, sites of extensive development, migration, and climate change impacts. Visser contrasts the dominant Han Chinese cosmology of center and periphery that informs what she calls “Beijing Westerns” with Indigenous and hybridized ways of relating to the world that challenge borders, binaries, and hierarchies. By centering Indigenous cosmologies, this book aims to decolonize approaches to ecocriticism, comparative literature, and Chinese and Sinophone studies as well as to inspire new modes of sustainable flourishing in the Anthropocene. Robin Visser is professor and associate chair of the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Cities Surround the Countryside: Urban Aesthetics in Postsocialist China (2010). Li-Ping Chen is a teaching fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, inter-Asian, and transpacific contexts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/18/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 28 seconds
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Joshua Trey Barnett, "Mourning in the Anthropocene: Ecological Grief and Earthly Coexistence" (Michigan State UP, 2022)

Enormous ecological losses and profound planetary transformations mean that ours is a time to grieve beyond the human. Yet, Joshua Trey Barnett argues in this eloquent and urgent book, our capacity to grieve for more-than-human others is neither natural nor inevitable. Weaving together personal narratives, theoretical meditations, and insightful readings of cultural artifacts, he suggests that ecological grief is best understood as a rhetorical achievement. As a collection of worldmaking practices, rhetoric makes things matter, bestows value, directs attention, generates knowledge, and foments feelings. By dwelling on three rhetorical practices—naming, archiving, and making visible—Barnett shows how they prepare us to grieve past, present, and future ecological losses. Simultaneously diagnostic and prescriptive, Mourning in the Anthropocene: Ecological Grief and Earthly Coexistence (Michigan State UP, 2022) reveals rhetorical practices that set our ecological grief into motion and illuminates pathways to more connected, caring earthly coexistence. Avery Weinman earned her Bachelor’s in History from UCSC and her Master’s in History from UCLA. Her work has been published in American Jewish History and the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog. She is a naturalist, an environmentalist, and a birder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/16/202450 minutes, 48 seconds
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Dominic Boyer, "No More Fossils" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)

Our hosts, Devin Griffiths and Deanna Kreisel, sat down with Dominic Boyer to talk about his new book, No More Fossils, which appeared just last year (2023) from the University of Minnesota's "Forerunners" series. We talked at length about his book, its gestation in basic questions about how to divest from fossil energy and fossil culture, and the grounds for optimism about our future. In a wide ranging discussion, we also talked about utopia, our investment in memoir and place-based writing, the importance of affect and anxiety in thinking about climate, and the fiction, scholarship, and activism that gives us inspiration.  Some show notes: we talked about other work by Dominic (including his books Hyposubjects and Energopolitics); other works on energy and ecocriticism (including Patricia Jaeger's column "Literature in the Ages of Wood, Tallow, Coal, Whale Oil, Gasoline, Atomic Power, and Other Energy Sources"; Cara New Dagget's The Birth of Energy; Allen MacDuffie's Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination; and Heidi Scott's Fuel: An Ecocritical History; and Barbara Leckie's Climate Change: Interrupted); talked about matriarchal collectives and the show Station Eleven; and fiction including Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge, and Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward; and William Morris's News from Nowhere; and finally, Osaka University's "Fragmentary Institute of Comparative Timelines," and Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass's book, Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change, and Pandemics. It was awesome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/3/202459 minutes, 18 seconds
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Nell Freudenberger, "The Limits" (Knopf, 2024)

The most thrilling work yet from the best-selling, prize-winning author of The Newlyweds and Lost and Wanted, a stunning new novel set in French Polynesia and New York City about three characters who undergo massive transformations over the course of a single year. From Mo'orea, a tiny volcanic island off the coast of Tahiti, a French biologist obsessed with saving Polynesia's imperiled coral reefs sends her teenage daughter to live with her ex-husband in New York. By the time fifteen-year-old Pia arrives at her father Stephen's luxury apartment in Manhattan and meets his new, younger wife, Kate, she has been shuttled between her parents' disparate lives--her father's consuming work as a surgeon at an overwhelmed New York hospital, her mother's relentless drive against a ticking ecological clock--for most of her life. Fluent in French, intellectually precocious, moving between cultures with seeming ease, Pia arrives in New York poised for a rebellion, just as COVID sends her and her stepmother together into near total isolation. A New York City schoolteacher, Kate struggles to connect with a teenager whose capacity for destruction seems exceeded only by her privilege. Even as Kate fails to parent Pia--and questions her own ability to become a mother--one of her sixteen-year-old students is already caring for a toddler full time. Athyna's love for her nephew, Marcus, is a burden that becomes heavier as she struggles to finish her senior year online. Juggling her manifold responsibilities, Athyna finds herself more and more anxious every time she leaves the house. Just as her fear of what is waiting for her outside her Staten Island community feels insupportable, an incident at home makes her desperate to leave. When their lives collide, Pia and Athyna spiral toward parallel but inescapably different tragedies. Moving from a South Pacific "paradise," where rage still simmers against the colonial government and its devastating nuclear tests, to the extreme inequalities of twenty-first century New York City, The Limits (Knopf, 2024) is an unforgettably moving novel about nation, race, class, and family. Heart-wrenching and humane, a profound work from one of America's most prodigiously gifted novelists. NELL FREUDENBERGER is the author of the novels Lost and Wanted, The Newlyweds and The Dissident, and of the story collection Lucky Girls, which won the PEN/Malamud Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Named one of The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” in 2010, she is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and a Cullman Fellowship from the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and son. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/2/202454 minutes, 39 seconds
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India’s Waste Problem: A Discussion with Pamela Das

How is India tackling its persistent wage management problems? And, are new infrastructural solutions the way forward? In this episode, Kenneth Bo Nielsen talks to Pamela Das about the new infrastructures that are increasingly being put in place to help Indian cities confront the problem of waste and how to handle it. Estimate suggests that by 2025, India will generate 1.3 billion metric tonnes of municipal solid waste every year. With a recycling rate at below 20 percent, the negative consequences for the environment and for public health are clear and visible in both urban and rural contexts. In policy discussions, the solution is often deemed to be infrastructural – that if only India could get the infrastructure right, the problem of waste would disappear. But infrastructures sometimes produce new and unanticipated social consequences that compound rather than solve existing problems. Pamela Das is an interdisciplinary researcher trained in anthropology, political science, economics, and sociology. Kenneth Bo Nielsen is a social anthropologist based at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/29/202430 minutes, 42 seconds
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Rachel S. Gross, "Shopping All the Way to the Woods: How the Outdoor Industry Sold Nature to America" (Yale UP, 2024)

Rachel S. Gross's Shopping All the Ways to the Woods (Yale University Press, 2024) tells the fascinating history of the profitable paradox of the American outdoor experience: visiting nature first requires shopping No escape to nature is complete without a trip to an outdoor recreational store or a browse through online offerings. This is the irony of the American outdoor experience: visiting wild spaces supposedly untouched by capitalism first requires shopping. With consumers spending billions of dollars on clothing and equipment each year as they seek out nature, the American outdoor sector grew over the past 150 years from a small collection of outfitters to an industry contributing more than 2 percent of the nation’s economic output. Gross argues that this success was predicated not just on creating functional equipment but also on selling an authentic, anticommercial outdoor identity. In other words, shopping for the woods was also about being—or becoming—the right kind of person. Demonstrating that outdoor culture is commercial culture, Gross examines Americans’ journey toward outdoor expertise by tracing the development of the nascent outdoor goods industry, the influence of World War II on its growth, and the boom years of outdoor businesses. Rachel S. Gross is a historian of the outdoor gear and apparel industry and an outdoor enthusiast. She is assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, a history tour guide, and a curator of museum exhibits. She lives in Denver, CO. Twitter. Website.  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
3/26/202436 minutes, 39 seconds
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Matthew Schneider-Mayerson et al., "Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Narratives for Social Change" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)

There is a growing consensus that environmental narratives can help catalyze the social change necessary to address today's environmental crises; however, surprisingly little is known about their impact and effectiveness. In Empirical Ecocriticism, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner, W. P. Malecki, and Frank Hakemulder combine an environmental humanities perspective with empirical methods derived from the social sciences to study the influence of environmental stories on our affects, attitudes, and actions.  Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Narratives for Social Change (U Minnesota Press, 2023) provides an approachable introduction to this growing field's main methods and demonstrates their potential through case studies on topics ranging from the impact of climate fiction on readers' willingness to engage in activism to the political empowerment that results from participating in environmental theater. Part manifesto, part toolkit, part proof of concept, and part dialogue, this introductory volume is divided into three sections: methods, case studies, and reflections. International in scope, it points toward a novel and fruitful synthesis of the environmental humanities and social sciences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/23/202448 minutes, 5 seconds
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Charlie Hertzog Young, "Spinning Out: Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future" (Footnote Press, 2023)

Charlie Hertzog Young became a climate activist in his early teens. His journey led him onto airport runways and into the halls of power, but also to a serious mental health breakdown. He had to rebuild himself physically and psychologically, before focusing his efforts on collective mental recovery in response to a planet in crisis. Spinning Out: Climate Change, Mental Health and Fighting for a Better Future (Footnote Press, 2023) explores how climate chaos and the failure of those in power to tackle it are causing an inevitable mental health crisis across the globe. The relationship between the climate and our emotional wellbeing goes far deeper than eco-anxiety. It goes to the roots of our civilization - its principles, its practices and its false solutions. With testimony from dozens of activists, organizers and researchers across every habitable continent, Spinning Out is a celebration (of other ways to be) and a manual for anyone who wants to fight for a better world, while avoiding burnout and despair. Wedding the needs of the earth with the needs of the human mind, Spinning Out offers a powerful, collective vision for change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/19/20241 hour, 23 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ruth A. Morgan, "Climate Change and International History: Climate Diplomacy in the Global North and South Since 1950" (Bloomsbury, 2024)

Exploring how climate change has configured the international arena since the 1950s, Climate Change and International History: Negotiating Science, Global Change, and Environmental Justice (Bloomsbury, 2024) by Dr. Ruth A. Morgan reveals the ways that climate change emerged and evolved as an international problem, and how states, scientists and non-governmental organisations have engaged in diplomatic efforts to address it. Developing amidst the Cold War, decolonization and a growing transnational environmental consciousness, it asks how this wider historical context has shaped international responses to the greatest threat to humankind to date. Thinking beyond the science of climate change to the way it is received and responded to, Dr. Morgan shows how climate science has been mobilised in the political sphere, paying particular attention to the North-South dynamics of climate diplomacy. The privileging of climate science and the mobilisation of climate scepticism are explored to consider how they have undermined efforts to remedy this planetary problem. Studying climate change and international history in tandem, this book explains the origins of the debates around this environmental emergency, the response of political leaders attempting to address the threat, and the barriers to creating an international regime to resolve the climate crisis. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
3/16/20241 hour, 6 minutes
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Travis Rieder, "Catastrophe Ethics: How to Choose Well in a World of Tough Choices" (Dutton, 2024)

In a world of often confusing and terrifying global problems, how should we make choices in our everyday lives? Does anything on the individual level really make a difference? In Catastrophe Ethics: How to Choose Well in a World of Tough Choices (Dutton, 2024), Travis Rieder tackles the moral philosophy puzzles that bedevil us. He explores vital ethical concepts from history and today and offers new ways to think about the “right” thing to do when the challenges we face are larger and more complex than ever before. Alongside a lively tour of traditional moral reasoning from thinkers like Plato, Mill, and Kant, Rieder posits new questions and exercises about the unique conundrums we now face, issues that can seem to transcend old-fashioned philosophical ideals. Should you drink water from a plastic bottle or not? Drive an electric car? When you learn about the horrors of factory farming, should you stop eating meat or other animal products? Do small commitments matter, or are we being manipulated into acting certain ways by corporations and media? These kinds of puzzles, Rieder explains, are everywhere now. And the tools most of us unthinkingly rely on to “do the right thing” are no longer enough. Principles like “do no harm” and “respect others” don’t provide guidance in cases where our individual actions don’t, by themselves, have any effect on others at all. We need new principles, with new justifications, in order to navigate this new world. In the face of consequential and complex crises, Rieder shares exactly how we can live a morally decent life. It’s time to build our own catastrophe ethics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/13/202437 minutes, 33 seconds
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Yolanda Ariadne Collins, "Forests of Refuge: Decolonizing Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield" (U California Press, 2024)

Forests of Refuge: Decolonizing Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield (U California Press, 2024) questions the effectiveness of market-based policies that govern forests in the interest of mitigating climate change. Yolanda Ariadne Collins interrogates the most ambitious global plan to incentivize people away from deforesting activities: the United Nations-endorsed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative. Forests of Refuge explores REDD+ in Guyana and neighboring Suriname, two highly forested countries in the Amazonian Guiana Shield with low deforestation rates. Yet REDD+ implementation there has been fraught with challenges. Adopting a multisited ethnographic approach, Forests of Refuge takes readers into the halls of policymaking, into conservation development organizations, and into forest-dependent communities most affected by environmental policies and exploitative colonial histories. This book situates these challenges in the inattentiveness of global environmental policies to roughly five hundred years of colonial histories that positioned the forests as places of refuge and resistance. It advocates that the fruits of these oppressive histories be reckoned with through processes of decolonization. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/12/202442 minutes, 14 seconds
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David E. Gilbert, "Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land: A Social Movement Ethnography" (U California Press, 2024)

Two decades ago, a group of Indonesian agricultural workers began occupying the agribusiness plantation near their homes. In the years since, members of this remarkable movement have reclaimed collective control of their land and cultivated diverse agricultural forests on it, repairing the damage done over nearly a century of abuse. Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land: A Social Movement Ethnography (U California Press, 2024) is their story. David E. Gilbert offers an account of the ways these workers-turned-activists mobilized to move beyond industrial agriculture's exploitation of workers and the environment, illustrating how emancipatory and ecologically attuned ways of living with land are possible. At a time when capitalism has remade landscapes and reordered society, the Casiavera reclaiming movement stands as an inspiring example of what struggles for social and environmental justice can achieve. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/12/202432 minutes, 59 seconds
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Flora Lu and Emily Murai, "Critical Campus Sustainabilities: Bridging Social Justice and the Environment in Higher Education" (Springer, 2023)

In response to student demands reflecting the urgency of societal and ecological problems, universities are making a burgeoning effort to infuse environmental sustainability efforts with social justice. In this edited volume, we extend calls for higher education leaders to revamp programming, pedagogy, and research that problematically reproduce dominant techno-scientific and managerial conceptualizations of sustainability. Students, staff and community partners, especially those from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, are at the forefront of calls for critical sustainabilities programming, education and collaborations. Their work centers themes of power relations, (in)equity, accessibility, and social (in)justice to study the interrelationships between humans, non-humans, and the environment. Their voices, perspectives and lived experiences are provocations for institutions to think and act more expansively.  Critical Campus Sustainabilities: Bridging Social Justice and the Environment in Higher Education (Springer, 2023) amplifies some of these voices and bottom up efforts toward a more critical approach to sustainability on campus. We ground our recommendations on findings from campus-wide surveys that were taken by over 8,000 undergraduates in 2016, 2019, and 2022. Furthermore, we share the design principles and lessons learned from several innovative, award-winning initiatives designed to foster critical sustainabilities at UC Santa Cruz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/11/202452 minutes, 48 seconds
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Benjamin J. Pauli, "Flint Fights Back: Environmental Justice and Democracy in the Flint Water Crisis" (MIT Press, 2019)

Originally published in 2019, Benjamin Pauli’s book, Flint Fights Back offers lasting insights into one of the most important drinking water-caused public health crises of American history. In this 2024 interview Pauli shares some explanations from the book but also offers his insights, in this year of the 10th anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, on what is happening in Flint today and what, after all, we have learned from the fight for clean water in Flint, Michigan. -Patricia Houser, New Books in Environmental Studies Host. An account of the Flint water crisis shows that Flint's struggle for safe and affordable water is part of a broader struggle for democracy. When Flint, Michigan, changed its source of municipal water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, Flint residents were repeatedly assured that the water was of the highest quality. At the switchover ceremony, the mayor and other officials performed a celebratory toast, declaring “Here's to Flint!” and downing glasses of freshly treated water. But as we now know, the water coming out of residents' taps harbored a variety of contaminants, including high levels of lead. In Flint Fights Back: Environmental Justice and Democracy in the Flint Water Crisis (MIT Press, 2019), Benjamin Pauli examines the water crisis and the political activism that it inspired, arguing that Flint's struggle for safe and affordable water was part of a broader struggle for democracy. Pauli connects Flint's water activism with the ongoing movement protesting the state of Michigan's policy of replacing elected officials in financially troubled cities like Flint and Detroit with appointed “emergency managers.” Currently available for free online: “The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries.” Patricia Houser, Ph.D., AICP, is former professor of geography and urban planning, now focused on writing and environmental research. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/9/202438 minutes, 59 seconds
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Hsuan L. Hsu, "Air Conditioning" (Bloomsbury, 2024)

Air conditioning aspires to be unnoticed. Yet, by manipulating the air around us, it quietly conditions the baseline conditions of our physical, mental, and emotional experience. From offices and libraries to contemporary art museums and shopping malls, climate control systems shore up the fantasy of a comfortable, self-contained body that does not have to reckon with temperature. At the same time that air conditioning makes temperature a non-issue in (some) people's daily lives, thermoception-or the sensory perception of temperature-is being carefully studied and exploited as a tool of marketing, social control, and labour management. Yet air conditioning isn't for everybody: its reliance on carbon fuels divides the world into habitable, climate-controlled bubbles and increasingly uninhabitable environments where AC is unavailable. Hsuan Hsu's Air Conditioning (Bloomsbury, 2024) explores questions about culture, ethics, ecology, and social justice raised by the history and uneven distribution of climate controlling technologies. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
3/8/202444 minutes, 14 seconds
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Christy Spackman, "The Taste of Water: Sensory Perception and the Making of an Industrialized Beverage" (U California Press, 2023)

Have you ever wondered why your tap water tastes the way it does? The Taste of Water: Sensory Perception and the Making of an Industrialized Beverage (U California Press, 2023) explores the increasing erasure of tastes from drinking water over the twentieth century. It asks how dramatic changes in municipal water treatment have altered consumers’ awareness of the environment their water comes from. Through examining the development of sensory expertise in the United States and France, this unique history uncovers the foundational role of palatability in shaping Western water treatment processes. By focusing on the relationship between taste and the environment, Christy Spackman shows how efforts to erase unwanted tastes and smells have transformed water into a highly industrialized food product divorced from its origins. The Taste of Water invites readers to question their own assumptions about what water does and should naturally taste like while exposing them to the invisible—but substantial—sensory labor involved in creating tap water. Christy Spackman is Assistant Professor of Art/Science at Arizona State University, where she holds a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. She is also Director of the Sensory Labor(atory), an experimental research collective dedicated to creatively disrupting longstanding sensory hierarchies. Her academic work focuses on how the sensory experiences of making, consuming, and disposing of food influence and are influenced by “technologies of taste,” her term for the oft-overlooked technologies and practices used to manage the sensory aspects of foods during production. Garrett Broad is Associate Professor of Communication Studies in Rowan University’s Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts, where he also serves as Provost’s Fellow in the Catalysts for Sustainability Initiative. His research and teaching explores the connections between contemporary social movements, food systems, and digital media technology. He is the author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change, as well as a variety of articles on food's relationship to environmental sustainability, economic equity, and the health of humans and nonhuman animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/8/202456 minutes, 20 seconds
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Cristina Brito, "Humans and Aquatic Animals in Early Modern America and Africa" (Amsterdam UP, 2023)

Cristina Brito's book Humans and Aquatic Animals in Early Modern America and Africa (Amsterdam University Press, 2024) deals with peoples' practices, perceptions, emotions and feelings towards aquatic animals, their ecosystems and nature on the early modern Atlantic coasts by addressing exploitation, use, fear, empathy, otherness, and indifference in the relationships established with aquatic environments and resources by Indigenous Peoples and Europeans. It focuses on large aquatic fauna, especially manatees (but also sharks, sea turtles, seals, and others) as they were hunted, consumed, venerated, conceptualised, and recorded by different societies across the early colonial Americas and West Africa. Through a cross-cultural approach drawing on concepts and analytical methods from marine environmental history, the blue humanities and animal studies, this book addresses more-than-human systems where ecologies, geographies, cosmogonies, and cultures are an entangled web of interdependencies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/4/202436 minutes, 55 seconds
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Sara J. Grossman, "Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy" (Duke UP, 2023)

In Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy (Duke UP, 2023), Sara J. Grossman explores how environmental data collection has been central to the larger project of settler colonialism in the United States. She draws on an extensive archive of historical and meteorological data spanning two centuries to show how American scientific institutions used information about the weather to establish and reinforce the foundations of a white patriarchal settler society. Grossman outlines the relationship between climate data and state power in key moments in the history of American weather science, from the nineteenth-century public data-gathering practices of settler farmers and teachers and the automation of weather data during the Dust Bowl to the role of meteorological satellites in data science’s integration into the militarized state. Throughout, Grossman shows that weather science reproduced the natural world as something to be measured, owned, and exploited. This data gathering, she contends, gave coherence to a national weather project and to a notion of the nation itself, demonstrating that weather science’s impact cannot be reduced to a set of quantifiable phenomena. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/28/202441 minutes, 29 seconds
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The Taste of Water: A Conversation with Christy Spackman

After WAY too long a hiatus, Peoples & Things is back! GET EXCITED!! In this episode, host Lee Vinsel interviews Christy Spackman, Assistant Professor of Art/Science with a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University, about her recent book, The Taste of Water: Sensory Perception and the Making of an Industrialized Beverage (U California Press, 2023). Most Americans drink water that has gone through industrial filtration and treatment. Those processes often leave a flavor in water.  The Taste of Water tells the fascinating story of how scientists, engineers, and water system workers have worked for decades to ensure that processed water has an appealing flavor. Vinsel and Spackman talk about a lot of other things along the way, from how water fits into the field of food studies to Spackman’s future plans. HEY! Peoples & Things has a new newsletter, where you can learn behind the scenes details about the podcast and much more. Check it out here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/26/20241 hour, 10 minutes, 8 seconds
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James S. Damico and Mark C. Baildon, "How to Confront Climate Denial: Literacy, Social Studies, and Climate Change" (Teachers College Press, 2022)

Climate change and climate denial have remained largely off the radar in literacy and social studies education in the United States. How to Confront Climate Denial: Literacy, Social Studies, and Climate Change (Teachers College Press, 2022) addresses that gap with the design of the Climate Denial Inquiry Model (CDIM) and clear examples of how educators and students can confront two forms of climate denial: science denial and action denial. The CDIM highlights how critical literacies specifically designed for climate denial texts can be used alongside eco-civic practices of deliberation, reflexivity, and counter-narration to help students discern corporate, financial, and politically motivated roots of climate denial and to better understand efforts to misinform the American public, sow doubt and distrust of basic scientific knowledge, and erode support for evidence-based policymaking and collective civic action. With an emphasis on inquiry-based teaching and learning, the book also charts a path from destructive stories-we-live-by that are steeped in climate denial (humans are separate from nature, the primary goal of society is economic growth without limits, nature is a resource to be used and exploited) to ecojustice stories-To-live by that invite teachers and students to consider more just and sustainable futures. As mentioned in the podcast, From Climate Denial to Ecojustice is the accompanying website.James S. Damico is Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A. Mark Baildon is an Associate Professor of Foundations of Education and Coordinator of International Collaborations and Partnerships in United Arab Emirates University’s College of Education. Madden Gilhooly is a public-school teacher and casual academic based on Gadigal land in so-called-Sydney, Australia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/13/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 58 seconds
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Rob Percival, "The Meat Paradox: Eating, Empathy, and the Future of Meat" (Pegasus, 2022)

Our future diet will be shaped by diverse forces. It will be shaped by novel technologies, by geopolitical tensions, and the evolution of cultural preferences, by shocks to the status quo-- pandemics and economic strife, the escalation of the climate and ecological crises--and by how we choose to respond. It will also be shaped by our emotions. It will be shaped by the meat paradox. "Should we eat animals?" was, until recently, a question reserved for moral philosophers and an ethically minded minority, but it is now posed on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves, on social media and morning television. The recent surge in popularity for veganism in the UK, Europe, and North America has created a rupture in the rites and rituals of meat, challenging the cultural narratives that sustain our omnivory. In The Meat Paradox: Eating, Empathy, and the Future of Meat (Pegasus Books, 2022), Rob Percival, an expert in the politics of meat, searches for the evolutionary origins of the meat paradox, asking when our relationship with meat first became emotionally and ethically complicated. Every society must eat, and meat provides an important source of nutrients. But every society is moved by its empathy. We must all find a way of balancing competing and contradictory imperatives. This new book is essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of our empathy, the psychology of our dietary choices, and anyone who has wondered whether they should or shouldn't eat meat. Rob Percival is Head of Policy at the Soil Association, Britain's leading food and farming charitable organization. He has been shortlisted for the Guardian's International Development Journalism Prize as well as the Thompson Reuters Food Sustainability Media Award. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/12/202449 minutes, 23 seconds
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Daniel Capper, "Roaming Free Like a Deer: Buddhism and the Natural World" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Daniel Capper's book Roaming Free Like a Deer: Buddhism and the Natural World (Cornell UP, 2022) delves into ecological experiences in seven Buddhist worlds, spanning ancient India to the modern West, offering a comprehensive analysis of Buddhist environmental ethics. Capper critically examines theories, practices, and real-world outcomes related to Buddhist perspectives on vegetarianism, meat consumption, nature mysticism, and spirituality in nonhuman animals. While Buddhist environmental ethics are often seen as tools against climate change, the book highlights two issues: uncritical acceptance of ideals without assessing practical impacts and a lack of communication among Buddhists, hindering coordinated responses to issues like climate change. The book, with an accessible style and a focus on personhood ethics, appeals to those concerned about human-nonhuman interactions. Dr. Tiatemsu Longkumer is a faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan. His academic pursuits center on the fields of Anthropology and the Philosophy of Religion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/5/202451 minutes, 18 seconds
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Greg Ellermann, "Thought's Wilderness: Romanticism and the Apprehension of Nature" (Stanford UP, 2022)

While much recent ecocriticism has questioned the value of nature as a concept, Thought's Wilderness: Romanticism and the Apprehension of Nature (Stanford UP, 2022) insists that it is analytically and politically indispensable, and that romanticism shows us why. Without a concept of nature, Greg Ellermann argues, our thinking is limited to the world that capitalism has made. Defamiliarizing the tradition of romantic nature writing, Ellermann contends that the romantics tried to circumvent the domination of nature that is essential to modern capitalism. As he shows, poets and philosophers in the period such as Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, and Percy Shelley were highly attuned to nature's ephemeral, ungraspable forms: clouds of vapor, a trace of ruin, deep silence, and the "world-surrounding ether." Further, he explains how nature's vanishing—its vulnerability and its flight from apprehension—became a philosophical and political problem. In response to a nascent industrial capitalism, romantic writers developed a poetics of wilderness—a poetics that is attentive to fleeting presence and that seeks to let things be. Trying to imagine what ultimately eludes capture, the romantics recognized the complicity between conceptual and economic domination, and they saw how thought itself could become a technology for control. This insight, Ellermann proposes, motivates romantic efforts to think past capitalist instrumentality and its devastation of the world. Ultimately, this new work undertakes a fundamental rethinking of the aesthetics and politics of nature.  Greg Ellermann is Lecturer in English at Yale University. 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
2/3/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ross S. Purves et al., "Unlocking Environmental Narratives: Towards Understanding Human Environment Interactions Through Computational Text Analysis" (Ubiquity Press, 2022)

Environmental narratives – written texts with a focus on the environment – offer rich material capturing relationships between people and their surroundings. Situated at the intersection of the environmental and digital humanities, Unlocking Environmental Narratives: Towards Understanding Human Environment Interactions Through Computational Text Analysis (Ubiquity Press, 2022) examines the potential for studying these sources with computational methods. The volume introduces research questions, approaches, and case studies – from glaciers to urban gentrification – that will be of interest to newcomers to the field and experienced researchers. Ross Stuart Purves is Professor of Geocomputation in the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich. Luca Scholz is Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester (UK). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/3/202427 minutes, 24 seconds
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Charlotte Coté, "A Drum in One Hand, a Sockeye in the Other: Stories of Indigenous Food Sovereignty from the Northwest Coast" (U Washington Press, 2022)

Food is at the center of everything, writes University of Washington professor of American Indian Studies Charlotte Coté. In A Drum in One Hand, A Sockeye in the Other: Stories of Indigenous Food Sovereignty from the Northwest Coast (U Washington Press, 2022), Coté shares stories from her own experience growing up and living in the Pacific Northwest. From salmon, to wild berries, to community gardens, the food abundance of this region is central to Indigenous decolonization and sovereignty. Coté connects protecting the free movement and ecological health of salmon runs to issues as global as climate change, arguing that in order to understand the big picture, you need to start with what people put on their dinner tables. A Drum in One Hand, a Sockeye in the Other is a book about resilience, healing, and sustenance in the face of challenges, and about the real, material, work people are doing to decolonize their diets and in doing so, healing the land and their communities. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and is the Assistant Director of the American Society for Environmental History. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/30/20241 hour, 12 minutes, 15 seconds
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Marco Armiero et al., "Mussolini's Nature: An Environmental History of Italian Fascism" (MIT Press, 2022)

In this first environmental history of Italian fascism, Marco Armiero, Roberta Biasillo, and Wilko Graf von Hardenberg reveal that nature and fascist rhetoric are inextricable. Mussolini's Nature explores fascist political ecologies, or rather the practices and narratives through which the regime constructed imaginary and material ecologies functional to its political project. Mussolini's Nature: An Environmental History of Italian Fascism (MIT Press, 2022) does not pursue the ghost of a green Mussolini by counting how many national parks were created during the regime or how many trees planted. Instead, the reader is trained to recognize fascist political ecology in Mussolini's speeches, reclaimed landscapes, policies of economic self-sufficiency, propaganda documentaries, reforested areas, and in the environmental transformation of its colonial holdings. The authors conclude with an examination of the role of fascist landscapes in the country's postwar reconstruction: Mussolini's nature is still visible today through plaques, monuments, toponomy, and the shapes of landscapes. This original, and surprisingly intimate, environmental history is not merely a chronicle of conservation in fascist Italy but also an invitation to consider the socioecological connections of all political projects. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/30/20241 hour, 9 minutes, 57 seconds
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Jared D. Margulies, "The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)

Cacti and succulents are phenomenally popular worldwide among plant enthusiasts, despite being among the world's most threatened species. The fervor driving the illegal trade in succulents might also be driving some species to extinction. Delving into the strange world of succulent collecting, Jared D. Margulies' book The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade (U Minnesota Press, 2023) takes us to the heart of this conundrum: the mystery of how and why ardent lovers of these plants engage in their illicit trade. This is a world of alluring desires, where collectors and conservationists alike are animated by passions that at times exceed the limits of law. What inspires the desire for a plant? What kind of satisfaction does it promise?  The answer, Margulies suspects, might be traced through the roots and workings of the illegal succulent trade--an exploration that traverses the fields of botany and criminology, political ecology and human geography, and psychoanalysis. His globe-spanning inquiry leads Margulies from a spectacular series of succulent heists on a small island off the coast of Mexico to California law enforcement agents infiltrating a smuggling ring in South Korea, from scientists racing to discover new and rare species before poachers find them to a notorious Czech "cacto-explorer" who helped turn a landlocked European country into the epicenter of the illegal succulent trade. A heady blend of international intrigue, social theory, botanical lore, and ecological study, The Cactus Hunters offers complex insight into species extinction, conservation, and more-than-human care. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/24/202438 minutes, 9 seconds
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Loka Ashwood et al., "Empty Fields, Empty Promises: A State-By-State Guide to Understanding and Transforming the Right to Farm" (UNC Press, 2023)

Since the late 1970s, Right to Farm Laws have been adopted by states across the US to limit nuisance lawsuits against farmers engaged in standard agricultural practices. But who really benefits from Right to Farm Laws? And what can be done to promote real agricultural, rural, and environmental justice? Empty Fields, Empty Promises: A State-By-State Guide to Understanding and Transforming the Right to Farm (UNC Press, 2023) offers valuable history and incisive commentary on these questions. Since their adoption, there has yet to be a comprehensive analysis of what Right to Farm laws do and who they benefit. This book offers the first national analysis and guide to these laws. It reveals that they generally benefit the largest operators, like processing plants, while traditional farmers benefit the least. Disfavored most of all are those seeking to defend their homes and environment against multinational corporations that use right-to-farm laws to strip neighboring owners of their property rights. Through what the book calls the "midburden," right-to-farm laws dispossess the many in favor of the few, paving the path to rural poverty. Empty Fields, Empty Promises summarizes every state's right-to-farm laws to help readers track and navigate their local and regional legal landscape. The book concludes by offering paths forward for a more distributed and democratic agrifood system that achieves agricultural, rural, and environmental justice. The book is available for purchase or for FREE as an Open Access eBook from the University of North Carolina Press. Loka Ashwood is associate professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky. Her work develops action-centered methodologies that help frontline communities overcome environmental injustices and strengthen democracy. She is the author of For-Profit Democracy: Why the Government Is Losing the Trust of Rural America (2018) and co-author of An Invitation to Environmental Sociology (6th Edition, 2020). Aimee Imlay is assistant professor of sociology at Mississippi State University. Lindsay Kuehn is a public defender in Ramsey County, Minnesota, and a staff attorney with the Farmers' Legal Action Group. Allen Franco is an assistant federal public defender for the districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Danielle Diamond is a visiting fellow at the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School. Garrett Broad is Associate Professor of Communication Studies in Rowan University’s Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts, where he also serves as Provost’s Fellow in the Catalysts for Sustainability Initiative. His research and teaching explore the connections between contemporary social movements, food systems, and digital media technology. He is the author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change, as well as a variety of articles on food's relationship to environmental sustainability, economic equity, and the health of humans and nonhuman animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/24/202450 minutes, 22 seconds
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Pete Barbrook-Johnson and Alexandra S. Penn, "Systems Mapping: How to Build and Use Causal Models of Systems" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

There is a growing need across social, environmental, and policy challenges for richer, more nuanced, yet actionable and participatory understanding of the world. Complexity science and systems thinking offer hope in meeting this need. But in their 2022 book Systems Mapping: How to Build and Use Causal Models of Systems (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), Pete Barbrook-Johnson and Alexandra (Alex) S. Penn argue that ‘systems mapping’ is a necessary a starting point for understanding complex adaptive systems in practical, actionable, and participatory ways. Their book explores a range of new and older systems mapping methods focused on representing causal relationships in systems. In a practical manner, it describes the methods and considers the differences between. Systems Mapping offers practical insights for causal systems mapping in real-world contexts, with tips from experienced practitioners, and a detailed guide on the realities and challenges of building and using these types of system maps. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/20/202449 minutes, 58 seconds
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Neall W. Pogue, "The Nature of the Religious Right: The Struggle between Conservative Evangelicals and the Environmental Movement" (Cornell UP, 2022)

How does the Bible instruct humans to interact with the Earth? Over the last few decades, white conservative evangelical Christians have increasingly taken positions against environmental protections. To understand why, Meghan Cochran talks with Neall W. Pogue about his book The Nature of the Religious Right: The Struggle between Conservative Evangelicals and the Environmental Movement (Cornell University Press, 2022) in which he examines how the religious right became a political force known for hostility toward environmental legislation.  Until the 1990s, theologically based, eco-friendly philosophies of Christian environmental stewardship were uncontroversial. However, when some in the evangelical community began to lean towards environmental activism in response to human caused climate change, their effort was overwhelmed by some conservative leaders who stressed a position against environmentalism. They ridiculed conservation efforts, embraced conspiracy theories, and refuted the expanding scientific literature. Pogue explains how different ideas of nature helped to construct a conservative evangelical political movement that rejected long-standing beliefs regarding Christian environmental stewardship. Suggested readings:  The Gospel of Climate Skepticism: Why Evangelical Christians Oppose Action on Climate Change by Robin Globus Veldman (University of California Press, 2019) Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild (The New Press, 2016) Meghan Cochran studies belief and action as a technologist working in customer experience and as a student of religion, business, and literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/18/202456 minutes, 36 seconds
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Patricia Strach and Kathleen S. Sullivan, "The Politics of Trash: How Governments Used Corruption to Clean Cities, 1890–1929" (Cornell UP, 2023)

Political Scientists Patricia Strach (The University at Albany, State University of New York) and Kathleen S. Sullivan (Ohio University) have written a fascinating and important exploration of trash. More precisely, this is a complex examination and analysis of the development of our municipal sanitation processes and structures, highlighting intersecting policy areas, urban and local politics, and racial, gender, and class politics. The Politics of Trash: How Governments Used Corruption to Clean Cities, 1890–1929 (Cornell UP, 2023) has it all: corruption, gender and racial hierarchies, blame defection, rejection of expertise, case studies across a host of different cities around the country, and the collection of, the disposal of, and the innovations of garbage. Strach and Sullivan examine this multidimensional policy issue from an American political development perspective when the issue really took root in the United States in the latter part of the 19th century. At this point, urban areas saw demographic growth from migration from rural areas as well as the waves of immigrants who came to the U.S. Most U.S. cities found themselves facing the same problem: unsanitary living situations. The initial research found that there were three different forms of trash collection, and they highlighted the processes in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. San Francisco had no formal municipal collection process; instead, the citizens of San Francisco contracted directly with scavengers themselves to remove the garbage. Pittsburgh, as a municipality, contracted out the responsibility—but the process there was one that fed fees back to the municipal leadership. New Orleans, awash in local government corruption, ultimately had a municipal collection program, which was generally far from effective. While these three cities were the basis for the initial research, St. Louis and Charleston were also added to the case studies, with Birmingham and Louisville as secondary examples within the study. The Politics of Trash also explores the way in which citizens need to engage with and comply with the sanitation programs. In order to urge compliance, cities often called on women’s civic organizations to model and advocate for participation in the garbage process. Obviously, these were white women’s civic organizations and while they had been advocates for sanitation processes, they were generally cut out of the development process since women were not to be too close to politics itself. Strach and Sullivan spent time with the Good Housekeeping magazine archives in order to flesh out this dimension of the analysis. The research also highlights how blame was put on immigrants and people of color when the sanitation programs failed—often because of corruption and lack of sufficient resources. The authors note throughout the text that the form that we remove and dispose of waste/garbage/trash now is the same as it was 100 years ago. And while we often separate compostables from recyclables from trash, this is not all that different than the ways that people disposed of their garbage in Pittsburgh, and Charleston, and San Francisco a century ago. And many of the same forms of removal remain in place. The Politics of Trash is a lively and fascinating analysis of a part of our lives that we often don’t consider to be political, but it is political, and has been for quite some time. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-host of the New Books in Political Science channel at the New Books Network. She is co-editor of The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (University Press of Kansas, 2022), as well as co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012). She can be reached @gorenlj.bsky.social Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/18/202445 minutes, 53 seconds
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Dana R. Fisher, "Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action" (Columbia UP, 2024)

We've known for decades that climate change is an existential crisis. For just as long, we've seen the complete failure of our institutions to rise to the challenge. Governments have struggled to meet even modest goals. Fossil fuel interests maintain a stranglehold on political and economic power. Even though we have seen growing concern from everyday people, civil society has succeeded only in pressuring decision makers to adopt watered-down policies. All the while, the climate crisis worsens. Is there any hope of achieving the systemic change we need? In Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action (Columbia UP, 2024), Dana R. Fisher argues that there is a realistic path forward for climate action—but only through mass mobilization that responds to the growing severity and frequency of disastrous events. She assesses the current state of affairs and shows why public policy and private-sector efforts have been ineffective. Spurred by this lack of progress, climate activism has become increasingly confrontational. Fisher examines the radical flank of the climate movement: its emergence and growth, its use of direct action, and how it might evolve as the climate crisis worsens. She considers when and how activism is most successful, identifying the importance of creating community, capitalizing on shocking moments, and cultivating resilience. Clear-eyed yet optimistic, Saving Ourselves offers timely insights on how social movements can take power back from deeply entrenched interests and open windows of opportunity for transformative climate action. Dana R. Fisher is the director of the Center for Environment, Community, and Equity and a professor in the School of International Service at American University. Her books include Activism Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America (2006) and American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave (Columbia, 2019). Patricia Houser, PhD, AICP, is a researcher and writer on environmental issues. After several decades as a professor of geography and urban planning, she has turned to public education and outreach. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/15/202432 minutes, 28 seconds
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Gustav Cederlof, "The Low-Carbon Contradiction: Energy Transition, Geopolitics, and the Infrastructural State in Cuba" (U California Press, 2023)

In the pursuit of socialism, Cuba became Latin America’s most oil-dependent economy. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the country lost 86 percent of its crude oil supplies, resulting in a severe energy crisis. In the face of this shock, Cuba started to develop a low-carbon economy based on economic and social reform rather than high-tech innovation. The Low-Carbon Contradiction: Energy Transition, Geopolitics, and the Infrastructural State in Cuba (University of California Press, 2023) by Dr. Gustav Cederlöf examines this period of rapid low-carbon energy transition, which many have described as a “Cuban miracle” or even a real-life case of successful “degrowth.” Working with original research from inside households, workplaces, universities, and government offices, Dr. Cederlöf retells the history of the Cuban Revolution as one of profound environmental and infrastructural change. In doing so, he opens up new questions about energy transitions, their politics, and the conditions of a socially just low-carbon future. The Cuban experience shows how a society can transform itself while rapidly cutting carbon emissions in the search for sustainability. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
1/15/202448 minutes, 52 seconds
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Robert Michael Morrissey, "People of the Ecotone: Environment and Indigenous Power at the Center of Early America" (U Washington Press, 2022)

By putting the Midwest at the center of Vast Early America, University of Illinois historian Robert Morrissey reconfigures the power dynamics in the story of North America during the era of colonialism. In his award-winning People of the Ecotone: Environment and Indigenous Power at the Center of Early America (U Washington Press, 2022), Morrissey tells a story that centers the edge - the places where the vast American prairies meet the forests of the Great Lakes. This "ecotone" region is a zone of environmental wealth and dynamism, where successive Native societies were able to build powerful societies based on an understanding of the region's ecologies. Rather than European empires of eastern Native people like the Iroquois acting upon people at the center of the continent, Morrissey centers the Meskwaki, the Illiniwek, and other groups usually kept at the margins of the story. By combining ethnohistory, environmental history, and colonial history, People of the Ecotone tells a genuinely new story that shifts our perspective of who and what matters in early American history in unexpected ways. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and is the Assistant Director of the American Society for Environmental History. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/10/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 53 seconds
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Melanie Joy, "How to End Injustice Everywhere" (Lantern, 2023)

In this eye-opening and compelling work, psychologist Melanie Joy reveals the common denominator driving all forms of injustice. The mentality that drives us to oppress and abuse humans is the same mentality that drives us to oppress and abuse nonhumans and the environment, as well as those in our own groups working for justice. How to End Injustice Everywhere: Understanding the Common Denominator Driving All Injustices, to Create a Better World for Humans, Animals, and the Planet (Lantern Publishing & Media, 2023) offers a fascinating examination of the psychology and structure of unjust systems and behaviors. It also offers practical tools to help raise awareness of these systems and dynamics, reduce infighting, and build more resilient and impactful justice movements. Melanie Joy, PhD, is a Harvard-educated psychologist, celebrated speaker, and the author of seven books, including the bestselling Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows; and Getting Relationships Right: How to Build Resilience and Thrive in Life, Love, and Work. Melanie’s work has been featured in major media outlets around the world, and she has received a number of awards, including the Ahimsa Award – previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela – for her work on global nonviolence. Melanie has given talks and trainings in over 50 countries, and she is also the founding president of the international NGO Beyond Carnism. Kyle Johannsen is a Sessional Faculty Member in the Department of Philosophy at Trent University. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/8/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 52 seconds
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Thom van Dooren, "The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds" (Columbia UP, 2019)

Crows can be found almost everywhere that people are, from tropical islands to deserts and arctic forests, from densely populated cities to suburbs and farms. Across these diverse landscapes, many species of crow are doing well: their intelligent and adaptive ways of life have allowed them to thrive amid human-driven transformations. Indeed, crows are frequently disliked for their success, seen as pests, threats, and scavengers on the detritus of human life. But among the vast variety of crows, there are also critically endangered species that are barely hanging on to existence, some of them the subjects of passionate conservation efforts. The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia UP, 2019) is an exploration of the entangled lives of humans and crows. Focusing on five key sites, Thom van Dooren asks how we might live well with crows in a changing world. He explores contemporary possibilities for shared life emerging in the context of ongoing processes of globalization, colonization, urbanization, and climate change. Moving among these diverse contexts, this book tells stories of extermination and extinction alongside fragile efforts to better understand and make room for other species. Grounded in the careful work of paying attention to particular crows and their people, The Wake of Crows is an effort to imagine and put into practice a multispecies ethics. In so doing, van Dooren explores some of the possibilities that still exist for living and dying well on this damaged planet. Thom van Dooren is associate professor at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia, 2014) and coeditor of Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (Columbia, 2017). Mark Molloy is the reviews editor at MAKE: A Literary Magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/6/20241 hour, 10 minutes, 15 seconds
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China’s Environmental Footprint in Ghana: Non-State Responses

Musicians and community activists in Ghana have raised their voices to increase awareness of the environmental impact of Chinese activities in the country. The chart-topping song “Greedy men” by Stonebwoy directly criticizes Chinese illegal gold mining in the region. On a separate occasion, a community movement compelled the Ghanaian Minister of Environment to cancel a Chinese coal plant project. In this episode, Dr Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi, lecturer at the Lagos State University in Nigeria, joins University Lecturer Outi Luova at the University of Turku, Finland, to discuss his research on non-state reactions to China’s environmental impact in Africa. Alongside the two compelling cases, the discussion delves into the need for more nuanced approaches to researching the consequences of China’s engagement in Africa. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the following academic partners: Asia Centre, University of Tartu (Estonia), Asian studies, University of Helsinki (Finland), Asianettverket, University of Oslo (Norway), Centre for Asian Studies, Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku (Finland) and Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University (Sweden). Link to the “Greedy men” video by Stonebwoy on Youtube. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/5/202430 minutes, 35 seconds
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Leigh Claire La Berge, "Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary" (Duke UP, 2023)

At the outset of Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary (Duke UP, 2023), Leigh Claire La Berge declares that “all history is the history of cat struggle.” Revising the medieval bestiary form to meet Marxist critique, La Berge follows feline footprints through Western economic history to reveal an animality at the heart of Marxism. She draws on a twelve-hundred-year arc spanning capitalism’s feudal prehistory, its colonialist and imperialist ages, the bourgeois revolutions that supported capitalism, and the communist revolutions that opposed it to outline how cats have long been understood as creatures of economic critique and liberatory possibility. By attending to the repeated archival appearance of lions, tigers, wildcats, and “sabo-tabbies,” La Berge argues that felines are central to how Marxists have imagined the economy, and by asking what humans and animals owe each other in a moment of ecological crisis, La Berge joins current debates about the need for and possibility of eco-socialism. In this playful and generously illustrated radical bestiary, La Berge demonstrates that class struggle is ultimately an interspecies collaboration. Arya Rani is a PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/5/202437 minutes, 23 seconds
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Marcy Norton, "The Tame and the Wild: People and Animals after 1492" (Harvard UP, 2024)

In The Tame and the Wild: People and Animals after 1492 (Harvard University Press, 2024), Dr. Marcy Norton offers a dramatic new interpretation of the encounter between Europe and the Americas that reveals the crucial role of animals in the shaping of the modern world. When the men and women of the island of Guanahani first made contact with Christopher Columbus and his crew on October 12, 1492, the cultural differences between the two groups were vaster than the oceans that had separated them. There is perhaps no better demonstration than the divide in their respective ways of relating to animals. In this book, Dr. Norton tells a new history of the colonisation of the Americas, one that places wildlife and livestock at the centre of the story. She reveals that the encounters between European and Native American beliefs about animal life transformed societies on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans’ strategies and motives for conquest were inseparable from the horses that carried them in military campaigns and the dogs they deployed to terrorise Native peoples. Even more crucial were the sheep, cattle, pigs, and chickens whose flesh became food and whose skins became valuable commodities. Yet as central as the domestication of animals was to European plans in the Americas, Native peoples’ own practices around animals proved just as crucial in shaping the world after 1492. Cultures throughout the Caribbean, Amazonia, and Mexico were deeply invested in familiarisation: the practice of capturing wild animals—not only parrots and monkeys but even tapir, deer, and manatee—and turning some of them into “companion species.” These taming practices not only influenced the way Indigenous people responded to human and nonhuman intruders but also transformed European culture itself, paving the way for both zoological science and the modern pet. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
1/4/20241 hour, 38 seconds
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Timothy Brook, "The Price of Collapse: The Little Ice Age and the Fall of Ming China" (Princeton UP, 2023)

Ming China in 1642 had suffered a series of disasters. Floods, and then drought had destroyed successive rice crops, sending the price of grain to astronomical levels. As one schoolteacher wrote: “There was no rice in the market to buy. Even if a dealer had grain, people passed by without asking the price. The rich were reduced to scrounging for beans or wheat, the poor for chaff or rotting garbage. Being able to buy a few pecks of chaff or bark was ecstasy.” The Ming Dynasty collapsed two years later. Timothy Brook, in his latest book The Price of Collapse: The Little Ice Age and the Fall of Ming China (Princeton University Press: 2023), points to environmental disaster as the spark that helped cause the Ming Dynasty’s fall, relying on a history of surging prices to show how the over-275 year dynasty eventually fell to the Qing. In this interview, Timothy and I talk about inflation in Ming China, how it connects to climate change, and how short-term environmental shocks can cause a market to break down. Timothy Brook is professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia and a fellow of the British Academy. His many books include Great State: China and the World (Harper: 2020), Mr. Selden's Map of China: Decoding the Secrets of a Vanished Cartographer (Bloomsbury Press: 2013), and Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (Bloomsbury Publishing: 2009). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Price of Collapse. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an 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
1/4/202439 minutes, 16 seconds
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Robert R. Janes, "Museums and Societal Collapse: The Museum as Lifeboat" (Routledge, 2023)

Who do you turn to at the brink of the apocalypse? What might help us to mitigate the financial, commercial, political, social, and cultural collapse for which we may be heading? Museums and Societal Collapse: The Museum as Lifeboat (Routledge, 2023) proposes an unlikely hero in this narrative. Robert Janes’ text explores the implications of societal collapse from a multidisciplinary perspective and considers the potential museums have to contribute to the reimagining and transitioning of a new society with the threat of collapse. Arguing that societal collapse is underway, but that total collapse is not inevitable, Janes maintains that museums are well-positioned to mitigate and adapt to the disruptions of societal collapse. As institutions of the commons, belonging to and affecting the public at large, he contends that museums are both responsible and capable of contributing to the durability and well-being of individuals, families, and communities, and enhancing societal resilience in the face of critical issues confronting our species. The Museum COP at Tate Museum pressure groups: The Empathetic Museum, Museum as Progress, Museum Human. The Australian Museum’s mission statement Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh Museum of Homelessness Horniman Museum Robert R. Janes is an independent scholar whose work draws on his many year’s experience as a museum director. He is the editor emeritus of the Museum Management and Curatoriship journal, a visiting scholar at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and the founder of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice. He is the author of multiple books on the social role of museums. Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/2/202457 minutes, 54 seconds
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Lee McIntyre, "The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience" (MIT Press, 2019)

What can explain the success of science as an endeavor for getting closer to truth? Does science simply represent a successful methodology, or is it something more? In The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience (MIT Press, 2019), Lee McIntyre addresses recent attacks on science in areas such as climate change, vaccination, and even belief that the world is flat by explaining why science is a culture built around a “scientific attitude” that embraces evidence and a willingness to change beliefs based on where evidence leads. What does it mean for science education if the success of science derives as much from attitude as it does from methodology? And can science provide a model for other truth-seeking endeavors? Join us for a conversation that draws together ideas from science, philosophy, and education and applies them to the most important issues we face as a society. Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. Jonathan Haber is an educational researcher and consultant working at the intersection of pedagogy, technology, and educational policy. His books include MOOCS and Critical Thinking from MIT Press and his LogicCheck project analyzes the reasoning behind the news of the day. You can read more about Jonathan’s work at http://www.degreeoffreedom.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
1/2/202430 minutes, 39 seconds
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Nature-Study

In this episode, John Linstrom tells us about Nature-Study, an educational movement that began in the rural classrooms of American Progressive Era. It takes students and learners of all kinds out of the classroom, away from the textbook, and into the world, to observe and learn. It offers us a mode of attunement to the world that we might use to heal the divide between rural and urban, and kindle the kind of social change we need to get the world off fossil fuels. Our conversation is centered around the new scholarly edition John edited of Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Nature-Study Idea (Cornell University Press, 2023), which just came out. It’s the first book in the new The Liberty Hyde Bailey Library, a series for Cornell University Press reintroducing the ecological and critical-agrarian writings of L. H. Bailey (1858-1954). John was one of our first guests on High Theory back in 2020 – so if you want to listen back, you can check out the episode on Ecosphere. John told me when were were preparing to record that there was some debate about the dash in “Nature-Study” back in the day, but that he was on the side of the dashers, because the women teachers who led the movement favored the dash. John is a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Inequality at the Climate Museum in NYC. He is also the author of a book of poems called To Leave for Our Own Country coming out with Black Lawrence Press in April 2024. He believes in poetry's power to foster communities for change, human and more-than-human stories and visions of climate justice He received his PhD in Literature from New York University and his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. John, Kim, and Saronik spent a lot of time together as grad students at 244 Greene St. in NYC. John and Kim used to run a working group on agriculture and literature, called Farm to Text. John lives in Queens, where gleans deep joy from holding his baby daughter, singing choral music, and eating large quantities of pesto. The image for this episode was made by Saronik Bosu, especially for his friend John, in 2023. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/29/202322 minutes, 34 seconds
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Vincent Ialenti, "Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now" (MIT Press, 2020)

Based on twelve years of anthropological exploration, Vincent Ialenti'sDeep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now (MIT Press, 2020) is an engaging guide on deep time learning to reorient our understanding of time and space. As each chapter begins with creative vignettes to capture the reader's imagination and empathy and concludes with five to six reflective "reckonings," the book focuses on Finland's nuclear waste experts whose daily lives revolve around considerations of the far-flung futures and deep pasts. The main goal of chapters one and two is to pursue independent, expert-inspired, long-termist learning. The book's second goal, captured in chapters three and four, is to encourage support for highly trained, too often ignored, long-termist experts. By combating the deflation of expertise by weaving together chains of generational knowledge, Deep Time Reckoning advocates for one route of spirited and adventurous learning to rescue hopes of a safe tomorrow from the Earth's current ecological death spiral. Sarah Newman (@newmantropologa) is an archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research explores long-term human-environmental interactions, including questions of waste and reuse, processes of landscape transformation, and relationships between humans and other animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/19/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 38 seconds
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Boria Sax, "Enchanted Forests: The Poetic Construction of a World Before Time" (Reaktion Books, 2023)

Linking literature, philosophy, art, and personal experience, a moving exploration of the wooded landscape’s power. In 1985 Boria Sax inherited an area of forest in New York State, which had been purchased by his Russian, Jewish, and Communist grandparents as a buffer against what they felt was a hostile world. For Sax, in the years following, the woodland came to represent a link with those who currently live and had lived there, including Native Americans, settlers, bears, deer, turtles, and migrating birds. In this personal and eloquent account, Sax explores the meanings and cultural history of forests from prehistory to the present, taking in Gilgamesh, Virgil, Dante, the Gawain poet, medieval alchemists, the Brothers Grimm, Hudson River painters, Latin American folklore, contemporary African novelists, and much more. Combining lyricism with contemporary scholarship, Sax opens new emotional, intellectual, and environmental perspectives on the storied history of the forest. Avery Weinman earned her Master’s in History from UCLA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/15/202353 minutes, 47 seconds
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Jean Yen-chun Lin, "A Spark in the Smokestacks: Environmental Organizing in Beijing Middle-Class Communities" (Columbia UP, 2023)

Environmental organising in Beijing emerged in an unlikely place in the 2000s: new gated residential communities. After rapid population growth and housing construction led to a ballooning trash problem and overflowing landfills, many first-time homeowners found their new neighbourhoods facing an unappetizing prospect—waste incinerator projects slated for their backyards. Delving into the online and offline conversations of communities affected by the proposed incinerators, A Spark in the Smokestacks: Environmental Organizing in Beijing Middle-Class Communities (Columbia University Press, 2023) by Dr. Jean Yen-chun Lin demonstrates how a rising middle class acquires the capacity for organising in an authoritarian context. Dr. Lin examines how urban residents create civic life through everyday associational activities—learning to defend property rights, fostering participation, and mobilising to address housing-related grievances. She shows that homeowners cultivated petitioning skills, informational networks, and community leadership, which they would later deploy against incinerator projects. To interact with government agencies, they developed citizen science–based tactics, a middle-class alternative to disruptive protests. Homeowners drew on their professional connections, expertise, and fundraising capabilities to produce reports that boosted their legitimacy in city-level dialogue. Although only one of the three incinerator projects Dr. Lin follows was ultimately cancelled, some communities established durable organisations that went on to tackle other environmental problems. Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and ethnography, A Spark in the Smokestacks casts urban Chinese communities as “schools of democracy,” in which residents learn civic skills and build capacity for collective organising. Through compelling case studies of local activism, this book sheds new light on the formation of civil society and social movements more broadly. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
12/14/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 51 seconds
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Yan Slobodkin, "The Starving Empire: A History of Famine in France's Colonies" (Cornell UP, 2023)

The Starving Empire: A History of Famine in France's Colonies (Cornell University Press, 2023) by Dr. Yan Slobodkin traces the history of famine in the modern French Empire, showing that hunger is intensely local and sweepingly global, shaped by regional contexts and the transnational interplay of ideas and policies all at once. By integrating food crises in Algeria, West and Equatorial Africa, and Vietnam into a broader story of imperial and transnational care, Dr. Slobodkin reveals how the French colonial state and an emerging international community took increasing responsibility for subsistence, but ultimately failed to fulfill this responsibility. Europeans once dismissed colonial famines as acts of god, misfortunes of nature, and the inevitable consequences of backward races living in harsh environments. But as Dr. Slobodkin recounts, drawing on archival research from four continents, the twentieth century saw transformations in nutrition, scientific racism, and international humanitarianism that profoundly altered ideas of what colonialism could accomplish. A new confidence in the ability to mitigate hunger, coupled with new norms of moral responsibility, marked a turning point in the French Empire's relationship to colonial subjects—and to nature itself. Increasingly sophisticated understandings of famine as a technical problem subject to state control saddled France with untenable obligations. The Starving Empire not only illustrates how the painful history of colonial famine remains with us in our current understandings of public health, state sovereignty, and international aid, but also seeks to return food—this most basic of human needs—to its central place in the formation of modern political obligation and humanitarian ethics. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
12/11/202340 minutes, 57 seconds
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Tom Özden-Schilling, "The Ends of Research: Indigenous and Settler Science After the War in the Woods" (Duke UP, 2023)

In The Ends of Research: Indigenous and Settler Science after the War in the Woods (Duke University Press, 2023) by Dr. Tom Özden-Schilling explores the afterlives of several research initiatives that emerged in the wake of the “War in the Woods,” a period of anti-logging blockades in Canada in the late twentieth century. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among neighboring communities of White environmental scientists and First Nations mapmakers in northwest British Columbia, Dr. Özden-Schilling examines these researchers’ lasting investments and the ways they struggle to continue their work long after the loss of government funding. He charts their use of planning documents, Indigenous territory maps, land use plots, reports, and other documents that help them to not only survive institutional restructuring but to hold onto the practices that they hope will enable future researchers to continue their work. He also shows how their lives and aspirations shape and are shaped by decades-long battles over resource extraction and Indigenous land claims. By focusing on researchers’ experiences and personal attachments, Dr. Özden-Schilling illustrates the complex relationships between researchers and rural histories of conservation, environmental conflict, resource extraction, and the long-term legacies of scientific research. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
12/9/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 17 seconds
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Abigail Agresta, "The Keys to Bread and Wine: Faith, Nature, and Infrastructure in Late Medieval Valencia" (Cornell UP, 2022)

How did medieval people think about the environments in which they lived?  In a world shaped by God, how did they treat environments marked by religious difference? The Keys to Bread and Wine: Faith, Nature, and Infrastructure in Late Medieval Valencia (Cornell UP, 2022) explores the answers to these questions in Valencia in the later Middle Ages. When Christians conquered the city in 1238, it was already one of the richest agricultural areas in the Mediterranean thanks to a network of irrigation canals constructed under Muslim rule. Despite this constructed environment, drought, flooding, plagues, and other natural disasters continued to confront civic leaders in the later medieval period. Abigail Agresta argues that the city's Christian rulers took a technocratic approach to environmental challenges in the fourteenth century but by the mid-fifteenth century relied increasingly on religious ritual, reflecting a dramatic transformation in the city's religious identity. Using the records of Valencia's municipal council, she traces the council's efforts to expand the region's infrastructure in response to natural disasters, while simultaneously rendering the landscape within the city walls more visibly Christian. This having been achieved, Valencia's leaders began by the mid-fifteenth century to privilege rogations and other ritual responses over infrastructure projects. But these appeals to divine aid were less about desperation than confidence in the city's Christianity. Reversing traditional narratives of technological progress, The Keys to Bread and Wine shows how religious concerns shaped the governance of the environment, with far-reaching implications for the environmental and religious history of medieval Iberia. Benjamin Phillips is an MA student in History at Ohio University. His primary field is Late Antique Cultural and Intellectual History. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/6/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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John Perlin, "The Forest Journey: The Story of Trees and Civilization" (Patagonia, 2023)

A Foundational Conservation Story Revived. Ancient writers observed that forests always recede as civilizations develop and grow. The great Roman poet Ovid wrote that before civilization began, “even the pine tree stood on its own very hills” but when civilization took over, “the mountain oak, the pine were felled.” This happened for a simple reason: trees have been the principal fuel and building material of every society over the millennia, from the time urban areas were settled until the middle of the nineteenth century. To this day trees still fulfill these roles for a good portion of the world’s population. Without vast supplies of wood from forests, the great civilizations of Sumer, Assyria, Egypt, Crete, Greece, Rome, the Islamic World, Western Europe, and North America would have never emerged. Wood, in fact, is the unsung hero of the technological revolution that has brought us from a stone and bone culture to our present age. Until the ascendancy of fossil fuels, wood was the principal fuel and building material from the dawn of civilization. Its abundance or scarcity greatly shaped, as A Forest Journey ably relates, the culture, demographics, economy, internal and external politics and technology of successive societies over the millennia. The Forest Journey: The Story of Trees and Civilization (Patagonia, 2023) was originally published in 1989 and updated in 2005. The book's comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life -- told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor -- gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard's "One Hundred Great Books." Others receiving the honor include such luminaries as Stephen Jay Gould and E.O. Wilson. This is a foundational conservation story that should not be lost in the archives. This new, updated and revised edition emphasizes the importance of forests in the fight against global warming and the urgency to protect what remains of the great trees and forests of the world. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at [email protected]. She's on Twitter @embracingwisdom. She blogs here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/4/202328 minutes, 27 seconds
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Tracy E. Perkins, "Evolution of a Movement: Four Decades of California Environmental Justice Activism" (U California Press, 2022)

Despite living and working in California, one of the county's most environmentally progressive states, environmental justice activists have spent decades fighting for clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and safe, healthy communities.  Evolution of a Movement: Four Decades of California Environmental Justice Activism (U California Press, 2022) tells their story—from the often-raucous protests of the 1980s and 1990s to activists' growing presence inside the halls of the state capitol in the 2000s and 2010s. Tracy E. Perkins traces how shifting political contexts combined with activists' own efforts to institutionalize their work within nonprofits and state structures. By revealing these struggles and transformations, Perkins offers a new lens for understanding environmental justice activism in California. Drawing on case studies and 125 interviews with activists from Sacramento to the California-Mexico border, Perkins explores the successes and failures of the environmental justice movement in California. She shows why some activists have moved away from the disruptive "outsider" political tactics common in the movement's early days and embraced traditional political channels of policy advocacy, electoral politics, and working from within the state's political system to enact change. Although some see these changes as a sign of the growing sophistication of the environmental justice movement, others point to the potential of such changes to blunt grassroots power. At a time when environmental justice scholars and activists face pressing questions about the best route for effecting meaningful change, this book provides insight into the strengths and limitations of social movement institutionalization. Avery Weinman earned her Master’s in History from UCLA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/3/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 50 seconds
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Anne Baillot, "From Handwriting to Footprinting: Text and Heritage in the Age of Climate Crisis" (Open Book Publishers, 2023)

How do we currently preserve and access texts, and will our current methods be sustainable in the future? In From Handwriting to Footprinting: Text and Heritage in the Age of Climate Crisis (Open Book Publishers, 2023), Anne Baillot seeks to answer this question by offering a detailed analysis of the methods that enable access to textual materials, in particular, access to books of literary significance. Baillot marshals her considerable expertise in the field of digital humanities to establish a philological overview of the changing boundaries of ‘access’ to literary heritage over centuries, deconstructing the western tradition of archiving and how it has led to current digital dissemination practices. Rigorously examining the negative environmental impact of digital publishing and archiving, Baillot proposes an alternative model of preservation and dissemination which reconciles fundamental traditions with the values of social responsibility and sustainability in an era of climate crisis. Integrating historical, archival and environmental perspectives, From Handwriting to Footprinting illuminates the impact that digitisation has had on the dissemination and preservation of textual heritage and reflects on what its future may hold. It is invaluable reading for anyone interested in textual history from a linguistic or philological perspective, as well as those working on publishing, archival and infrastructure projects that require the storing and long-term preservation of texts, or who want to know how to develop a more mindful attachment to digitised material. This book is available open access here.  Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/26/202353 minutes, 44 seconds
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Anne Mendelson, "Spoiled: The Myth of Milk as Superfood" (Columbia UP, 2023)

Why is cows' milk, which few nonwhite people can digest, promoted as a science-backed dietary necessity in countries where the majority of the population is lactose-intolerant? Why are gigantic new dairy farms permitted to deplete the sparse water resources of desert ecosystems? Why do thousands of U.S. dairy farmers every year give up after struggling to recoup production costs against plummeting wholesale prices? Exploring these questions and many more, Spoiled: The Myth of Milk as Superfood (Columbia UP, 2023) is an unflinching and meticulous critique of the glorification of fluid milk and its alleged universal benefits. Anne Mendelson's groundbreaking book chronicles the story of milk from the Stone Age peoples who first domesticated cows, goats, and sheep to today's troubled dairy industry. Spoiled shows that drinking fresh milk was rare until Western scientific experts who were unaware of genetic differences in the ability to digest lactose deemed it superior to traditional fermented dairy products. Their flawed beliefs fueled the growth of a massive and environmentally devastating industry that turned milk into a cheap, ubiquitous commodity. Mendelson's wide-ranging account also examines the consequences of homogenization and refrigeration technologies, the toll that modern farming takes on dairy cows, and changing perceptions of raw milk since the advent of pasteurization. Unraveling the myths and misconceptions that prop up the dairy industry, Spoiled calls for more sustainable, healthful futures in our relationship with milk and the animals that provide it. Melek Firat Altay is a neuroscientist, biologist and musician. Her research focuses on deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/22/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 55 seconds
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Alexa Weik von Mossner, "Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative" (Ohio State UP, 2017)

Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative (Ohio State UP, 2017) explores our emotional engagement with environmental narrative. Focusing on the American cultural context, Alexa Weik von Mossner develops an ecocritical approach that draws on the insights of affective science and cognitive narratology. This approach helps to clarify how we interact with environmental narratives in ways that are both biologically universal and culturally specific. In doing so, it pays particular attention to the thesis that our minds are both embodied (in a physical body) and embedded (in a physical environment), not only when we interact with the real world but also in our engagement with imaginary worlds. How do we experience the virtual environments we encounter in literature and film on the sensory and emotional level? How do environmental narratives invite us to care for human and nonhuman others who are put at risk? And how do we feel about the speculative futures presented to us in ecotopian and eco-dystopian texts? Weik von Mossner explores these central questions that are important to anyone with an interest in the emotional appeal and persuasive power of environmental narratives. Arnab Dutta Roy is Assistant Professor of World Literature and Postcolonial Theory at Florida Gulf Coast University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/18/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 17 seconds
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Florentine Koppenborg, "Japan's Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance" (Cornell UP, 2023)

Florentine Koppenborg’s Japan’s Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance (Cornell UP, 2023) begins with the understated observation that the triple disaster of March 2011 “exposed severe deficiencies in Japan’s nuclear safety governance.” This is the starting point for the rather curious story of the regulatory reforms taken up in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and how they created a new system with a strong independent nuclear safety regulator that has refused to back down even as the political tides have changed, and what this has meant for energy policy in Japan in the past dozen years. Koppenborg’s history of nuclear power regulation in Japan also seriously considers the implications of this dramatic break for regimes in other countries. This case study provides a complex and thought-provoking contribution to discussions of the role of nuclear power and independent regulation in global efforts to decarbonize our energy supply. Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/18/202342 minutes, 56 seconds
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Plantationocene

In this episode of High Theory, Neil Safier talks with us about the Plantationocene, a geological epoch that traces the effects of climate change to the historical systems of human and nonhuman environmental exploitation known as plantation agriculture. It is another name for the world we currently inhabit. In the episode, Neil describes how Donna Harraway and Anna Tsing invented the term Plantationocene in response to another recent term Anthropocene. Sources to check out include Donna Haraway’s essay, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationcene, Chthulucene: Making Kin” Environmental Humanities 6 no. 1 (2015): 159-165. doi: 10.1215/22011919-3615934, and Paul Crutzen, “The ‘Anthropocene’” Earth Systems Science in the Anthropocene ed. Eckhart Ehlers and Thomas Krafft (Springer, 2006) pp. 13-18. He references B.F. Skinner’s novel Walden Two (MacMillan, 1962) at the end of our conversation. Neil Safier is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Brown University where he currently serves as Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies of the Watson Institute for International Affairs. He studies the history of science, agriculture, and other forms of knowledge-making in the late-eighteenth-century Atlantic world, focusing on the plantation cultures of the Caribbean and Brazil. He was recently the director of the John Carter Brown Library, at Brown University, and many years ago, when he was more optimistic about the current global epoch, he managed grants for the Sierra Club Foundation in San Francisco, California. He is the author of Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America (U Chicago, 2008) and is cooking up two new projects, on the historical connections between natural science and plantation agriculture in the Amazon River basin and the global history of collecting. The image for this week comes from Neil’s research on the history of plantation agriculture. This drawing of a plantation from Hispaniola (Saint-Domingue) was reproduced in José Mariano da Conceição Velozo's Fazendeiro do Brazil Tome III Part II (Lisbon, 1799), in the volume dedicated to coffee production. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/17/202318 minutes, 37 seconds
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Shay Rabineau, "Walking the Land: A History of Israeli Hiking Trails" (Indiana UP, 2023)

Israel has one of the most extensive and highly developed hiking trail systems of any country in the world. Millions of hikers use the trails every year during holiday breaks, on mandatory school trips, and for recreational hikes.  Shay Rabineau's Walking the Land: A History of Israeli Hiking Trails (Indiana UP, 2023) offers the first scholarly exploration of this unique trail system. Featuring more than ten thousand kilometers of trails, marked with hundreds of thousands of colored blazes, the trail system crisscrosses Israeli-controlled territory, from the country's farthest borders to its densest metropolitan areas. The thousand-kilometer Israel National Trail crosses the country from north to south. Hiking, trails, and the ubiquitous three-striped trail blazes appear everywhere in Israeli popular culture; they are the subjects of news articles, radio programs, television shows, best-selling novels, government debates, and even national security speeches. Yet the trail system is almost completely unknown to the millions of foreign tourists who visit every year and has been largely unstudied by scholars of Israel. Walking the Land explores the many ways that Israel's hiking trails are significant to its history, national identity, and conservation efforts. Christopher P. Davey is Visiting Assistant Professor at Clark University's Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/12/202359 minutes, 15 seconds
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Daniel Macfarlane, "Natural Allies: Environment, Energy, and the History of US-Canada Relations" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2023)

No two nations have exchanged natural resources, produced transborder environmental agreements, or cooperatively altered ecosystems on the same scale as Canada and the United States. Environmental and energy diplomacy have profoundly shaped both countries’ economies, politics, and landscapes for over 150 years. Natural Allies: Environment, Energy, and the History of US-Canada Relations (McGill-Queen's UP, 2023) looks at the history of US-Canada relations through an environmental lens. From fisheries in the late nineteenth century to oil pipelines in the twenty-first century, Daniel Macfarlane recounts the scores of transborder environmental and energy arrangements made between the two nations. Many became global precedents that influenced international environmental law, governance, and politics, including the Boundary Waters Treaty, the Trail Smelter case, hydroelectric megaprojects, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreements. In addition to water, fish, wood, minerals, and myriad other resources, Natural Allies details the history of the continental energy relationship - from electricity to uranium to fossil fuels -showing how Canada became vital to American strategic interests and, along with the United States, a major international energy power and petro-state. Environmental and energy relations facilitated the integration and prosperity of Canada and the United States but also made these countries responsible for the current climate crisis and other unsustainable forms of ecological degradation. Looking to the future, Natural Allies argues that the concept of national security must be widened to include natural security - a commitment to public, national, and international safety from environmental harms, especially those caused by human actions. Daniel Macfarlane is associate professor at the School of the Environment, Geography, and Sustainability at Western Michigan University and senior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto. Filippo De Chirico is a PhD student in History and Politics of Energy at Roma Tre University (Italy). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/11/202348 minutes, 26 seconds
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Caroline Levine, "The Activist Humanist: Form and Method in the Climate Crisis" (Princeton UP, 2023)

W. H. Auden once said, “Poetry makes nothing happen.” Auden’s quote has been used for so many purposes, it might be worth remembering what he meant. Auden’s line is importantly from a poem memorializing W.B. Yeats, a politician and a poet. Auden meant that despite Yeats’s poetry, “Ireland [still] has her madness and her weather still.” Yeats’s poetry didn’t stop suffering. But Auden acknowledges that poetry is a “way of happening” that survives and persists. Today’s guest, Caroline Levine, has written a brilliant new book The Activist Humanist: Form and Method in the Climate Crisis (Princeton UP, 2023). As I read the book, I began asking myself in the manner of Auden: “Does literary criticism make nothing happen? What kind of something might attention to social forms within aesthetic criticism make happen?” I am excited to talk to Caroline Levine is David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities at Cornell University. Previously, she was Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015), which won the winner of the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, as well as The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (2003) and Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007). John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. In 2023, his dissertation won the J. Leeds Barroll Prize, given by the Shakespeare Association of America. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/9/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 55 seconds
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Colin McFarlane, "Waste and the City: The Crisis of Sanitation and the Right to Citylife" (Verso, 2023)

In an age of pandemics the relationship between the health of the city and good sanitation has never been more important. Colin McFarlane, through Waste and the City: The Crisis of Sanitation and the Right to Citylife (Verso, 2023), makes a call to action on one of modern urban life's most neglected issues: sanitation infrastructure. The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the devastating consequences of unequal access to sanitation in cities across the globe. At this critical moment in global public health, Colin McFarlane makes the urgent case for Sanitation for All. The book outlines the worldwide sanitation crisis and offers a vision for a renewed, equitable investment in sanitation that democratises and socialises the modern city. Adopting Henri Lefebvre's concept of 'the right to the city', it uses the notion of 'citylife' to reframe the discourse on sanitation from a narrowly-defined policy discussion to a question of democratic right to public life and health. In doing so, the book shows that sanitation is an urbanizing force whose importance extends beyond hygiene to the very foundation of urban social life. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington Books, 2022). His general area of study is about the construction of identity and place. He is currently conducting research for his next project that looks at nightlife and the emotional labor that is performed by bouncers at bars and nightclubs. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/7/202346 minutes, 45 seconds
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Timothy Brook, "The Price of Collapse: The Little Ice Age and the Fall of Ming China" (Princeton UP, 2023)

In 1644, after close to three centuries of relative stability and prosperity, the Ming dynasty collapsed. Many historians attribute its demise to the Manchu invasion of China, but the truth is far more profound. The Price of Collapse: The Little Ice Age and the Fall of Ming China (Princeton UP, 2023) provides an entirely new approach to the economic and social history of China, exploring how global climate crisis spelled the end of Ming rule. The mid-seventeenth century witnessed the deadliest phase of the Little Ice Age, when temperatures and rainfall plunged and world economies buckled. Timothy Brook draws on the history of grain prices to paint a gripping portrait of the final tumultuous years of a once-great dynasty. He explores how global trade networks that increasingly moved silver into China may have affected prices and describes the daily struggle to survive amid grain shortages and famine. By the early 1640s, as the subjects of the Ming found themselves caught in a deadly combination of cold and drought that defied all attempts to stave off disaster, the Ming price regime collapsed, and with it the Ming political regime. A masterful work of scholarship, The Price of Collapse reconstructs the experience of ordinary people under the immense pressure of unaffordable prices as their country slid from prosperity to calamity and shows how the market mediated the relationship between an empire and the climate that turned against it. Huijun Mai is an Assistant Professor in Medieval Chinese Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/3/20231 hour, 1 minute, 50 seconds
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Greg Glasgow and Kathryn Mayer, "Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2023)

A fascinating look at Walt Disney's last, unfinished project and the controversy that surrounded it. It was going to be Disneyland at the top of a mountain. A vacation destination where guests could ski, go ice skating, or be entertained by a Disney Imagineer-created band of Audio-Animatronic bears. In the summer, visitors could fish, camp, hike, or take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of a mountain. It was the Mineral King resort in Southern California, and it was Walt Disney's final passion project. But there was one major obstacle to Walt's dream: the growing environmentalist movement of the 1960s.  In Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was (Rowman & Littlefield, 2023), Greg Glasgow and Kathryn Mayer provide an unprecedented look inside the Mineral King saga, from its origins at the 1960 Winter Olympics to the years-long environmental fight that eventually shut the development down. The fight, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, reshaped the environmental movement and helped to put in place long-reaching laws to protect nature. Although the court battle, coupled with Walt's death in 1966, meant the end for the Mineral King resort, the ideas and planning behind it have permeated throughout the Walt Disney company and the ski tourism industry in ways that are still seen today. With firsthand interviews and behind-the-scenes details, Disneyland on the Mountain offers incredible access to a part of Disney history that hasn't been thoroughly explored before, including Walt's love of nature, how the company changed after Walt's death, and of course, the story of Mineral King. It's a tale of man versus nature, ambition versus mortality, and how a gang of scrappy environmentalists took on one of America's most beloved companies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/25/202345 minutes, 1 second
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Özge Yaka, "Fighting for the River: Gender, Body, and Agency in Environmental Struggles" (U California Press, 2023)

Fighting for the River: Gender, Body, and Agency in Environmental Struggles (U California Press, 2023) portrays women's intimate, embodied relationships with river waters and explores how those relationships embolden local communities' resistance to private run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plants in Turkey. Building on extensive ethnographic research, Özge Yaka develops a body-centered, phenomenological approach to women's environmental activism and combines it with a relational ontological perspective. In this way, the book pushes beyond the "natural resources" frame to demonstrate how our corporeal connection to nonhuman entities is constitutive of our more-than-human lifeworld. Fighting for the River takes the human body as a starting point to explore the connection between lived experience and nonhuman environments, treating bodily senses and affects as the media of more-than-human connectivity and political agency. Analyzing local environmental struggles as struggles for coexistence, Yaka frames human-nonhuman relationality as a matter of socio-ecological justice. Özge Yaka is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin. Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University and an incoming Assistant Professor of Anthropology at CUNY—City College, focusing on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/23/202354 minutes, 32 seconds
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Michael Welsh, "Big Bend National Park: Mexico, the United States, and a Borderland Ecosystem" (U Nevada Press, 2021)

National Parks are sites where politics, cultures, and ecology converge. University of Northern Colorado historian Michael Welsh argues that, at Big Bend National Park in West Texas, a fourth dynamic is at play: diplomacy. In Big Bend National Park: Mexico, the United States, and a Borderland Ecosystem (U Nevada Press, 2021), Welsh tells the story of how this place - isolated even in its Indigenous history - came to be a site of diplomatic wrangling between the United States and Mexico. Situated along the border of the two nations, Big Bend has been a prism through which both Americans and Mexicans have seen the relationship between their two nations. Big Bend's story thus is one of colonization, conservation and changing American ideas about wilderness, but also about international diplomacy, war, and peace. Big Bend has been many things to many people, and as Welsh argues, few National Park sites have the same dramatic and complex history as this arid range of Texas mountains along the Rio Grande. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/22/20231 hour, 29 minutes, 18 seconds
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Sonja K. Pieck, "Mnemonic Ecologies: Memory and Nature Conservation along the Former Iron Curtain" (MIT Press, 2023)

The first book-length scholarly treatment of Germany's largest conservation project, the Green Belt, Mnemonic Ecologies: Memory and Nature Conservation along the Former Iron Curtain (MIT Press, 2023) by Dr. Sonja Pieck presents a new interdisciplinary approach: that effective restoration and conservation of wounded land must merge ecology with memory. Since the Cold War's end in 1989, German conservationists have transformed the once-militarised border between East and West Germany into an extensive protected area. Yet as forests, meadows, and wetlands replace fences, minefields, and guard towers, ecological recovery must reckon with the pain of the borderlands' brutal past. The lessons gained by conservationists here, Pieck argues, have profound practical and ethical implications far beyond Germany. Can conservation help heal both ecological and societal wounds? How might conservation honor difficult socioecological pasts? Deeply researched and evocatively written, this beautiful, interdisciplinary investigation into the legacy of war and nature's resurgence blends environmental history, ethics, geography, and politics with ecology and memory studies. Amid our rampant biodiversity crisis, Mnemonic Ecologies shows why conservation must include humanized landscapes in its purview, thus helping to craft a new conservation ethos that is collaborative, empathetic, and more sensitive to the connections between humans and the places they inhabit. 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
10/22/202352 minutes, 34 seconds
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Stephen Robert Miller, "Over the Seawall: Tsunamis, Cyclones, Drought, and the Delusion of Controlling Nature" (Island Press, 2023)

In March 2011, people in a coastal Japanese city stood atop a seawall watching the approach of the tsunami that would kill them. They believed—naively—that the huge concrete barrier would save them. Instead they perished, betrayed by the very thing built to protect them. Erratic weather, blistering drought, rising seas, and ecosystem collapse now affect every inch of the globe. Increasingly, we no longer look to stop climate change, choosing instead to adapt to it. Never have so many undertaken such a widespread, hurried attempt to remake the world. Predictably, our hubris has led to unintended—and sometimes disastrous—consequences. Academics call it maladaptation; in simple terms, it’s about solutions that backfire. Over the Seawall: Tsunamis, Cyclones, Drought, and the Delusion of Controlling Nature (Island Press, 2023) by Stephen Robert Miller tells us the stories behind these unintended consequences and about the fixes that can do more harm than good. From seawalls in coastal Japan, to the reengineered waters in the Ganges River Delta, to the artificial ribbon of water supporting both farms and urban centres in parched Arizona, Miller traces the histories of engineering marvels that were once deemed too smart and too big to fail. In each he takes us into the land and culture, seeking out locals and experts to better understand how complicated, grandiose schemes led instead to failure, and to find answers to the technologic holes we’ve dug ourselves into. Over the Seawall urges us to take a hard look at the fortifications we build and how they’ve fared in the past. It embraces humanity’s penchant for problem-solving, but argues that if we are to adapt successfully to climate change, we must recognize that working with nature is not surrender but the only way to assure a secure 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
10/20/202339 minutes, 37 seconds
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James J. A. Blair, "Salvaging Empire: Sovereignty, Natural Resources, and Environmental Science in the South Atlantic" (Cornell UP, 2023)

Salvaging Empire: Sovereignty, Natural Resources, and Environmental Science in the South Atlantic (Cornell University Press, 2023) by Dr. James J. A. Blair probes the historical roots and current predicaments of a twenty-first century settler colony seeking to control an uncertain future through resource management and environmental science. Four decades after a violent 1982 war between the United Kingdom and Argentina reestablished British authority over the Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas in Spanish), a commercial fishing boom and offshore oil discoveries have intensified the sovereignty dispute over the South Atlantic archipelago. Scholarly literature on the South Atlantic focuses primarily on military history of the 1982 conflict. However, contested claims over natural resources have now made this disputed territory a critical site for examining the wider relationship between imperial sovereignty and environmental governance. Dr. Blair argues that by claiming self-determination and consenting to British sovereignty, the Falkland Islanders have crafted a settler colonial protectorate to extract resources and extend empire in the South Atlantic. Responding to current debates in environmental anthropology, critical geography, Atlantic history, political ecology, and science and technology studies, Dr. Blair describes how settlers have asserted indigeneity in dynamic relation with the environment. Salvaging Empire uncovers the South Atlantic's outsized importance for understanding the broader implications of resource management and environmental science for the geopolitics of empire. 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
10/13/202346 minutes, 8 seconds
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Oil Beach - How Toxic Infrastructure Threatens Life: A Conversation with Christina Dunbar-Hester

Christina Dunbar-Hester, professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, talks about her recent book, Oil Beach: How Toxic Infrastructure Threatens Life in the Port of Los Angeles and Beyond (U Chicago Press, 2023) with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The pair discuss the trajectory of Dunbar-Hester’s career from her dissertation on low powered FM pirates and activists to her examination of gender in open technology communities and how she came to write a multispecies, place-focused examination of how petroleum and port infrastructure harms life. Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/9/202358 minutes, 29 seconds
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Kendra Coulter, "Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection" (MIT Press, 2023)

Beloved dogs and cats. Magnificent horses and mountain gorillas. Curious chickens. What do we actually do to protect animals from harm—and is it enough? This engaging book provides a unique and eye-opening exploration of the world of animal protection as people defend diverse animals from injustice and cruelty. From the streets of major US cities to remote farms and tropical forests, Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection (MIT Press, 2023) is a gritty and moving portrait of the real work of animal protection that takes place in communities, courtrooms, and boardrooms. Globally recognized expert Kendra Coulter takes readers across the different landscapes of animal protection to meet people and animals of all kinds, from cruelty investigators to forensic veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators and conservation leaders to animal lawyers and entrepreneurs, each working in their own ways to defend animals. Bringing unparalleled research and a distinct and nuanced analytical viewpoint, Defending Animals shows that animal protection is not only physical, intellectual, and emotional work but also a labor so rooted in empathy and care that it just might bridge the vast divide between polarized people and help create a more humane future for us all. Kendra Coulter is Professor in Management and Organizational Studies at Western University's Huron University College, a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics (UK), and a member of the prestigious Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.  Kyle Johannsen is a philosophy instructor at Trent University. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/8/202359 minutes, 14 seconds
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Naveeda Khan, "In Quest of a Shared Planet: Negotiating Climate from the Global South" (Fordham UP, 2023)

Based on the author’s eight years of fieldwork with the United Nations-led Conference of Parties (COP), In Quest of a Shared Planet: Negotiating Climate from the Global South (Fordham UP, 2023) offers an illuminating first-person ethnographic perspective on climate change negotiations. Focusing on the Paris Agreement, anthropologist Naveeda Khan introduces readers to the only existing global approach to the problem of climate change, one that took nearly thirty years to be collectively agreed upon. She shares her detailed descriptions of COP21 to COP25 and growing understanding of the intricacies of the climate negotiation process, leading her to ask why countries of the Global South invested in this slow-moving process and to explore how they have maneuvered it. With a focus on the Bangladeshi delegation at the COPs, Khan draws out what it means to be a small, poor, and dependent country within the negotiation process. Her interviews with negotiators within country delegations uncover their pathways to the negotiating tables. Through observations of training sessions of negotiators of the Global South, Khan seeks to reveal understandings of what is or is not achievable within negotiated texts and the power of deal-making and deferrals. She profiles individuals who had committed themselves to the climate negotiation process, moving between the Secretariat, Parties, activists, and the wider UN system to bring their principles, strategies, emotions, and visions into view. She explores how the newest pillar of climate action, loss and damage, emerged historically and how developed countries attempted to control it in the process. Khan suggests that we understand the Global South’s pursuit of loss and damage not only as a politics of forcing the issue of a conjoined future upon the Global North, but as a gift to the youth of the world to secure that future. Deeply insightful and highly readable, In Quest of a Shared Planet is a stirring call to action that highlights the key role responsive and active youth have in climate negotiations. It is an invitation not only to understand the climate negotiation process, but also to navigate it (for those planning to attend sessions themselves) and to critique it—with, the author hopes, sympathy and an eye to viable alternatives. In Quest of a Shared Planet: Negotiating Climate from the Global South is available from the publisher on an open-access basis. Naveeda Khan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She sits on the board of the JHU Center for Islamic Studies, and serves as affiliate faculty for the JHU Undergraduate Program in Environmental Science and Studies. She is the author of Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan (Duke, 2012) and River Life and the Upspring of Nature (Duke, 2023) and editor of Beyond Crisis: Re-evaluating Pakistan (Routledge, 2010). Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University and an incoming Assistant Professor of Anthropology at CUNY—City College, focusing on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/26/202354 minutes, 18 seconds
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Alda Balthrop-Lewis, "Thoreau's Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Balthrop-Lewis's Thoreau's Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism (Cambridge UP, 2021) presents a ground-breaking interpretation of Henry David Thoreau's most famous book, Walden. Rather than treating Walden Woods as a lonely wilderness, Balthrop-Lewis demonstrates that Thoreau's ascetic life was a form of religious practice dedicated to cultivating a just, multispecies community. The book makes an important contribution to scholarship in religious studies, political theory, English, environmental studies, and critical theory by offering the first sustained reading of Thoreau's religiously motivated politics. In Balthrop-Lewis's vision, practices of renunciation like Thoreau's can contribute to reforming social and political life. This book transforms Thoreau's image, making him a vital source for a world beset by inequality and climate change. Balthrop-Lewis argues for an environmental politics in which ecological flourishing is impossible without economic and social justice. Alda Balthrop-Lewis is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University and has taught Religious Studies at Brown University. Her research, which focuses on religious ethics and the circulation of ideas among theological, artistic, and popular idioms, has appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and the Journal of Religious Ethics. Ilana Maymind is a lecturer at the Religious Studies Department at Chapman University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/25/202341 minutes, 16 seconds
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Todd E. Vachon, "Clean Air and Good Jobs: U.S. Labor and the Struggle for Climate Justice" (Temple UP, 2023)

The labor–climate movement in the U.S. laid the groundwork for the Green New Deal by building a base within labor for supporting climate protection as a vehicle for good jobs. But as we confront the climate crisis and seek environmental justice, a “jobs vs. environment” discourse often pits workers against climate activists. How can we make a “just transition” moving away from fossil fuels, while also compensating for the human cost when jobs are lost or displaced? In his book, Clean Air and Good Jobs: U.S. Labor and the Struggle for Climate Justice (Temple University Press, 2023), Todd Vachon examines the labor–climate movement and demonstrates what can be envisioned and accomplished when climate justice is on labor’s agenda and unions work together with other social movements to formulate bold solutions to the climate crisis. Todd Vachon is Assistant Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Director of the Labor Education Action Research Network at Rutgers University Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.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
9/22/202336 minutes, 48 seconds
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Phaedra C. Pezzullo, "Beyond Straw Men: Plastic Pollution and Networked Cultures of Care" (U California Press, 2023)

Addressing plastics can feel overwhelming. Guilt, shame, anger, hurt, fear, dismissiveness, and despair abound. Beyond Straw Men: Plastic Pollution and Networked Cultures of Care (U California Press, 2023) moves beyond "hot take" or strawman fallacies by illustrating how affective counterpublics mobilized around plastics reveal broader stories about environmental justice and social change. Inspired by on- and offline organizing, Pezzullo engages public controversies, policies, and headline-making advocates in Bangladesh, Kenya, the US, and Vietnam through hashtag activism, campaign materials, and her podcast, Communicating Care. She argues that plastics have become an entry point into contested environmental politics, including carbon-heavy masculinity, carceral policies, planetary fatalism, eco-ableism, greenwashing, marine life endangerment, pollution colonialism, and waste imperialism. Attuned to plastic attachments, Beyond Straw Men shares how unsustainable patterns of the plastics-industrial complex are resisted through imperfect but impactful networked cultures of care. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/22/202323 minutes, 4 seconds
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Kathrin Eitel, "Recycling Infrastructures in Cambodia: Circularity, Waste, and Urban Life in Phnom Penh" (Routledge, 2022)

Kathrin Eitel's book Recycling Infrastructures in Cambodia: Circularity, Waste, and Urban Life in Phnom Penh (Routledge, 2022) examines the recycling infrastructure in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It considers the circular flows of waste and practices through 'infracycles', maintenance practices that tinker with the social and capitalist order, and postcolonial ways of doing politics that co-constitute predominant waste fantasies from which naturecultures ooze out, shaping urban life in their own way. In this context, socially marginalized waste pickers contest the capitalist system by creating tropes about freedom, labor autonomy, and the will to survive. In this regard, they are also meddling about a new social order that represents the fine line Cambodia is sashaying between tradition and modernity. Waste fantasies that are a result of environmental problematizations, however, perpetuate postcolonial ways of doing politics by exuding notions of waste as detached from its sociocultural context. But ultimately, waste slips through the cracks of these dominant imaginaries and global waste reduction models enacting new versions of what waste and the city is, providing opportunities for another future waste policy. This book is a unique contribution to the field of infrastructure studies emphasizing the importance of perceiving infrastructure as circular in smaller 'infracycles', rather than linear. It will be of interest to researchers in the field of environmental anthropology, science and technology studies, urban studies, and Southeast Asian studies. The Introduction of this book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access from the individual product page at www.routledge.com. It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license. Kathrin Eitel is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies at the University of Zurich. Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/21/202347 minutes, 40 seconds
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Jeffrey Angles, ed., "Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again: The Original Novellas by Shigeru Kayama" (U Michigan Press, 2023)

Godzilla emerged from the sea to devastate Tokyo in the now-classic 1954 film, produced by Tōhō Studios and directed by Ishirō Honda, creating a global sensation and launching one of the world’s most successful movie and media franchises. Awakened and transformed by nuclear weapons testing, Godzilla serves as a terrifying metaphor for humanity’s shortsighted destructiveness: this was the intent of Shigeru Kayama, the science fiction writer who drafted the 1954 original film and its first sequel and, in 1955, published these novellas. Although the Godzilla films have been analyzed in detail by cultural historians, film scholars, and generations of fans, Kayama’s two Godzilla novellas—both classics of Japanese young-adult science fiction—have never been available in English. Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again: The Original Novellas by Shigeru Kayama (U Michigan Press, 2023) finally provides English-speaking fans and critics the original texts with these first-ever English-language translations of Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again. The novellas reveal valuable insights into Kayama’s vision for the Godzilla story, feature plots that differ from the films, and clearly display the author’s strong antinuclear, proenvironmental convictions. Kayama’s fiction depicts Godzilla as engaging in guerrilla-style warfare against humanity, which has allowed the destruction of the natural world through its irresponsible, immoral perversion of science. As human activity continues to cause mass extinctions and rapid climatic change, Godzilla provides a fable for the Anthropocene, powerfully reminding us that nature will fight back against humanity’s onslaught in unpredictable and devastating ways. Shigeru Kayama (1904–1975) was a science fiction writer and scenarist whose early stories about monsters and mutated sea creatures attracted the attention of Tōhō Studios, which asked him to draft the first two Godzilla films. Jeffrey Angles is professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University. He is the author of Writing the Love of Boys: Origins of Bishonen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature (Minnesota, 2011) and the award-winning translator of Orikuchi Shinobu’s The Book of the Dead (Minnesota, 2017) and Hiromi Ito’s The Thorn Puller. Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers and articles on G. K. Chesterton and John Ford, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found here on the New Books Network and on X.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/21/202352 minutes, 46 seconds
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Oscar Webber, "Negotiating Relief and Freedom: Responses to Disaster in the British Caribbean, 1812-1907" (Manchester UP, 2023)

Negotiating Relief and Freedom: Responses to Disaster in the British Caribbean, 1812-1907 (Manchester University Press, 2023) by Dr. Oscar Webber is an investigation of short- and long-term responses to disaster in the British Caribbean colonies during the 'long' nineteenth century. Dr. Webber explores how colonial environmental degradation made their inhabitants both more vulnerable to and expanded the impact of natural phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. He shows that British approaches to disaster 'relief' prioritised colonial control and 'fiscal prudence' ahead of the relief of the relief of suffering. In turn, that this pattern played out continuously in the long nineteenth century is a reminder that in the Caribbean the transition from slavery to waged labour was not a clean one. Times of crisis brought racial and social tensions to the fore and freedoms once granted, were often quickly curtailed. 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
9/17/20231 hour, 1 minute, 12 seconds
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Daniel Jaffee, "Unbottled: The Fight Against Plastic Water and for Water Justice" (U California Press, 2023)

In just four decades, bottled water has transformed from a luxury niche item into a ubiquitous consumer product, representing a $300 billion market dominated by global corporations. It sits at the convergence of a mounting ecological crisis of single-use plastic waste and climate change, a social crisis of affordable access to safe drinking water, and a struggle over the fate of public water systems. Unbottled: The Fight Against Plastic Water and for Water Justice (U California Press, 2023) examines the vibrant movements that have emerged to question the need for bottled water and challenge its growth in North America and worldwide. Drawing on extensive interviews with activists, residents, public officials, and other participants in controversies ranging from bottled water's role in unsafe tap water crises to groundwater extraction for bottling in rural communities, Daniel Jaffee asks what this commodity's meteoric growth means for social inequality, sustainability, and the human right to water. Unbottled profiles campaigns to reclaim the tap and addresses the challenges of ending dependence on packaged water in places where safe water is not widely accessible. Clear and compelling, it assesses the prospects for the movements fighting plastic water and working to ensure water justice for all. Joshua Mullenite is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Sustainability programs at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. They can be found on Mastodon at https://fediscience.org/@mullenite  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/17/202355 minutes, 46 seconds
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Katie J. Wells et al., "Disrupting D.C.: The Rise of Uber and the Fall of the City" (Princeton UP, 2023)

The first city to fight back against Uber, Washington, D.C., was also the first city where such resistance was defeated. It was here that the company created a playbook for how to deal with intransigent regulators and to win in the realm of local politics. The city already serves as the nation’s capital. Now, D.C. is also the blueprint for how Uber conquered cities around the world—and explains why so many embraced the company with open arms. Drawing on interviews with gig workers, policymakers, Uber lobbyists, and community organizers, Disrupting D.C.: The Rise of Uber and the Fall of a City (Princeton University Press, 2023) demonstrates that many share the blame for lowering the nation’s hopes and dreams for what its cities could be. In a sea of broken transit, underemployment, and racial polarization, Uber offered a lifeline. But at what cost? This is not the story of one company and one city. Instead, Disrupting D.C. offers a 360-degree view of an urban America in crisis. Uber arrived promising a new future for workers, residents, policymakers, and others. Ultimately, Uber’s success and growth was never a sign of urban strength or innovation but a sign of urban weakness and low expectations about what city politics can achieve. Understanding why Uber rose reveals just how far the rest of us have fallen. Katie J. Wells is a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University. Twitter. Website. Kafui Attoh is associate professor of urban studies at the School of Labor and Urban Studies at the City University of New York. Twitter. Website. Declan Cullen is assistant professor of geography at George Washington University. Website. 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
9/16/202355 minutes, 23 seconds
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Stefan Helmreich, "A Book of Waves" (Duke UP, 2023)

In A Book of Waves (Duke UP, 2023), Stefan Helmreich examines ocean waves as forms of media that carry ecological, geopolitical, and climatological news about our planet. Drawing on ethnographic work with oceanographers and coastal engineers in the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Japan, and Bangladesh, Helmreich details how scientists at sea and in the lab apprehend waves’ materiality through abstractions, seeking to capture in technical language these avatars of nature at once periodic and irreversible, wild and pacific, ephemeral and eternal. For researchers and their publics, the meanings of waves also reflect visions of the ocean as an environmental infrastructure fundamental to trade, travel, warfare, humanitarian rescue, recreation, and managing sea level rise. Interleaving ethnographic chapters with reflections on waves in mythology, surf culture, feminist theory, film, Indigenous Pacific activisms, Black Atlantic history, cosmology, and more, Helmreich demonstrates how waves mark out the wakes and breaks of social histories and futures.  Stefan Helmreich is an anthropologist who studies how scientists in oceanography, biology, acoustics, and computer science define and theorize their objects of study, particularly as these objects — waves, life, sound, code — reach their conceptual limits. Tamara Fernando is an assistant professor in the History of the Global South, at Stony Brook University, New York. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of labor, environment, and science histories, with a specific focus on the nineteenth and twentieth-century Indian Ocean world. Her current book project, "Shallow Blue Empire: Knowing the Littoral across the Indian Ocean," aspires to uncover a "history below the water line" through a trans-national account of the pearling industry across the northern Indian Ocean. This work centers on the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar, and the Mergui/Myeik archipelago, elucidating how modes of knowledge about the littoral zone of the ocean were determined in the context of the British Empire at the turn of the twentieth century. She is deeply committed to employing trans-regional and interdisciplinary methods in the study of the past, as well as addressing the question of how to craft global histories of science. Her second book project, "Submarine Futures: Science and Expertise in the Indian Ocean 1872-2004," traces human engagements with the ocean through three objects: the shipwreck, the nuclear submarine, and the deep-sea port across key nodes in the Indian Ocean. This endeavor explores how scientific disciplines like maritime archaeology continue to shape notions of the Indian Ocean’s “cosmopolitan” and inter-connected pasts. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult sciences, and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/16/202346 minutes, 29 seconds
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A Better Way to Buy Books

Bookshop.org is an online book retailer that donates more than 80% of its profits to independent bookstores. Launched in 2020, Bookshop.org has already raised more than $27,000,000. In this interview, Andy Hunter, founder and CEO discusses his journey to creating one of the most revolutionary new organizations in the book world. Bookshop has found a way to retain the convenience of online book shopping while also supporting independent bookstores that are the backbones of many local communities.  Andy Hunter is CEO and Founder of Bookshop.org. He also co-created Literary Hub. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/12/202334 minutes, 29 seconds
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Nicole Fabricant, "Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore" (U California Press, 2022)

Industrial toxic emissions on the South Baltimore Peninsula are among the highest in the nation. Because of the concentration of factories and other chemical industries in their neighborhoods, residents face elevated rates of lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses in addition to heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease, all of which can lead to premature death.  Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore (U California Press, 2022) follows a dynamic and creative group of high school students who decided to fight back against the race- and class-based health disparities and inequality in their city. For more than a decade, student organizers stood up to unequal land use practices and the proposed construction of an incinerator and instead initiated new waste management strategies. As a Baltimore resident and activist-scholar, Nicole Fabricant documents how these young organizers came to envision, design, and create a more just and sustainable Baltimore. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/10/202336 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ryan Tucker Jones, "Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

The Soviet Union killed over six hundred thousand whales in the twentieth century, many of them illegally and secretly. That catch helped bring many whale species to near extinction by the 1970s, and the impacts of this loss of life still ripple through today’s oceans.  In this new account, based on formerly secret Soviet archives and interviews with ex-whalers, environmental historian Ryan Tucker Jones offers a complete history of the role the Soviet Union played in the whales’ destruction. As other countries—especially the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Norway—expanded their pursuit of whales to all corners of the globe, Stalin determined that the Soviet Union needed to join the hunt. What followed was a spectacularly prodigious, and often wasteful, destruction of humpback, fin, sei, right, and sperm whales in the Antarctic and the North Pacific, done in knowing violation of the International Whaling Commission’s rules. Cold War intrigue encouraged this destruction, but, as Jones shows, there is a more complex history behind this tragic Soviet experiment. Jones compellingly describes the ultimate scientific irony: today’s cetacean studies benefited from Soviet whaling, as Russian scientists on whaling vessels made key breakthroughs in understanding whale natural history and behavior. And in a final twist, Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling (U Chicago Press, 2022) reveals how the Soviet public began turning against their own country’s whaling industry, working in parallel with Western environmental organizations like Greenpeace to help end industrial whaling—not long before the world’s whales might have disappeared altogether. Erika Monahan is the author of The Merchants of Siberia: Trade in Early Modern Eurasia (Cornell UP, 2016) and a 2023-2024 Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/9/202359 minutes, 51 seconds
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Zdenka Sokolickova, "The Paradox of Svalbard: Climate Change and Globalisation in the Arctic" (Pluto Press, 2023)

The town of Longyearbyen in the high Arctic is the world's northernmost settlement. Here, climate change is happening fast. It is clearly seen and sensed by the locals; with higher temperatures, more rain and permafrost thaw. At the same time, the town is shifting from state-controlled coal production to tourism, research, and development, rapidly globalizing, with numerous languages spoken, cruise ships sounding the horn in the harbor, and planes landing and taking off. Zdenka Sokolíčková lived here between 2019-2021, and her research in the community uncovered a story about the conflict between sustainability and the driving forces of politics and economy in the rich global North. A small town of 2,400 inhabitants at 78 degrees latitude north on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Longyearbyen provided a unique view into the unmistakable relationship between global capitalism and climate change.  The Paradox of Svalbard: Climate Change and Globalisation in the Arctic (Pluto Press, 2023) looks at both local and global trends to access a deep understanding of the effects of tourism, immigration, labor, and many other elements on the trajectory of the climate crisis, and whether anything can be done to reverse them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/9/202349 minutes, 23 seconds
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Andrea Muehlebach, "A Vital Frontier: Water Insurgencies in Europe" (Duke UP, 2023)

In A Vital Frontier: Water Insurgencies in Europe (Duke University Press, 2023)) Andrea Muehlebach examines the work of activists across Europe as they organize to preserve water as a commons and public good in the face of privatization. Traversing social, political, legal, and hydrological terrains, Muehlebach situates water as a political fault line at the frontiers of financialization, showing how the seemingly relentless expansion of capital into public utilities is being challenged by an equally relentless and often successful insurgence of political organizing. Drawing on ethnographic research, Muehlebach presents water protests as a vital politics that comprises popular referenda, barricades in the streets, huge demonstrations, the burning of utility bills, and legal disputes over transparency and contracts. As Muehlebach documents, Europe’s water activists articulate their own values of democracy and just price, raising far-reaching political questions about private versus common property and financing, liberal democracy, sovereignty, legality, and collective infrastructural responsibility in the face of financialization and commodification. Muehlebach shows that water-rights activists can successfully resist financial markets by exposing the commodification of water as the theft of life itself. Andrea Muehlebach is Professor of Maritime Anthropology and Cultures of Water at the University of Bremen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/8/202337 minutes, 52 seconds
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Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua, "Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility" (Haymarket, 2023)

These days, with catastrophe after catastrophe, it can be easy to turn to despair and to believe that there is nothing we can do. But writer Rebecca Solnit is determined to change that narrative. Over the course of her career, Solnit has published twenty-five books on feminism, popular power, social change and insurrection, and hope and catastrophe. Her most recent project, Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility, brings together climate scientists and activists from around the world to address the social, political, and spiritual dimensions of our current crisis—and to envision a path forward. In this episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, and co-host Sharon Salzberg sit down with Solnit to discuss the power of hope in times of catastrophe, the dangers of hyperindividualism, and why she believes beauty is an essential piece of activist work. Life As It Is is a monthly podcast featuring prominent voices from within and beyond the Buddhist fold. Listen to more episodes here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/2/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
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Davide Rodogno, "Night on Earth: A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East, 1918–1930" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Night on Earth: A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East, 1918–1930 (Cambridge UP, 2021) is a broad-ranging account of international humanitarian programs in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Near East from 1918 to 1930. Davide Rodogno shows that international 'relief' and 'development' were intertwined long before the birth of the United Nations with humanitarians operating in a region devastated by war and famine and in which state sovereignty was deficient. Influenced by colonial motivations and ideologies, these humanitarians attempted to reshape entire communities and nations through reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes. The book draws on the activities of a wide range of secular and religious organisations and philanthropic foundations in the US and Europe including the American Relief Administration, the American Red Cross, the Quakers, Save the Children, the Near East Relief, the American Women's Hospitals, the League of Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Eyad Houssami is a doctoral researcher focusing on ecology, agriculture, and education in post-independence Lebanon at the University of Leeds. His research and this work are supported by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/R012733/1) through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities. Houssami also works as a consultant, organization leader, writer/editor, and theatre artist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
9/2/20231 hour, 12 seconds
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Jeffrey J. Cohen and Julian Yates, "Noah's Arkive" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)

At a moment when the world has tipped over into irreversible violence and corruption, a divinity contacts a righteous man. The man is directed to build a giant ship and bring aboard animals, who will spend an indefinite amount of time living, sleeping, and eating alongside Noah and his family. The rain begins to fall, and these survivors take refuge on the ark. After forty days, the survivors disembark and then have to figure out how to create a new settlement as the waters recede. This cryptic, elliptical ancient story has inspired theological commentary, architecture, and children’s toys, giving us an abundance of metaphors and narratives to understand our past, present, and future climate crises. Our continuing attempts to critically examine the ark narrative and its long afterlife in our imagination is the subject of Jeffrey J. Cohen and Julian Yates’s new book Noah’s Arkive, just published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2023. Jeffrey Cohen is Dean of Humanities at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Jeffrey’s previous books include Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (University of Minnesota Press, 2015); Hybridity, Identity and Monstrosity in Medieval Britain: Of Difficult Middles (Palgrave, 2006); and Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages (University of Minnesota, 1999). Julian Yates is H. Fletcher Brown Professor of English and Material Culture at the University of Delaware. Julian’s previous books include Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression (2017); and Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (2002), both from the University of Minnesota Press. More about the book: In Noah's Arkive (U Minnesota Press, 2023), Jeffrey J. Cohen and Julian Yates examine the long history of imagining endurance against climate catastrophe—as well as alternative ways of creating refuge. They trace how the elements of the flood narrative were elaborated in medieval and early modern art, text, and music, and now shape writing and thinking during the current age of anthropogenic climate change. Arguing that the biblical ark may well be the worst possible exemplar of human behavior, the chapters draw on a range of sources, from the Epic of Gilgamesh and Ovid’s tale of Deucalion and Pyrrah, to speculative fiction, climate fiction, and stories and art dealing with environmental catastrophe. Noah’s Arkive uncovers the startling afterlife of the Genesis narrative written from the perspective of Noah’s wife and family, the animals on the ark, and those excluded and left behind to die. This book of recovered stories speaks eloquently to the ethical and political burdens of living through the Anthropocene. Following a climate change narrative across the millennia, Noah’s Arkive surveys the long history of dwelling with the consequences of choosing only a few to survive in order to start the world over. It is an intriguing meditation on how the story of the ark can frame how we think about environmental catastrophe and refuge, conservation and exclusion, offering hope for a better future by heeding what we know from the past. John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. In 2023, his dissertation won the J. Leeds Barroll Prize, given by the Shakespeare Association of America. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/24/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 40 seconds
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Travis Holloway, "How to Live at the End of the World: Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene" (Stanford UP, 2022)

the near universal disappearance of shared social enterprise: the ruling class builds walls and lunar shuttles, while the rest of us contend with the atrophy of institutional integrity and the utter abdication of providing even minimal shelter from looming disaster. The irony of the Anthropocene era is that, in a neoliberal culture of the self, it is forcing us to consider ourselves as a collective again. For those of us who are not wealthy enough to start a colony on Mars or isolate ourselves from the world, the Anthropocene ends the fantasy of sheer individualism and worldlessness once and for all. It introduces a profound sense of time and events after the so-called "end of history" and an entirely new approach to solidarity. How to Live at the End of the World: Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene (Stanford UP, 2022) is a hopeful exploration of how we might inherit the name "Anthropocene," renarrate it, and revise our way of life or thought in view of it. In his book on time, art, and politics in an era of escalating climate change, Holloway takes up difficult, unanswered questions in recent work by Donna Haraway, Kathryn Yusoff, Bruno Latour, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Isabelle Stengers, sketching a path toward a radical form of democracy―a zoocracy, or, a rule of all of the living. Travis Holloway is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Farmingdale and a poet and former Goldwater Fellow in Creative Writing at NYU. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/23/202351 minutes, 14 seconds
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Lyndsie Bourgon, "Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods" (Little, Brown Spark, 2023)

In Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods (Little, Brown Spark, 2022), Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way. Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn't include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results. Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy. Lyndsie Bourgon is a writer, oral historian, and 2018 National Geographic Explorer based in British Columbia. She writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity. Her features have been published in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Aeon, The Walrus, and Hazlitt, among other outlets. Twitter. Website. 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
8/22/202354 minutes, 57 seconds
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Shelley Ingram and Willow G. Mullins, "Wait Five Minutes: Weatherlore in the Twenty-First Century" (UP of Mississippi, 2023)

The weather governs our lives. It fills gaps in conversations, determines our dress, and influences our architecture. No matter how much our lives may have moved indoors, no matter how much we may rely on technology, we still monitor the weather. Wait Five Minutes: Weatherlore in the Twenty-First Century (UP of Mississippi, 2023) draws from folkloric, literary, and scientific theory to offer up new ways of thinking about this most ancient of phenomena. Weatherlore is a concept that describes the folk beliefs and traditions about the weather that are passed down casually among groups of people. Weatherlore can be predictive, such as the belief that more black than brown fuzz on a woolly bear caterpillar signals a harsh winter. It can be the familiar commentary that eases daily social interactions, such as asking, "Is it hot (or cold) enough for you?" Other times, it is simply ubiquitous: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change." From detailing personal experiences at picnics and suburban lawns to critically analyzing storm stories, novels, and flood legends, contributors offer engaging multidisciplinary perspectives on weatherlore. As we move further into the twenty-first century, an increasing awareness of climate change and its impacts on daily life calls for a folkloristic reckoning with the weather and a rising need to examine vernacular understandings of weather and climate. Weatherlore helps us understand and shape global political conversations about climate change and biopolitics at the same time that it influences individual, group, and regional lives and identities. We use weather, and thus its folklore, to make meaning of ourselves, our groups, and, quite literally, our world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/21/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 48 seconds
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Christopher C. Sellers, "Race and the Greening of Atlanta: Inequality, Democracy, and Environmental Politics in an Ascendant Metropolis" (U Georgia Press, 2023)

Race and the Greening of Atlanta: Inequality, Democracy, and Environmental Politics in an Ascendant Metropolis (U Georgia Press, 2023) turns an environmental lens on Atlanta’s ascent to thriving capital of the Sunbelt over the twentieth century. Uniquely wide ranging in scale, from the city’s variegated neighborhoods up to its place in regional and national political economies, this book reinterprets the fall of Jim Crow as a democratization born of two metropolitan movements: a well-known one for civil rights and a lesser known one on behalf of “the environment.” Arising out of Atlanta’s Black and white middle classes respectively, both movements owed much to New Deal capitalism’s undermining of concentrated wealth and power, if not racial segregation, in the Jim Crow South. Placing these two movements on the same historical page, Christopher C. Sellers spotlights those environmental inequities, ideals, and provocations that catalyzed their divergent political projects. He then follows the intermittent, sometimes vital alliances they struck as civil rights activists tackled poverty, as a new environmental state arose, and as Black politicians began winning elections. Into the 1980s, as a wealth-concentrating style of capitalism returned to the city and Atlanta became a national “poster child” for sprawl, the seedbeds spread both for a national environmental justice movement and for an influential new style of antistatism. Sellers contends that this new conservativism, sweeping the South with an anti-environmentalism and budding white nationalism that echoed the region’s Jim Crow past, once again challenged the democracy Atlantans had achieved. Christopher Sellers is professor of history at Stony Brook University. He is the author of Hazards of the Job, Crabgrass Crucible, Dangerous Trade, and Landscapes of Exposure, among other publications. He is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including those from the National Science Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the National Library of Medicine. He lives in Stony Brook, New York. Website. 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
8/21/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ian Convery et al., "Routledge Handbook of Rewilding" (Routledge, 2022)

Routledge Handbook of Rewilding (Routledge, 2022) provides a comprehensive overview of the history, theory and current practices of ‘rewilding’. Rewilding offers a transformational paradigm shift in conservation thinking, and as such is increasingly of interest to academics, policymakers and practitioners. However, as a rapidly emerging area of conservation, the term has often been defined and used in a variety of different ways (both temporally and spatially). There is, therefore, the need for a comprehensive assessment of this field, and the Routledge Handbook of Rewilding fills this lacuna. The handbook is organized into four sections to reflect key areas of rewilding theory, practice and debate: the evolution of rewilding, theoretical and practical underpinnings, applications and impacts, and the ethics and philosophy of rewilding.  Drawing on a range of international case studies the handbook addresses many of the key issues, including land acquisition and longer-term planning, transitioning from restoration (human-led, nature enabled) to rewilding (nature-led, human enabled), and the role of political and social transformational change. Led by an editorial team who have extensive experience researching and practicing rewilding, this handbook is essential reading for students, academics and practitioners interested in rewilding, ecologaical restoration, natural resource management and conservation. Isobel Akerman is a History PhD student at the University of Cambridge studying biodiversity and botanic gardens. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/20/202335 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ulbe Bosma, "The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment Over 2,000 Years" (Harvard UP, 2023)

For most of history, humans did without refined sugar. After all, it serves no necessary purpose in our diets, and extracting it from plants takes hard work and ingenuity. Granulated sugar was first produced in India around the sixth century BC, yet for almost 2,500 years afterward sugar remained marginal in the diets of most people. Then, suddenly, it was everywhere. How did sugar find its way into almost all the food we eat, fostering illness and ecological crisis along the way? The World of Sugar: How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment over 2,000 Years (Harvard UP, 2023) begins with the earliest evidence of sugar production. Through the Middle Ages, traders brought small quantities of the precious white crystals to rajahs, emperors, and caliphs. But after sugar crossed the Mediterranean to Europe, where cane could not be cultivated, demand spawned a brutal quest for supply. European cravings were satisfied by enslaved labour; two-thirds of the 12.5 million Africans taken across the Atlantic were destined for sugar plantations. By the twentieth century, sugar was a major source of calories in diets across Europe and North America. Sugar transformed life on every continent, creating and destroying whole cultures through industrialization, labour migration, and changes in diet. Sugar made fortunes, corrupted governments, and shaped the policies of technocrats. And it provoked freedom cries that rang with world-changing consequences. In Ulbe Bosma’s definitive telling, to understand sugar’s past is to glimpse the origins of our own world of corn syrup and ethanol and begin to see the threat that a not-so-simple commodity poses to our bodies, our environment, and our communities. Rituparna Patgiri is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/20/202329 minutes, 2 seconds
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Satish Kumar and Lorna Howarth, "Regenerative Learning: Nurturing People and Caring for the Planet" (Salt Desert Media, 2022)

Be The Change! Are you a policy maker? Parent? Teacher? Regenerative Learning: Nurturing People and Caring for the Planet (Salt Desert Media, 2022) is full of fresh ideas as well as practical solutions. Learn how we can make the whole world of education more inspiring - and more green. Education can be - and it should be - more inspiring, holistic, integrated, creative, and joyous! And that isn't a mere pipe dream.  This book will help you to achieve it. Published for the 30th anniversary of Schumacher College, this collection of independently-written essays is on a subject of urgent importance for a world afflicted by climate change, inequality, mass disadvantage, and pandemics. Schumacher College is synonymous with the effort to create a model of learning that develops alumni who have the skills and passions that will make the contemporary world a better place. Contributors include: Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Orr, Charles Eisenstein, Gunter Pauli, Anthony Seldon, Jon Alexander, Alan Boldon, Pavel Cenkl, Lauren Elizabeth Clare, Joseph Bharat Cornell, Guy Dauncey, Alan Dyer, Natalia Eernstman, Guillem Ferrer, Herbert Girardet, Donald Gray, Stephan Harding, Ina Matijevic, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Dana Littlepage Smith, Isabel Losada, Thakur S. Powdyel, and Colin Tudge. Satish Kumar is one of the editors of Regenerative Learning and is also the author of many other books, most recently Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well and out this year Radical Love: From Separation to Connection with the Earth, Each Other, and Ourselves. Satish is also the founder of the Schumacher College and The Small School, as well as Editor Emeritus of Resurgence & Ecologist. Madden Gilhooly is a humanities public-school teacher and casual academic based in London, England. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/19/202339 minutes, 5 seconds
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Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America's Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World

America's once-vibrant small-to-midsize cities--Syracuse, Worcester, Akron, Flint, Rockford, and others--increasingly resemble urban wastelands. Gutted by deindustrialization, outsourcing, and middle-class flight, disproportionately devastated by metro freeway systems that laid waste to the urban fabric and displaced the working poor, small industrial cities seem to be part of America's past, not its future. And yet, Catherine Tumber argues in this provocative book, America's gritty Rust Belt cities could play a central role in a greener, low-carbon, relocalized future. As we wean ourselves from fossil fuels and realize the environmental costs of suburban sprawl, we will see that small cities offer many assets for sustainable living not shared by their big city or small town counterparts, including population density and nearby, fertile farmland available for new environmentally friendly uses. Tumber traveled to twenty-five cities in the Northeast and Midwest--from Buffalo to Peoria to Detroit to Rochester--interviewing planners, city officials, and activists, and weaving their stories into this exploration of small-scale urbanism. Smaller cities can be a critical part of a sustainable future and a productive green economy. Small, Gritty, and Green will help us develop the moral and political imagination we need to realize this. Catherine Tumber, a journalist and historian, is the author of American Feminism and the Birth of New Age Spirituality: Searching for the Higher Self, 1875–1915. She is a Research Affiliate in the Community Innovators Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/18/202312 minutes, 43 seconds
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Indra’s Net and the Midas Touch: Living Sustainably in a Connected World

We live today in a global web of interdependence, connected technologically, economically, politically, and socially. As a result of these expanding and deepening interdependencies, it has become impossible fully to control--or foretell--the effects of our actions. The world is rife with unintended consequences. The first law of human ecology--which declares that we can never do merely one thing--is a truth we ignore at our peril. In Indra's Net and the Midas Touch, Leslie Paul Thiele explores the impact of interdependence and unintended consequences on our pursuit of sustainability. Unfortunately, good intentions provide no antidote to the law of unintended consequences, and proffered cures often prove worse than the disease. Biofuels developed for the purpose of reducing carbon emissions, for example, have had the unintended effect of cutting off food supplies to the needy and destroying rain forests. We must fundamentally transform our patterns of thinking and behavior. Thiele offers the intellectual and moral foundations for this transformation, drawing from ecology, ethics, technology, economics, politics, psychology, physics, and metaphysics. Awareness of our interconnectedness, he writes, stimulates creativity and community; it is a profound responsibility and a blessing beyond measure. Leslie Paul Thiele is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Director of Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida. He is the author of Environmentalism for a New Millennium: The Challenge of Coevolution, The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative, and other books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/16/202314 minutes, 43 seconds
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The Silent Epidemic: Coal and the Hidden Threat to Health

We will not find “exposure to burning coal” listed as the cause of death on a single death certificate, but tens of thousands of deaths from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses are clearly linked to coal-derived pollution. As politicians and advertising campaigns extol the virtues of “clean coal,” the dirty secret is that coal kills. In The Silent Epidemic, Alan Lockwood, a physician, describes and documents the adverse health effects of burning coal. Lockwood's comprehensive treatment examines every aspect of coal, from its complex chemical makeup to details of mining, transporting, burning, and disposal—each of which generates significant health concerns. He describes coal pollution's effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, and how these problems will only get worse; explains the impact of global warming on coal-related health problems; and discusses possible policy approaches to combat coal pollution. Coal fueled the industrial revolution and has become a major source of energy in virtually every country. In the United States, almost half of the energy used to generate electricity comes from burning coal. Relatively few people are aware of the health threats posed by coal-derived pollutants, and those who are aware lack the political clout of the coal industry. Lockwood's straightforward description of coal as a health hazard is especially timely, given the barrage of marketing efforts to promote coal as part of “energy independence.” His message is clear and urgent: “Coal-fired plants make people sick and die, particularly children and those with chronic illnesses, and they cost society huge amounts of money desperately needed for other purposes.” Alan H. Lockwood, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Nuclear Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the lead author of a Physicians for Social Responsibility report on coal’s adverse health effects. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/15/202314 minutes, 21 seconds
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Vinod Thomas, "Risk and Resilience in the Era of Climate Change" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023)

Vinod Thomas' book Risk and Resilience in the Era of Climate Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) presents essential insights on the interaction between rising risks and raising the bar for resilience during the climate crisis. Its timeliness lies in applying important findings on risk and resilience to runaway climate change. When risk and resilience are brought together in the context of climate catastrophes, three key messages emerge. The first is that accounting for the root causes of these calamities, and not just their symptoms, is essential to slowing the spike in these events. It is therefore vital to link carbon emissions from human activity to the sharp rise in climate disasters globally. The second is that growth economics and policy must factor in the failure of governments and businesses to tackle spillover harm from economic activities, as seen dramatically with global warming. With climate risks rising, this calls for a fundamental revision in the teaching and practice of business and economics. And third, prevention must become a far bigger part of resilience building, with greater preparedness for more intense destruction built into interventions. This emphasis on prevention deems disaster recovery as not just returning to how things were but building back 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
8/14/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 19 seconds
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Satsuki Takahashi, "Fukushima Futures: Survival Stories in a Repeatedly Ruined Seascape" (U Washington Press, 2023)

Both before and after the 2011 "Triple Disaster" of earthquake, tidal wave, and consequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, anthropologist Satsuki Takahashi visited nearby communities, collecting accounts of life and livelihoods along the industrialized seascape. The resulting environmental ethnography examines the complex relationship between commercial fishing families and the Joban Sea--once known for premium-quality fish and now notorious as the location of the world's worst nuclear catastrophe.  Satsuki Takahashi's book Fukushima Futures: Survival Stories in a Repeatedly Ruined Seascape (U Washington Press, 2023) follows postwar Japan's maritime modernization from the perspectives of those most entangled with its successes and failures. In response to unrelenting setbacks, including an earlier nuclear accident at neighboring Tokaimura and the oil spills of stranded tankers during typhoons, these communities have developed survival strategies shaped by the precarity they share with their marine ecosystem. The collaborative resilience that emerges against this backdrop of vulnerability and uncertainty challenges the progress-bound logic of futurism, bringing more hopeful possibilities for the future into sharper focus. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/12/202353 minutes, 1 second
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Boaventura de Sousa Santos, "From the Pandemic to Utopia: The Future Begins Now" (Routledge, 2023)

The coronavirus pandemic forces us to rethink our contemporaneity. It has brought to the surface dimensions of human fragility that partially contradict the euphoria and human hubris of the fourth industrial revolution (artificial intelligence). It has also aggravated the social inequality and racial discrimination that characterize our societies. In From the Pandemic to Utopia: The Future Begins Now (Routledge, 2023) by Dr. Boaventura De Sousa Santos argues that the virus, rather than an enemy, must be viewed as a pedagogue. It is trying to teach us that the deep causes of the pandemic lie in our dominant mode of production and consumption. The systemic overload of natural resources creates a metabolic rift between society and nature that destabilizes the habitat of wild animals and the vital cycles of natural regeneration whereby pandemics become an increasingly recurrent phenomenon. In trying to take seriously this lesson the book proposes a paradigmatic shift from the current civilizatory model to a new one guided by a more equitable relationship between nature and society and the priority of life, both human and non-human. 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
8/11/202352 minutes, 11 seconds
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Stevan Harrell, "An Ecological History of Modern China" (U Washington Press, 2023)

Is environmental degradation an inevitable result of economic development? Can ecosystems be restored once government officials and the public are committed to doing so? These questions are at the heart of Stevan Harrell's An Ecological History of Modern China (University of Washington Press, 2023), a comprehensive account of China's transformation since the founding of the People's Republic from the perspective not of the economy but of the biophysical world. Examples throughout illustrate how agricultural, industrial, and urban development have affected the resilience of China's ecosystems—their ability to withstand disturbances and additional growth—and what this means for the country's future. Drawing on decades of research, Harrell demonstrates the local and global impacts of China's miraculous rise. In clear and accessible prose, An Ecological History of Modern China untangles the paradoxes of development and questions the possibility of a future that is both prosperous and sustainable. It is a critical resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in environmental change, Chinese history, and sustainable development. Stevan Harrell is professor emeritus of anthropology and environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington. His many books include Ways of Being Ethnic in Southwest China. Twitter. Website. 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
8/8/202357 minutes, 43 seconds
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Simone M. Müller, "The Toxic Ship: The Voyage of the Khian Sea and the Global Waste Trade" (U Washington Press, 2023)

In 1986 the Khian Sea, carrying thousands of tons of incinerator ash from Philadelphia, began a two-year journey, roaming the world's oceans in search of a dumping ground. Its initial destination and then country after country refused to accept the waste. The ship ended up dumping part of its load in Haiti under false pretenses, and the remaining waste was illegally dumped in the ocean. Two shipping company officials eventually received criminal convictions. In The Toxic Ship: The Voyage of the Khian Sea and the Global Waste Trade (University of Washington Press, 2023), Simone M. Müller uses the ship's voyage as a lens to elucidate the global trade in hazardous waste—the movement of material ranging from outdated consumer products and pesticides to barges filled with all sorts of toxic discards—from the 1970s to the present day, exploring the story's international nodes and detailing the downside of environmental conscientiousness among industrial nations as waste is pushed outward. Müller also highlights the significance of the trip's start in Philadelphia, a city with a significant African American population. The geographical origins shed light on environmental racism within the United States in the context of the global story of environmental justice. Activism in response to the ship's journey set an important precedent, and this book brings together the many voices that shaped the international trade in hazardous waste. Simone M. Müller is DFG Heisenberg Professor for Global Environmental History and Environmental Humanities at the University of Augsburg, Germany and the author of Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks.  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
8/8/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 2 seconds
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Richard C. Hoffmann, "The Catch: An Environmental History of Medieval European Fisheries" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

The Catch: An Environmental History of Medieval European Fisheries (Cambridge UP, 2023) provides a comprehensive examination of European engagement with aquatic systems between c. 500 and 1500 CE. Using textual, zooarchaeological, and natural records, Richard C. Hoffmann's unique study spans marine and freshwater fisheries across western Christendom, discusses effects of human-nature relations and presents a deeper understanding of evolving European aquatic ecosystems.  Changing climates, landscapes, and fishing pressures affected local stocks enough to shift values of fish, fishing rights, and dietary expectations. Readers learn what the abbess Waldetrudis in seventh-century Hainault, King Ramiro II (d.1157) of Aragon, and thirteenth-century physician Aldebrandin of Siena shared with English antiquarian William Worcester (d. 1482), and the young Martin Luther growing up in Germany soon thereafter. Sturgeon and herring, carp, cod, and tuna played distinctive roles. Hoffmann highlights how encounters between medieval Europeans and fish had consequences for society and the environment - then and now. Richard Hoffmann is Professor Emeritus in History at York University, Toronto, and author of the acclaimed An Environmental History of Medieval Europe. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/7/202359 minutes, 58 seconds
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Flora Samuel, "Housing for Hope and Wellbeing" (Routledge, 2022)

Housing and neighborhoods have an important contribution to make to our wellbeing and our sense of our place in the world. Housing for Hope and Wellbeing (Routledge, 2023), written for a lay audience (with policy makers firmly in mind) offers a useful and intelligible overview of our housing system and why it is in ‘crisis’ while acting as an important reminder of how housing contributes to social value, defined as community, health, self development and identity. It argues for a holistic digital map-based planning system that allows for the sensitive balancing of the triple bottom line of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic value. It sets out a vision of what our housing system could look like if we really put the wellbeing of people and planet first, as well as a route map on how to get there. Written primarily from the point of view of an architect, the account weaves across industry, practice, and academia cross-cutting disciplines to provide an integrated view of the field. The book focuses on the UK housing scene but draws on and provides lessons for housing cultures across the globe. Illustrated throughout with case studies, this is the go-to book for anyone who wants to look at housing in a holistic way. Flora Samuel is Professor of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. She helped set up the new School of Architecture at the University of Reading and is former Head of the University of Sheffield School of Architecture and the first RIBA Vice President for Research. The author of Why Architects Matter: Evidencing and Communicating the Value of Architects (Routledge, 2018) she has spent the last decade researching the positive impact of good design on people. Her interests are now moving to land use and social justice, both key to addressing climate change. She is well known as an industry advisor on the social value of the design of housing and places and a strong advocate of social value mapping. She is also known for her unorthodox writings on Le Corbusier, about whom she has published extensively. A mother of three daughters, she is based in Wales. Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion, and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/7/202359 minutes, 32 seconds
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Cindy McCulligh, "Sewer of Progress: Corporations, Institutionalized Corruption, and the Struggle for the Santiago River" (MIT Press, 2023)

For almost two decades, the citizens of Western Mexico have called for a cleanup of the Santiago River, a water source so polluted it emanates an overwhelming acidic stench. Toxic clouds of foam lift off the river in a strong wind. In Sewer of Progress: Corporations, Institutionalized Corruption, and the Struggle for the Santiago River (MIT Press, 2023), Cindy McCulligh examines why industrial dumping continues in the Santiago despite the corporate embrace of social responsibility and regulatory frameworks intended to mitigate environmental damage. The fault, she finds, lies in a disingenuous discourse of progress and development that privileges capitalist growth over the health and well-being of ecosystems. Rooted in research on institutional behavior and corporate business practices, Sewer of Progress exposes a type of regulatory greenwashing that allows authorities to deflect accusations of environmental dumping while "regulated" dumping continues in an environment of legal certainty. For transnational corporations, this type of simulation allows companies to take advantage of double standards in environmental regulations, while presenting themselves as socially responsible and green global actors. Through this inversion, the Santiago and other rivers in Mexico have become sewers for urban and industrial waste. Institutionalized corruption, a concept McCulligh introduces in the book, is the main culprit, a system that permits and normalizes environmental degradation, specifically in the creation and enforcement of a regulatory framework for wastewater discharge that prioritizes private interests over the common good. Through a research paradigm based in institutional ethnography and political ecology, Sewer of Progress provides a critical, in-depth look at the power relations subverting the role of the state in environmental regulation and the maintenance of public health. Brad H. Wright is a historian of Latin America specializing in postrevolutionary Mexico. PhD in Public History. Asst. Prof. of Latin American History at Alabama A&M University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/6/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 43 seconds
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Erika Marie Bsumek, "The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam: Infrastructures of Dispossession on the Colorado Plateau" (U Texas Press, 2023)

The Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River provides electricity for some forty million people, and is one of the largest sources of water in the American West. It is also a testament to American settler colonialism, writes UT Austin history professor Erika Bsumek in The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam: Infrastructures of Dispossession on the Colorado Plateau (U Texas Press, 2023). This region of the Southwest has been inhabited and irrigated by Indigenous societies since time immemorial, groups which were only recently (and partially) dispossessed by LDS Church settlers and by the US government. Bsumek argues that the structures, both physical and social, which form the foundation of Glen Canyon Dam - including science, law, and religion - make it a blueprint for structural dispossession, and a model which the United States would use to claim valuable Native lands. Yet, a mammoth undertaking such as this cannot be built without massive environmental change, and from the very beginning, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike have questioned whether the dam was even necessary at all. In an era of warming climates and increasing droughts, Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam explains how we arrived at this moment of water crisis, and points to a path into an as-yet untapped 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
8/6/202356 minutes, 34 seconds
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Heather White, "One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet" (Harper Horizon, 2022)

The climate crisis and its resulting eco-anxiety is the biggest challenge of our time. The anxiety that comes with worrying about how environmental harm will impact our—and our children’s—lives can be overwhelming. Learn how to balance practicing daily sustainability actions while caring for your own eco-anxiety in this revolutionary book from noted environmentalist Heather White. In One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet (Harper Horizon, 2022), White shows you how to contribute to the climate movement through self-discovery and self-care. Utilizing the Service Superpower Profile Assessment included in the text, you’ll discover how your personality, interests, and strengths can be of service to others and the planet. This book will serve as your guide to: Begin a 21-Day Kickstarter Plan that shares specific sustainable actions you can take Track your progress with journal prompts and exercises that’ll help you measure mental health benefits Listen and talk with loved ones about their climate anxiety Commit to being an eco-aware individual and inspire your family, friends, and community to work toward a regenerative, sustainable world Setting the intention each day to take a small step— a "one green thing" to care for the planet—can help ease your eco-anxiety, push the culture toward climate solutions, and create a sense of joy. Heather White is a changemaker, an environment policy expert, an environmental lawyer, a writer, a motivational speaker, a nonprofit executive, and has been a Senate staffer. Karyne Messina is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and am on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Resurgence of Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy (Routledge, 2022). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
8/5/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 56 seconds
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Omolade Adunbi, "Enclaves of Exception: Special Economic Zones and Extractive Practices in Nigeria" (Indiana UP, 2022)

How do we measure and truly grasp the sweeping social and environmental effects of an oil-based economy?  Focusing on the special economic zones resulting from China's trading partnership with Nigeria, Enclaves of Exception: Special Economic Zones and Extractive Practices in Nigeria (Indiana UP, 2022) offers a new approach to exploring the relationship between oil and technologies of extraction and their interrelatedness to local livelihoods and environmental practices. In this groundbreaking work, Omolade Adunbi argues that even though the exploitation of oil resources is dominated by big corporations, it establishes opportunities for many former Nigerian insurgents and their local communities to contest the ownership of such resources in the oil-rich Niger Delta and to extract oil themselves and sell it. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Enclaves of Exception makes clear that, although both the free trade zones and the now booming local artisanal refineries share the goals of profit-making and are enthusiastically supported by those benefiting from them economically, they have yielded dramatically the same environmental outcome for communities around them that included pollution with precarious effects on the health of the populations in the regions, and displacement of population from their livelihood practices. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
7/31/202341 minutes, 53 seconds
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Sarah E. Vaughn, "Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation" (Duke UP, 2022)

Sarah E. Vaughn’s Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation (Duke UP, 2022) examines climate adaptation strategies that upend the neat divisions of linear temporality separate the past, present, and the future, and shows how multiple temporalities co-exist in the pressing sense of crisis that engulfs coastal spaces vulnerable to flooding. Her ethnographic account takes us to Guyana in the aftermath of the 2005 catastrophic floods that ravaged the country’s Atlantic coastal plain. The country’s ensuing engineering projects reveal the contingencies of climate adaptation and the capacity of flooding to shape Guyanese expectations about racial (in)equalities as seen through the lens of ‘apan jaat’ (loosely translated from Hindi/Bhojpuri to for our kind or community), which has been the dominant political ideology creating a divide between the Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese diasporas, in the postcolonial independent nation-state, that has been the site of both plantation slavery and indentured labor during the colonial period. Analyzing the coproduction of race and vulnerability, Vaughn details why climate adaptation has implications for the limits of ideologies such as ‘apan jaat’ and demands newer forms of political ideation and action. Such understandings become particularly apparent not only through engineering experts’ and ordinary citizens’ disputes over resources but in their attention to bringing ethical questions to bear on the technoscientific climate adaptation projects. Vaughn offers us a complex and compelling narrative that begins from the local, personal, and deeply material aspects of climate adaptation from the Global South while never losing sight of the stakes for these struggles on the global and planetary stages—showing how questions of environmental justice are inextricably tied to questions of historical racialization. Archit Guha is a PhD researcher in the Duke University History Department. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
7/29/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 15 seconds
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Vincanne Adams, "Glyphosate and the Swirl: An Agroindustrial Chemical on the Move" (Duke UP, 2023)

Vincanne Adams's book Glyphosate and the Swirl: An Agroindustrial Chemical on the Move (Duke UP, 2023) is part of a broader trend in anthropology that is developing new methods and techniques to study our increasingly polluted and toxic world. Adams takes Glyphosate as a case study and follows this chemical as it moves from the past to the present, from the lab to the dinner table, from outside our bodies, to within our cells to grapple with what it is to live in such an entangled world.   Adams explores the chemical glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup and a pervasive agricultural herbicide—as a predicament of contested science and chemically saturated life. Adams traces the history of glyphosate’s invention and its multiple uses as activists, regulators, scientists, clinicians, consumers, and sick people try to determine its safety and harm. Scientific and political debates over glyphosate’s toxicity are agitated into a swirl—a condition in which certainty is continually contested, divided, and multiplied. This movement replicates the chemical’s movement in soils, foods, bodies, archives, labs, and legislative bodies, settling in some places here and in other places there, its potencies changing and altering what it touches with different scales and kinds of impact. The swirl is both an artifact of academic capitalism, activist tactics, and contested scientific facts and a way to capture the complexity of contemporary life with chemicals. Prof. Vincanne Adams, is professor Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Elliott M. Reichardt, MPhil, is a PhD Candidate in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University. Elliott's research interests are in capitalism, colonialism, and socio-ecological health in North America. Elliott also has long standing interests in medical anthropology and the history of science and medicine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
7/25/202357 minutes, 28 seconds
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Marco Grasso, "From Big Oil to Big Green: Holding the Oil Industry to Account for the Climate Crisis" (MIT Press, 2022)

In From Big Oil to Big Green: Holding the Oil Industry to Account for the Climate Crisis (MIT Press, 2022), Professor Marco Grasso examines the responsibility of the oil and gas industry for the climate crisis and develops a moral framework that lays out its duties of reparation and decarbonization to allay the harm it has done. By framing climate change as a moral issue and outlining the industry's obligation to tackle it, Grasso shows that Big Oil is a central, yet overlooked, agent of climate ethics and policy. Isobel Akerman is a History PhD student at the University of Cambridge studying biodiversity and botanic gardens. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
7/13/202335 minutes, 30 seconds
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Simone Ferracina, "Ecologies of Inception: Design Potentials on a Warming Planet" (Routledge, 2022)

Responding to increasing levels of planetary pollution, waste generation, carbon dioxide emission and environmental collapse, Simone Ferracina's book Ecologies of Inception: Design Potentials on a Warming Planet (Routledge, 2022) re-thinks potentiality―an object’s ability to change―in architecture and design. The book problematizes the still-prevailing modern paradigm of design practice: the technical tabula rasa, a tendency to begin from scratch and use raw, amorphous, and obedient materials that can be easily and effectively manipulated, facilitating a seamless and faithful embodiment of intentions. Instead, the philosophy of design developed in the text prompts―through a variety of case studies, thinkers, and disciplines―a collective reconsideration of value, dissociating it from the projects and signatures of any one author or generation. Whereas the merits of up-cycling and circular design are canonically defined vis-à-vis status-quo economic and socio-cultural orthodoxies, this project unpacks the theoretical assumptions that underpin these practices, showing that they perpetuate the same biases and exclusions that generate waste in the first place. As an alternative, the book introduces a nodal and exaptive paradigm for design: a conceptual and methodological toolset for engaging the durational and anthropocenic materiality of the third millennium, and for radically prioritizing practices of maintenance, reuse, care, and co-option. This approach, which is inspired by (and builds upon) evolutionary biology, technological disobedience, queer use, adaptive reuse, experimental preservation, and improvisational practices such as collage, adhocism, bricolage, and kit-bashing, refuses to reduce pre-existing material substrates to abstract lists of properties or featureless lumps, encountering them on their own terms―as situated individuals and co-authors. Ecologies of Inception will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, educators, and professional architects and designers interested in sustainable design and seeking to develop conceptual and design tools commensurate with the magnitude and urgency of the climate emergency. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
7/8/202329 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Future of Oceans: A Discussion with Chris Armstrong

Amidst all the talk of a green revolution what about the blue stuff? There are the seas that will wash over inhabited land, there’s the sea economy with fisherman and cargo crews facing hard times and, amidst all the debate about animal rights, where do sea creatures fit in? Professor Chris Armstrong author of A Blue New Deal: Why We Need a New Politics for the Ocean (Yale UP, 2022) with Owen Bennett Jones. 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
7/3/202336 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Bubble Economy: Is Sustainable Growth Possible?

The global economy has become increasingly, perhaps chronically, unstable. Since 2008, we have heard about the housing bubble, subprime mortgages, banks “too big to fail,” financial regulation (or the lack of it), and the European debt crisis. Wall Street has discovered that it is more profitable to make money from other people's money than by investing in the real economy, which has limited access to capital—resulting in slow growth and rising inequality. What we haven't heard much about is the role of natural resources—energy in particular—as drivers of economic growth, or the connection of “global warming” to the economic crisis. In The Bubble Economy, Robert Ayres—an economist and physicist—connects economic instability to the economics of energy. Ayres describes, among other things, the roots of our bubble economy (including the divergent influences of Senator Carter Glass—of the Glass-Steagall Law—and Ayn Rand); the role of energy in the economy, from the “oil shocks” of 1971 and 1981 through the Iraq wars; the early history of bubbles and busts; the end of Glass-Steagall; climate change; and the failures of austerity. Finally, Ayres offers a new approach to trigger economic growth. The rising price of fossil fuels (notwithstanding “fracking”) suggests that renewable energy will become increasingly profitable. Ayres argues that government should redirect private savings and global finance away from home ownership and toward “de-carbonization”—investment in renewables and efficiency. Large-scale investment in sustainability will achieve a trifecta: lowering greenhouse gas emissions, stimulating innovation-based economic growth and employment, and offering long-term investment opportunities that do not depend on risky gambling strategies with derivatives. Robert U. Ayres, an American-born physicist and economist, is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Political Science at INSEAD, the international graduate business school. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including (with Benjamin Warr) The Economic Growth Engine: How Energy and Work Drive Prosperity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/30/202316 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas

Like wolves, orcas have been loved and loathed throughout history. What created this complicated relationship between humans and whales? And have we changed our attitudes toward them and their habitat needs in time to save them? Science writer and biologist Hanne Strager joins us to share: How a conversation in a cafeteria led her to remote corners of the world. Why her sister helped her be in two places at once. How she learned about whale dialects. Why the loss of a pod member matters so much. A discussion of the book The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023). Today’s book is: The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas, by Hanne Strager, which opens as intrepid biology student Hanne Strager volunteers to be the cook on a small research vessel in Norway's Lofoten Islands. This trip would inspire a decades-long journey to learn about the lives of killer whales—and an exploration of people's complex relationships with the biggest predators on earth. In The Killer Whale Journals, Strager brings us along with her as she battles the stormy Arctic seas of northern Norway with fellow biologists intent on decoding whale-song and dialects, interviews First Nations conservationists in Vancouver, observes Inuit hunters in Greenland, and witnesses the dismantling of black market "whale jails" in the Russian wilderness of Kamchatka. Featuring photographs from Paul Nicklen, The Killer Whale Journals reveals rare and intimate moments of connection with these fierce, brilliant predators. Our guest is: Hanne Strager, who is a biologist, whale researcher, and the future Director of Exhibitions and Visitor Experience at The Whale, a museum in Norway set to open in 2025. She cofounded a whale center in Norway and has served as the Director of Exhibitions at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. She is the author of A Modest Genius: The Story of Darwin’s Life and How His Ideas Changed Everything, and The Killer Whale Journals: Our Love and Fear of Orcas. Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who holds a PhD in American history. She has served as creator and producer of the Academic Life since she launched it in 2020. The Academic Life is proud to be an academic partner of New Books Network. Listeners to this episode may also be interested in: This episode on wasps with Seirian Sumner This episode on Climate Change with Dr. Shuang-ye Wu This episode on why time spent in nature is good for you This episode on how our pets are family members This episode on gender bias in the study of science This episode on gender bias in medical school and the ER Welcome to the Academic Life! Join us here each week to learn from experts inside and outside the academy, and around the world, and embrace the broad definition of what it truly means to live an academic life. Missed any of the 150+ Academic Life episodes? You can find them all archived here. And check back soon: we’re busy in the studio preparing new episodes for your academic journey—and beyond! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/29/20231 hour, 19 seconds
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Erik Kojola, "Mining the Heartland: Nature, Place, and Populism on the Iron Range" (NYU Press, 2023)

On an unseasonably warm October afternoon in Saint Paul, hundreds of people gathered to protest the construction of a proposed copper-nickel mine in the rural northern part of their state. The crowd eagerly listened to speeches on how the project would bring long-term risks and potentially pollute the drinking water for current and future generations. A year later, another proposed mining project became the subject of a public hearing in a small town near the proposed site. But this time, local politicians and union leaders praised the mine proposal as an asset that would strengthen working-class communities in Minnesota. In many rural American communities, there is profound tension around the preservation and protection of wilderness and the need to promote and profit from natural resources. In Mining the Heartland: Nature, Place, and Populism on the Iron Range (NYU Press, 2023), Erik Kojola looks at both sides of these populist movements and presents a thoughtful account of how such political struggles play out. Drawing on over a hundred ethnographic interviews with people of the region, from members of labor unions to local residents to scientists, Kojola is able to bring this complex struggle over mining to life. Focusing on both pro- and anti-mining groups, he expands upon what this conflict reveals about the way whiteness and masculinity operate among urban and rural residents, and the different ways in which class, race, and gender shape how people relate to the land. Mining the Heartland shows the negotiation and conflict between two central aspects of the state's culture and economy: outdoor recreation in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes and the lucrative mining of the Iron Range. Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is the author of The Social Construction of a Cultural Spectacle: Floatzilla (Lexington Books, 2023) and Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River (Lexington, 2022). His general area of study is about the construction of place in tourist cities and about the people who reside there. He is currently conducting research for his next project on the social construction of tourist cities. To learn more about Michael O. Johnston you can go to his website, Google Scholar, Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/23/202331 minutes, 13 seconds
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Illuminations Episode 9: Rituals for a Dying World

Absorbing the full reality of climate change will require more than a scientific approach. Some American Jews are showing how religious ritual can help us metabolize catastrophic grief while also pointing towards a future rebirth. Guests: -Jennie Rosenn, Founder & CEO of Dayenu -Andrue Kahn, Central Synagogue -Malkah Binah Klein, Community leader This episode was produced by Liya Rechtman. Zachary Davis is the host of Ministry of Ideas and Writ Large and the Editor-in-Chief of Radiant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/22/202323 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Environmental Unconscious

Steven Swarbrick talks about poetic engagement with nature in the work of early modern poets ​​Edmund Spenser, Walter Ralegh, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton. Here language is influenced not by the manifest and the conscious, but the unconscious or void, as understood in Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. This work is the basis for his hope for a reorganization of thought in contemporary ecocriticism around a politics of degrowth instead of additive policies that serve to greenwash capitalist economies. Steven Swarbrick is an assistant professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York. His research interests include early modern literature, contemporary continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, the environmental humanities, and sexuality and film studies. He is the author of The Environmental Unconscious: Ecological Poetics from Spenser to Milton (University of Minnesota Press, 2023) and co-author, with Jean-Thomas Tremblay, of Negative Life: The Cinema of Extinction (Northwestern University Press, under contract). He is currently working on two books: Unknowing Sex: Shakespeare against the Historicists and Destituent Ecology: Libidinal Politics for the Environmental Left. Image: © 2023 Saronik Bosu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/20/202321 minutes, 53 seconds
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Leela Fernandes, "Governing Water in India: Inequality, Reform, and the State" (U Washington Press, 2022)

Intensifying droughts and competing pressures on water resources foreground water scarcity as an urgent concern of the global climate change crisis. In India, individual, industrial, and agricultural water demands exacerbate inequities of access and expose the failures of state governance to regulate use. State policies and institutions influenced by global models of reform produce and magnify socio-economic injustice in this "water bureaucracy." Drawing on historical records, an analysis of post-liberalization developments, and fieldwork in the city of Chennai, Leela Fernandes traces the configuration of colonial historical legacies, developmental-state policies, and economic reforms that strain water resources and intensify inequality. While reforms of water governance promote privatization and decentralization, they strengthen the state centralized control over water through city-based development models. Understanding the political economy of water thus illuminates the consequent failures of the state within countries of the Global South. Governing Water in India: Inequality, Reform, and the State (U Washington Press, 2022) is available open access here.  Anubha Anushree is a Lecturer at the COLLEGE Program, Stanford University. She could be reached at [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/17/202337 minutes, 9 seconds
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Josh Milburn, "Food, Justice, and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully" (Oxford UP, 2023)

How would we eat if animals had rights? A standard assumption is that our food systems would be plant-based. But maybe we should reject this assumption. Indeed, this book argues that a future non-vegan food system would be permissible on an animal rights view. It might even be desirable. In Food, Justice, and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully (Oxford University Press, 2023), Josh Milburn questions if the vegan food system risks cutting off many people's pursuit of the 'good life', risks exacerbating food injustices, and risks negative outcomes for animals. If so, then maybe non-vegan food systems would be preferable to vegan food systems, if they could respect animal rights. Could they? The author provides a rigorous analysis of the ethics of farming invertebrates, producing plant-based meats, developing cultivated animal products, and co-working with animals on genuinely humane farms, arguing that these possibilities offer the chance for a food system that is non-vegan, but nonetheless respects animals' rights. He argues that there is a way for us to have our cake, and eat it too, because we can have our cow, and eat her too. Josh Milburn is a British philosopher and a Lecturer in Political Philosophy at Loughborough University. He has previously worked at the University of Sheffield, the University of York, and Queen's University (in Canada), before which he studied at Queen's University Belfast and Lancaster University. He is the author of Just Fodder: The Ethics of Feeding Animals (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022), and the regular host of the animal studies podcast Knowing Animals. Kyle Johannsen is a philosophy instructor at Trent University and Wilfrid Laurier University. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/15/20231 hour, 16 minutes
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Simon Sharpe, "Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

We need to act five times faster to avoid dangerous climate change. As Greenland melts, Australia burns, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we think we know who the villains are: oil companies, consumerism, weak political leaders. But what if the real blocks to progress are the ideas and institutions that are supposed to be helping us?  Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change (Cambridge UP, 2023) is an inside story from Simon Sharpe, who has spent ten years at the forefront of climate change policy and diplomacy. In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change, science is pulling its punches, diplomacy is picking the wrong battles, and economics has been fighting for the other side. This provocative and engaging book sets out how we should rethink our strategies and reorganise our efforts in the fields of science, economics, and diplomacy, so that we can act fast enough to stay safe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/14/202330 minutes, 22 seconds
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Stephen G. Gross, "Energy and Power: Germany in the Age of Oil, Atoms, and Climate Change" (Oxford UP, 2023)

Since the 1990s, Germany has embarked on a daring campaign to restructure its energy system around renewable power, sparking a global revolution in solar and wind technology. But this pioneering energy transition has been plagued with problems. In Energy and Power: Germany in the Age of Oil, Atoms, and Climate Change (Oxford UP, 2023), Stephen G. Gross explains the deeper origins of the Energiewende--Germany's transition to green energy--and offers the first comprehensive history of German energy and climate policy from World War II to the present. The book follows the Federal Republic as it passed through five energy transitions from the dramatic shift to oil that nearly wiped out the nation's hard coal sector, to the oil shocks and the rise of the Green movement in the 1970s and 1980s, the co-creation of a natural gas infrastructure with Russia, and the transition to renewable power today. He shows how debates over energy profoundly shaped the course of German history and influenced the landmark developments that define modern Europe. As Gross argues, the intense and early politicization of energy led the Federal Republic to diverge from the United States and rethink its fossil economy well before global warming became a public issue, building a green energy system in the name of many social goals. Yet Germany's experience also illustrates the difficulty, the political battles, and the unintended consequences that surround energy transitions. By combining economy theory with a study of interest groups, ideas, and political mobilization, Energy and Power offers a novel explanation for why energy transitions happen. Further, it provides a powerful lens to move beyond conventional debates on Germany's East-West divide, or its postwar engagement with the Holocaust, to explore how this nation has shaped the contemporary world in other important ways. Stephen G. Gross is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center of European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University. Filippo De Chirico, History and Politics of Energy at Roma Tre University (Italy) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/13/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 25 seconds
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Tessa Farmer, "Well Connected: Everyday Water Practices in Cairo" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023)

Who is responsible for ensuring access to clean potable water? In an urbanizing planet beset by climate change, cities are facing increasingly arid conditions and a precarious water future. In Well Connected: Everyday Water Practices in Cairo (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023), anthropologist Tessa Farmer details how one community in Cairo, Egypt, has worked collaboratively to adapt the many systems required to facilitate clean water in their homes and neighborhoods. As a community that was originally not included in Cairo's municipal systems, the residents of Ezbet Khairallah built their own potable water and wastewater infrastructure. But when the city initiated a piped sewage removal system, local residents soon found themselves with little to no power over their own water supply or wastewater removal. Throughout this transition, residents worked together to collect water at the right times to drink, bathe, do laundry, cook, and clean homes. These everyday practices had deep implications for the health of community members, as they struggled to remain hydrated, rid their children of endemic intestinal worms, avoid consuming water contaminated with sewage, and mediate the impact of fluctuating water quality. Farmer examines how the people of Cairo interact with one another, with the government, and with social structures in order to navigate the water systems (and lack thereof) that affect their day-to-day lives. Farmer's extensive ethnographic fieldwork during the implementation of the Governorate of Cairo's septic system shines through in the compelling stories of community members. Well Connected taps into the inherent sociality of water through social contacts, moral ideology, interpersonal relationships, domestic rhythms, and the everyday labor of connecting. Tessa Farmer is Associate Professor at the University of Virginia in the Anthropology Department and the program in Global Studies, where she directs the Global Studies–Middle East & South Asia track within the Global Studies major. Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University, focusing on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/8/202342 minutes, 22 seconds
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Tobias Ide, "Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints: How Disasters Shape the Dynamics of Armed Conflicts" (MIT Press, 2023)

Armed conflict and natural disasters have plagued the twenty-first century. Not since the end of World War II has the number of armed conflicts been higher. At the same time, natural disasters have increased in frequency and intensity over the past two decades, their impacts worsened by climate change, urbanization, and persistent social and economic inequalities. Providing the first comprehensive analysis of the interplay between natural disasters and armed conflict, Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints: How Disasters Shape the Dynamics of Armed Conflicts (MIT Press, 2023) explores the extent to which disasters facilitate the escalation or abatement of armed conflicts—as well as the ways and contexts in which combatants exploit these catastrophes. Tobias Ide utilizes both qualitative insights and quantitative data to explain the link between disasters and the (de-)escalation of armed conflict and presents over thirty case studies of earthquakes, droughts, floods, and storms in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. He also examines the impact of COVID-19 on armed conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints is an invaluable addition to current debates on climate change, environmental stress, and security. Professionals and students will greatly appreciate the wealth of timely data it provides for their own investigations. Dr. Tobias Ide is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. His work broadly focuses on the intersections of environmental change and environmental politics with peace, conflict, and security. Sidney Michelini is a PhD student at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research with the FutureLab - Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration. His work focuses on how climate, climate shocks, and climate change impact conflicts of different types. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/7/202354 minutes, 34 seconds
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Amy Brady, "Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks--a Cool History of a Hot Commodity" (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2023)

Ice is everywhere: in gas stations, in restaurants, in hospitals, in our homes. Americans think nothing of dropping a few ice cubes into tall glasses of tea to ward off the heat of a hot summer day. Most refrigerators owned by Americans feature automatic ice machines. Ice on-demand has so revolutionized modern life that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way—and to overlook what aspects of society might just melt away as the planet warms.  In Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks--a Cool History of a Hot Commodity (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2023), journalist and historian Amy Brady shares the strange and storied two-hundred-year-old history of ice in America: from the introduction of mixed drinks “on the rocks,” to the nation’s first-ever indoor ice rink, to how delicacies like ice creams and iced tea revolutionized our palates, to the ubiquitous ice machine in every motel across the US. But Ice doesn’t end in the past. Brady also explores the surprising present-day uses of ice in sports, medicine, and sustainable energy—including cutting-edge cryotherapy breast-cancer treatments and new refrigerator technologies that may prove to be more energy efficient—underscoring how precious this commodity is, especially in an age of climate change. Amy Brady is the executive director of Orion magazine, a contributing editor for Scientific American, and coeditor of The World as We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate. Twitter. Website.  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
6/6/202335 minutes, 48 seconds
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Rob Marchant, "East Africa’s Human Environment Interactions: Historical Perspectives for a Sustainable Future" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)

East Africa’s Human Environment Interactions: Historical Perspectives for a Sustainable Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) is an ambitious integration of ecological, archaeological, anthropological land use sciences, drawing on human geography, demography and economics of development across the East Africa region. It focuses on understanding and unpicking the interactions that have taken place between the natural and unnatural history of the East African region and trace this interaction from the evolutionary foundations of our species (c. 200,000 years ago), through the outwards and inwards human migrations, often associated with the adoption of subsistence strategies, new technologies and the arrival of new crops.  The book will explore the impact of technological developments such as transitions to tool making, metallurgy, and the arrival of crops also involved an international dimension and waves of human migrations in and out of East Africa. Time will be presented with a widening focus that will frame the contemporary with a particular focus on the Anthropocene (last 500 years) to the present day. Many of the current challenges have their foundations in precolonial and colonial history and as such there will be a focus on how these have evolved and the impact on environmental and human landscapes. Moving into the Anthropocene era, there was increasing exposure to the International drivers of change, such as those associated with Ivory and slave trade. These international trade routes were tied into the ensuing decimation of elephant populations through to the exploitation of natural mineral resources have been sought after through to the present day. The book will provide a balanced perspective on the region, the people, and how the natural and unnatural histories have combined to create a dynamic region. These historical perspectives will be galvanized to outline the future changes and the challenges they will bring around such issues as sustainable development, space for wildlife and people, and the position of East Africa within a globalized world and how this is potentially going to evolve over the coming decades. Rob Marchant is Professor of Tropical Ecology in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, UK. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult sciences, and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/6/202358 minutes, 35 seconds
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Elizabeth Reddy, "¡Alerta!: Engineering on Shaky Ground" (MIT Press, 2023)

The Sistema de Alerta Sísmica Mexicano is the world’s oldest public earthquake early warning system. Given the unpredictability of earthquakes, the technology was designed to give the people of Mexico City more than a minute to prepare before the next big quake hits. How does this kind of environmental monitoring technology get built in the first place? How does its life-saving promise align with reality? And who shapes modern risk mitigation?  In ¡Alerta!: Engineering on Shaky Ground (MIT Press, 2023), Elizabeth Reddy surveys this innovation to shed light on what it means to imagine a world where sirens could sound out an ¡alerta sísmica! at any moment—and what it would be like to live in such a world. Proponents of earthquake early warnings have long held that the technology can save lives and limit economic losses. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and archival data, Reddy conducts a thorough, qualitative analysis of these claims and considers the requirements and uses of the alert system. She embeds her study in a rich narrative of the engineers who designed the system in conjunction with contingent political and environmental conditions. The result demonstrates how addressing earthquake dangers is no small task: it means trying to change relationships between the environment, society, and technology. Doing so, she critiques universalist and techno-centric approaches to hazard risk mitigation and celebrates the potential of contextually appropriate and broadly supported efforts. ¡Alerta! takes readers on a vivid journey into the world of Mexican earthquake risk mitigation, with critical insights for anthropologists and science and technology studies scholars, as well as specialists in the geosciences, engineering, and emergency management. Mentioned in this episode: Donna Riley’s interview with Lee Vinsel on the NBN Peoples & Things series. Elizabeth Reddy is Assistant Professor of Engineering, Design, & Society at the Colorado School of Mines, with a joint appointment in Geophysics. Liliana Gil is an anthropologist. She is incoming Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies (STS) at the Ohio State University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
6/2/202352 minutes, 15 seconds
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X-Risk: How Humanity Discovered Its Own Extinction

Matt Colquhoun (author/editor of Egress and Postcapitalist Desire) speaks to to Thomas Moynihan about his most recent book X-Risk: How Humanity Discovered Its Own Extinction. From forecasts of disastrous climate change to prophecies of evil AI superintelligences and the impending perils of genome editing, our species is increasingly concerned with the prospects of its own extinction. With humanity's future on this planet seeming more insecure by the day, in the twenty-first century, existential risk has become the object of a growing field of serious scientific inquiry. But, as Thomas Moynihan shows in X-Risk, this preoccupation is not exclusive to the post-atomic age of global warming and synthetic biology. Our growing concern with human extinction itself has a history. Tracing this untold story, Moynihan revisits the pioneers who first contemplated the possibility of human extinction and stages the historical drama of this momentous discovery. He shows how, far from being a secular reprise of religious prophecies of apocalypse, existential risk is a thoroughly modern idea, made possible by the burgeoning sciences and philosophical tumult of the Enlightenment era. In recollecting how we first came to care for our extinction, Moynihan reveals how today's attempts to measure and mitigate existential threats are the continuation of a project initiated over two centuries ago, which concerns the very vocation of the human as a rational, responsible, and future-oriented being. Produced by Sam Kelly; Mixed by Samantha Doyle; Soundtrack by Kristen Gallerneaux. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/31/202351 minutes, 31 seconds
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John D. Aber, "Less Heat, More Light: A Guided Tour of Weather, Climate, and Climate Change" (Yale UP, 2023)

Climate change is one of the most hotly contested environmental topics of our day. To answer criticisms and synthesize available information, scientists have been driven to devise increasingly complex models of the climate system. John D. Aber's Less Heat, More Light: A Guided Tour of Weather, Climate, and Climate Change (Yale UP, 2023) conveys that the basics of climate and climate change have been known for decades, and that relatively simple descriptions can capture the major features of the climate system and help the general public understand what controls climate and weather, and how both might be changing. Renowned environmental scientist and educator John D. Aber distills what he has learned from a long fascination with weather and climate, the process of science, and the telling of the story of science. This is not a book about policies and politics. Instead, it explores how weather happens, how it relates to climate, and how science has been used to answer major questions about the Earth as a system and inform policies that have reversed environmental degradation. By providing a guided tour of the science of weather, this thoughtful survey will contribute clarity and rationality to the public understanding of climate change. Melek Firat Altay is a neuroscientist, biologist and musician. Her research focuses on deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/29/202356 minutes, 51 seconds
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Christina Gerhardt, "Sea Change: An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean" (U California Press, 2023)

Atlases are being redrawn as islands are disappearing. What does an island see when the sea rises? Sea Change: An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean (U California Press, 2023) weaves together essays, maps, art, and poetry to show us—and make us see—island nations in a warming world. Low-lying islands are least responsible for global warming, but they are suffering the brunt of it. This transportive atlas reorients our vantage point to place islands at the center of the story, highlighting Indigenous and Black voices and the work of communities taking action for local and global climate justice. At once serious and playful, well-researched and lavishly designed, Sea Change is a stunning exploration of the climate and our world's coastlines. Full of immersive storytelling, scientific expertise, and rallying cries from island populations that shout with hope—"We are not drowning! We are fighting!"—this atlas will galvanize readers in the fight against climate change and the choices we all face. Christina Gerhardt is Associate Professor at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Senior Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Barron Professor of Environment and the Humanities at Princeton University. Her environmental journalism has been published by Grist.org, The Nation, The Progressive, and the Washington Monthly. 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
5/23/202348 minutes, 11 seconds
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Philip Gooding, "Droughts, Floods, and Global Climatic Anomalies in the Indian Ocean World" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

Droughts, Floods, and Global Climatic Anomalies in the Indian Ocean World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) explores histories of droughts and floods in the Indian Ocean World, and their connections to broader global climatic anomalies. It deploys an interdisciplinary approach rooted in the emerging field of climate history to investigate the multifaceted effects of global climatic anomalies on regions affected by the Indian Ocean Monsoon System – regularly conceived of as the macro-region’s ‘deep structure.’ Case studies explore how droughts and floods related to anomalous climatic conditions have historically affected states, societies, and ecologies across the Indian Ocean World, including in relation to food security, epidemic diseases, political (in)stability, economic change, infrastructural development, colonialism, capitalism, and scientific knowledge. Tracing longue durée patterns from the twelfth to the early twentieth centuries, this book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of global climatic events and their effects on the Indian Ocean World. It highlights essential historical case studies for contextualizing the potential effects of global warming on the macro-region in the present and future. Philip Gooding is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult sciences, and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/22/202357 minutes, 23 seconds
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Rob Verchick, "The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience" (Columbia UP, 2023)

One morning in Miami Beach, an unexpected guest showed up in a luxury condominium complex’s parking garage: an octopus. The image quickly went viral. But the octopus―and the combination of infrastructure quirks and climate impacts that left it stranded―is more than a funny meme. It’s a potent symbol of the disruptions that a changing climate has already brought to our doorsteps and the ways we will have to adjust. His well-research and multi-faceted book, The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience (Columbia UP, 2023) is a tour de force that is engaging, informative and a book that is hard to put down. Topics range from the potential loss of the Joshua Tree to the dangers our coral reefs face. Learning from “Lucy,” our three million year old ancestor who can be found in the Hall of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum in Washington, DC, is a lesson Verchick tells us, can open new windows into “a saga of resilience and adaptation.” He also illustrates how intersectionality can help us listen, learn and understand how interconnected networks of oppression are woven into the fabric of global warming and climate change. Rob Verchick examines how we can manage the risks that we can no longer avoid, laying out our options as we face climate breakdown. Although reducing carbon dioxide emissions is essential, we need to adapt to address the damage we have already caused. Verchick explores what resilience looks like on the ground, from early humans on the savannas to today’s shop owners and city planners. He takes the reader on a journey into the field: paddling through Louisiana’s bayous, hiking in one of the last refuges of Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert, and diving off Key Largo with citizen scientists working to restore coral reefs. The book emphasizes disadvantaged communities, which bear the brunt of environmental risk, arguing that building climate resilience is a necessary step toward justice. Engaging and accessible for nonexpert concerned citizens, The Octopus in the Parking Garage empowers readers to face the climate crisis and shows what we can do to adapt and thrive. Robert Verchick just became a 2023-2024 Harvard Radcliffe Fellow and will be working on the impact our current environment has on oceans and coasts this year. He is one of the leading scholars in disaster and climate change law and designed climate-resilience policies in the Obama administration. Karyne Messina is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and am on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Resurgence of Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy (Routledge, 2022). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/19/20231 hour, 15 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ailton Krenak, "Life Is Not Useful" (Polity Press, 2023)

Indigenous thinker and leader, Ailton Krenak, exposes the destructive tendencies of our ‘civilization’ in Life is not Useful  (Polity, 2023), which is translated by Jamille Pinheiro Dias & Alex Brostoff. The problematic symptoms of our modernity include rampant consumerism, environmental devastation, and a narrow and restricted understanding of humanity’s place on this Earth. For many centuries, Brazil’s Indigenous peoples have bravely faced threats of total annihilation and, in extremely adverse conditions, have reinvented their lives and communities.  At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the rest of the world to reconsider its lifestyle, Ailton Krenak’s clear and urgent thinking emerges with newfound impact and offers a vital perspective on the enormous challenges we face today: the ravages of the pandemic and the devastation caused by global warming, to name just two. Krenak questions the value of going back to normal when ‘normal’ is a vision of humanity divorced from nature, actively destroying the planet and digging deep trenches of inequality between peoples and societies. The ‘civilized’ world insists on giving life a purpose but life is not ‘useful’ and ‘civilization’ is not destiny. We must learn to embrace the joy of living life to its fullest, and inhabit the stillness that comes with not always being useful. In the wake of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to create deep and meaningful change in the way we live: this, more than ever, is a time to listen to voices that are one with the body of the Earth. Takeshi Morisato is philosopher and sometimes academic. He is the editor of the European Journal of Japanese Philosophy. He specializes in comparative and Japanese philosophy but he is also interested in making Japan and philosophy accessible to a wider audience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/17/202355 minutes, 45 seconds
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Daniel Ruiz-Serna, "When Forests Run Amok: War and Its Afterlives in Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Territories" (Duke UP, 2023)

In When Forests Run Amok: War and Its Afterlives in Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Territories (Duke University Press, 2023) Daniel Ruiz-Serna follows the afterlives of war, showing how they affect the variety of human and nonhuman beings that compose the region of Bajo Atrato: the traditional land of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples. Attending to Colombia’s armed conflict as an experience that resounds in the lives and deaths of people, animals, trees, rivers, and spirits, Ruiz-Serna traces a lasting damage that brought Indigenous peoples to compel the Colombian government to legally recognize their territories as victims of war. Although this recognition extends transitional justice into new terrains, Ruiz-Serna considers the collective and individual wounds that continue unsettling spirits, preventing shamans from containing evil, attracting jaguars to the taste of human flesh, troubling the flow of rivers, and impeding the ability of people to properly deal with the dead. Ruiz-Serna raises potent questions about the meanings of justice, the forms it can take, and the limits of human-rights frameworks to repair the cosmic order that war unravels when it unsettles more-than-human worlds—causing forests to run amok. Daniel Ruiz-Serna is Lecturer of Anthropology at Dawson College. Reighan Gillam is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois 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
5/13/20231 hour, 15 minutes, 23 seconds
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China's Green Consensus: A Discussion with Virginie Arantes

How has China’s one-party system dealt with the country’s growing environmental issues? And what implications does its green turn have on people’s everyday realities? Virginie Arantes joins Petra Alderman, associate researcher at NIAS and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham, to talk about her book China’s Green Consensus: Participation, Co-optation, and Legitimation that was published by Routledge in 2022. Virginie Arantes is a Wiener-Anspach postdoctoral fellow at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies at the University of Oxford. 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, the University of Helsinki 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
5/12/202323 minutes, 43 seconds
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Laurie Parsons, "Carbon Colonialism: How Rich Countries Export Climate Breakdown" (Manchester UP, 2023)

Climate change is devastating the planet, and globalisation is hiding it. Laurie Parsons's book Carbon Colonialism: How Rich Countries Export Climate Breakdown (Manchester UP, 2023) opens our eyes.  Around the world, leading economies are announcing significant progress on climate change. World leaders are queuing up to proclaim their commitment to tackling the climate crisis, pointing to data that shows the progress they have made. Yet the atmosphere is still warming at a record rate, with devastating effects on poverty and precarity in the world's most vulnerable communities. Are we being deceived? Outsourcing climate breakdown explores the murky practices of exporting a country's environmental impact. A world in which corporations and countries are allowed to maintain a clean, green image while landfills in the world's poorest countries continue to expand and droughts and floods intensify under the auspices of globalisation, deregulation and economic growth. Taking a wide-ranging, culturally engaged approach to the topic, the book shows how this is notonly a technical problem, but a problem of cultural and political systems and structures - from nationalism to economic logic - deeply embedded in our society. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/10/202344 minutes, 38 seconds
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Colin Hoag, "The Fluvial Imagination: On Lesotho’s Water-Export Economy" (U California Press, 2022)

Landlocked and surrounded by South Africa on all sides, the mountain kingdom of Lesotho became the world's first "water-exporting country" when it signed a 1986 treaty with its powerful neighbor. An elaborate network of dams and tunnels now carries water to Johannesburg, the subcontinent's water-stressed economic epicenter. Hopes that receipts from water sales could improve Lesotho's fortunes, however, have clashed with fears that soil erosion from overgrazing livestock could fill its reservoirs with sediment.  In The Fluvial Imagination: On Lesotho’s Water-Export Economy (U California Press, 2022), Colin Hoag shows how producing water commodities incites a fluvial imagination. Engineering water security for urban South Africa draws attention ever further into Lesotho's rural upstream catchments: from reservoirs to the soils and vegetation above them, and even to the social lives of herders at remote livestock posts. As we enter our planet's water-export era, Lesotho exposes the possibilities and perils ahead. The book is available open access. Colin Hoag is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Smith College. Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University, focusing on urban anthropology, futurity, care, and migration. Her work has been featured in Environment and Planning D, Current Anthropology, and City & Society, among other journals and public-facing platforms. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/10/202359 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bryan Alexander, "Universities on Fire: Higher Education in the Climate Crisis" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023)

In Universities on Fire: Higher Education in the Climate Crisis (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023), futurist Bryan Alexander explores higher education during an age of unfolding climate crisis. Powered by real-world examples and the latest research, Alexander assesses practical responses and strategies by surveying contemporary programs and academic climate research from around the world. He establishes a model of how academic institutions may respond and offers practical pathways forward for higher education. How will the two main purposes of education—teaching and research—change as the world heats up? Alexander positions colleges and universities in the broader social world, from town-gown relationships to connections between how campuses and civilization as a whole respond to this epochal threat. Brady McCartney is an environmental educator and the Consortium Director of the EcoLeague, an environmental education consortium currently based at Dickinson College's Center for Sustainability Education. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/9/20231 hour, 1 minute, 30 seconds
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Henry Grabar, "Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World" (Penguin, 2023)

Parking, quite literally, has a death grip on America: each year a handful of Americans are tragically killed by their fellow citizens over parking spots. But even when we don't resort to violence, we routinely do ridiculous things for parking, contorting our professional, social, and financial lives to get a spot. Indeed, in the century since the advent of the car, we have deformed--and in some cases demolished--our homes and our cities in a Sisyphean quest for cheap and convenient car storage. As a result, much of the nation's most valuable real estate is now devoted exclusively to empty and idle vehicles, even as so many Americans struggle to find affordable housing. Parking determines the design of new buildings and the fate of old ones, patterns of traffic and the viability of transit, neighborhood politics and municipal finance, the quality of public space, and even the course of floodwaters. Can this really be the best use of our finite resources and space? Why have we done this to the places we love? Is parking really more important than anything else? These are the questions Slate staff writer Henry Grabar sets out to answer, telling a mesmerizing story about the strange and wonderful superorganism that is the modern American city. In Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World (Penguin, 2023), Grabar brilliantly surveys the pain points of the nation's parking crisis, from Los Angeles to Disney World to New York, stopping at every major American city in between. He reveals how the pathological compulsion for car storage has exacerbated some of our most acute problems--from housing affordability to the accelerating global climate disaster--ultimately, lighting the way for us to free our cities from parking's cruel yoke. Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. A Maine native, he lives in Western Massachusetts and chairs the History and Social Science Department at Deerfield Academy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/9/202345 minutes, 17 seconds
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Peter Frankopan, "The Earth Transformed: An Untold History" (Knopf, 2023)

The Earth Transformed. An Untold History (Knopf, 2023) is a captivating and informative book that reveals how climate change has been a driving force behind the development and decline of civilizations across the centuries. The author, Peter Frankopan, takes readers on a journey through history, showcasing how natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, El Niño, and solar flare activity have shaped the course of human events. Frankopan's extensive research, coupled with his accessible writing style, makes for an engaging read that reframes our understanding of the world and our place in it. One of the strengths of The Earth Transformed is the way in which Frankopan connects seemingly disparate events to highlight the far-reaching impact of climate change. For example, he explains how the Vikings emerged as a result of catastrophic crop failure, and how the collapse of cotton prices due to unusual climate patterns led to regime change in eleventh-century Baghdad. Through such connections, Frankopan demonstrates how past empires that failed to act sustainably were met with catastrophe, providing valuable lessons for our current environmental crisis. Overall, The Earth Transformed is a timely and important book that sheds light on the enduring relationship between humans and the natural world. It challenges readers to reckon with our species' impact on the environment and to consider how we can act sustainably to prevent further harm. Frankopan's interdisciplinary approach, combining historical research with scientific insights, makes for a compelling and thought-provoking read that will leave readers with a new perspective on the world around us. Javier Mejia is an economist at Stanford University who specializes in the intersection of social networks and economic history. His research interests also include entrepreneurship and political economy, with a particular focus on Latin America and the Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. Mejia has previously been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University-Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is also a frequent contributor to various news outlets, currently serving as an op-ed columnist for Forbes Magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/4/202353 minutes, 45 seconds
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Darrel Moellendorf, "Mobilizing Hope: Climate Change and Global Poverty" (Oxford UP, 2022)

The news concerning climate change isn’t good. The warming of our planet now threatens to trap millions of people in extreme poverty while destabilizing the global order in ways that exacerbate existing global inequalities. Mitigation and adaptation strategies, even if adhered to, may not be sufficient. The situation seems hopeless. However, in Mobilizing Hope: Climate Change and Global Poverty (Oxford UP, 2022), Darrel Moellendorf argues that there not only is reason to hope that we might successfully address the climate crisis, but also reason to mobilize hope – to act now in ways that can forge the kind of global solidarity necessary to meet the challenge of climate change. Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
5/1/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 42 seconds
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Christina Dunbar-Hester, "Oil Beach: How Toxic Infrastructure Threatens Life in the Ports of Los Angeles and Beyond" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

How can we stop infrastructure from damaging the planet? In Oil Beach: How Toxic Infrastructure Threatens Life in the Ports of Los Angeles and Beyond (U Chicago Press, 2023), Christina Dunbar-Hester, an associate professor in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, explores the history of the San Pedro Bay area to tell the story of oil’s impact on LA. The book offers a rich and detailed engagement with a variety of case study examples, including wildlife, international trading, conservation, the military, the local and national governments, and the ports of LA and Long Beach. Offering a radical call for transspecies supply chain justice and creaturely sovereignty, the book is essential reading for anyone interested in how to rethink our polluted places and warming world. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/27/202348 minutes, 4 seconds
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Timothy R. Pauketat, "Gods of Thunder: How Climate Change, Travel, and Spirituality Reshaped Precolonial America" (Oxford UP,

Timothy R. Pauketat’s Gods of Thunder: How Climate Change, Travel, and Spirituality Reshaped Precolonial America (Oxford UP, 2023) is a sweeping account of what happened when Indigenous peoples of Medieval North and Central America confronted climate change. Few Americans today are aware of one of the most consequential periods in North American history—the Medieval Warm Period of seven to twelve centuries ago (AD 800-1300 CE)—which resulted in the warmest temperatures in the northern hemisphere since the "Roman Warm Period," a half millennium earlier. Reconstructing these climatic events and the cultural transformations they wrought, Pauketat guides readers down ancient American paths walked by Indigenous people a millennium ago, some trod by Spanish conquistadors just a few centuries later. The book follows the footsteps of priests, pilgrims, traders, and farmers who took great journeys, made remarkable pilgrimages, and migrated long distances to new lands. Along the way, readers discover a new history of a continent that, like today, was being shaped by climate change—or controlled by ancient gods of wind and water. Through such elemental powers, the history of Medieval America was a physical narrative, a long-term natural and cultural experience in which Native people were entwined long before Christopher Columbus arrived or Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs. Spanning from North to Central America, Gods of Thunder focuses on remarkable parallels between pre-contact American civilizations separated by a thousand miles or more. Key archaeological sites are featured in every chapter, leading us down an evidentiary trail toward the book's conclusion that a great religious movement swept Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Mississippi valley, sometimes because of worsening living conditions and sometimes by improved agricultural yields thanks to global warming a thousand years ago. The author also includes a guide to visiting the archaeological sites discussed in each chapter of the book. Sarah Newman (@newmantropologa) is an archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research explores long-term human-environmental interactions, including questions of waste and reuse, processes of landscape transformation, and relationships between humans and other animals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/27/202346 minutes, 33 seconds
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Wendy Lynne Lee, "This is Environmental Ethics: An Introduction" (John Wiley & Sons, 2022)

Wendy Lynne Lee's This is Environmental Ethics: An Introduction (John Wiley & Sons, 2022) provides students and scholars with a comprehensive introduction to the growing field of environmental philosophy and ethics. Mitigating the effects of climate change will require global cooperation and lasting commitment. Of the many disciplines addressing the ecological crisis, philosophy is perhaps best suited to develop the conceptual foundations of a viable and sustainable environmental ethic. This is Environmental Ethics provides an expansive overview of the key theories underpinning contemporary discussions of our moral responsibilities to non-human nature and living creatures. Adopting a critical approach, author Wendy Lynne Lee closely examines major moral theories to discern which ethic provides the compass needed to navigate the social, political, and economic challenges of potentially catastrophic environmental transformation, not only, but especially the climate crisis. Lee argues that the ethic ultimately adopted must make the welfare of non-human animals and plant life a priority in our moral decision-making, recognizing that ecological conditions form the existential conditions of all life on the planet. Throughout the text, detailed yet accessible chapters demonstrate why philosophy is relevant and useful in the face of an uncertain environmental future. This is Environmental Ethics is essential reading for undergraduate students in courses on philosophy, geography, environmental studies, feminist theory, ecology, human and animal rights, and social justice, as well as an excellent graduate-level introduction to the key theories and thinkers of environmental philosophy. Wendy Lynne Lee is a professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University. Lee has published about 45 scholarly essays in her areas of expertise—philosophy of language (particularly later Wittgenstein), philosophy of mind/brain, feminist theory, theory of sexual identity, post-Marxian theory, nonhuman animal welfare, ecological aesthetics, aesthetic phenomenology, and philosophy of ecology. Her previous work includes the book Eco-Nihilism: The Philosophical Geopolitics of the Climate Change Apocalypse (Lexington 2017). Özlem Yılmaz is a philosopher of science, with a focus on issues related to plant biology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/26/202339 minutes, 56 seconds
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Brett Christophers, "Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own the World" (Verso, 2023)

Banks have taken a backseat since the global financial crisis over a decade ago. Today, our new financial masters are asset managers, like Blackstone and BlackRock. And they don't just own financial assets. The roads we drive on; the pipes that supply our drinking water; the farmland that provides our food; energy systems for electricity and heat; hospitals, schools, and even the homes in which many of us live-all now swell asset managers' bulging investment portfolios. As the owners of more and more of the basic building blocks of everyday life, asset managers shape the lives of each and every one of us in profound and disturbing ways. In Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own the World (Verso, 2023), Brett Christophers peels back the veil on "asset manager society." Asset managers, he shows, are unlike traditional owners of housing and other essential infrastructure. Buying and selling these life-supporting assets at a dizzying pace, the crux of their business model is not long-term investment and careful custodianship but making quick profits for themselves and the investors that back them. In asset manager society, the natural and built environments that sustain us become one more vehicle for siphoning money from the many to the few. Brett Christophers is a professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University in Sweden. His previous books include The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain (2019) and Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It?  (2020).  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
4/25/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 56 seconds
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"Global Environmental Politics" Celebrates 20 Years of Success

The journal of Global Environmental Politics (GEP) has hit a tremendous milestone in 2020—celebrating its 20 years of publication with the MIT Press! In this episode, two of the journal’s Co-Editors Matthew Hoffmann and Erika Weinthal reflect on the origins and goals of GEP, its immeasurable impact on the discussions of relationships between global political forces and environmental change, and the thought process behind the journal’s upcoming 20th-anniversary volume. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/22/202319 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Promise of Multispecies Justice

How might we imagine justice in times of ecological harm? How are human struggles for social justice entangled with the lives of other beings including plants, animals, fungi, and microbes? What is at stake when claims are made about who or what is the subject of justice? These questions and more are explored in this conversation between Terese Gagnon and Sophie Chao, co-editor of the new volume The Promise of Multispecies Justice from Duke University Press. In addition to unpacking key questions posed by the volume Terese and Sophie discuss some of the volume’s chapters, which are empirically rooted in Asia. These chapters cover topics of spectral justice in the Indian Himalayas, and justice for humans and “pests” on banana plantations in the Philippines region of Mindanao. Additionally, Sophie shares about her research on more-than-human solidarities in racial justice protests in the Indonesian-controlled province of West Papua. This interdisciplinary conversation covers critical developments in the social sciences and humanities as well as works of contemporary art and poetry including by Chamorro scholar Craig Santos Perez, author of Navigating CHamoru Poetry. Sophie Chao is Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sydney. Her research investigates the intersections of Indigeneity, ecology, capitalism, health, and justice in the Pacific. Chao is author of In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua and co-editor of The Promise of Multispecies Justice. Related podcasts Karen Sanctuaries: Memory, Biodiversity, and Political Sovereignty Urban Climate Change and Adaptation: Messages from the IPCC Report for Southeast Asia Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise 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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/21/202333 minutes, 7 seconds
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Joel E. Correia, "Disrupting the Patrón: Indigenous Land Rights and the Fight for Environmental Justice in Paraguay's Chaco" (U California Press, 2023)

The Paraguayan Chaco is a settler frontier where cattle ranching and agrarian extractivism drive some of the world's fastest deforestation and most extreme land tenure inequality. Disrupting the Patrón: Indigenous Land Rights and the Fight for Environmental Justice in Paraguay's Chaco (U California Press, 2023) shows that environmental racism cannot be reduced to effects of neoliberalism but stems from long-standing social-spatial relations of power rooted in settler colonialism. Historically dispossessed of land and exploited for their labor, Enxet and Sanapaná Indigenous peoples nevertheless refuse to abide settler land control. Based on long-term collaborative research and storytelling, Joel E. Correia shows that Enxet and Sanapaná dialectics of disruption enact environmental justice by transcending the constraints of settler law through the ability to maintain and imagine collective lifeways amidst radical social-ecological change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/20/202355 minutes, 11 seconds
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Brian Kateman, "Meat Me Halfway" (Prometheus Books, 2022)

We know that eating animals is bad for the planet and bad for our health, and yet we do it anyway. Ask anyone in the plant-based movement and the solution seems obvious: Stop eating meat. But, for many people, that stark solution is neither appealing nor practical. In Meat Me Halfway: How Changing the Way We Eat Can Improve Our Lives and Save Our Planet (Prometheus Books, 2022), author and founder of the reducetarian movement Brian Kateman puts forth a realistic and balanced goal: mindfully reduce your meat consumption. It might seem strange for a leader of the plant-based movement to say, but meat is here to stay. The question is not how to ween society off meat but how to make meat more healthy, more humane, and more sustainable. In this book, Kateman answers the question that has plagued vegans for years: why are we so resistant to changing the way we eat, and what can we do about it? Exploring our historical relationship with meat, from the domestication of animals to the early industrialization of meatpacking, to the advent of the one-stop grocery store, the science of taste, and the laws that impact our access to food, Meat Me Halfway reveals how humans have evolved as meat eaters. Featuring interviews with pioneers in the science of meat alternatives, investigations into new types of farming designed to lessen environmental impact, and innovations in ethical and sustainable agriculture, this down-to-earth book shows that we all can change the way we create and consume food. Brian Kateman is an award-winning author and freelance journalist. His op-eds have appeared in dozens of media outlets, including The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, Vox, Salon, TechCrunch, The Independent, Fortune and The New York Daily News. He is also a regular contributor to Fast Company, Forbes, and Entrepreneur. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Isabel, and rescue dogs, Tobey and Cooper. Kyle Johannsen is a philosophy instructor at Trent University and Wilfrid Laurier University. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/12/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 51 seconds
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John Miller, "The Heart of the Forest: Why Woods Matter" (British LIbrary, 2022)

The Heart of the Forest: Why Woods Matter (British Library, 2022) looks at threats to forest life across the globe. Dr. John Miller draws on literature, film and art to explore why woods matter to us, building on the ecological case for saving trees to raise the compelling question of their cultural value. The Heart of the Forest explores four enduring ways in which we connect to the woods – through Refuge, Sacredness, Horror and Hope – making fascinating links between emotion and genre. For Henry David Thoreau, the woods are places beyond civilisation; for Ursula LeGuin and C S Lewis, they are loaded with otherworldly potential; and for those fleeing captivity, they can provide a welcome sanctuary. Woods can strike fear, they can inspire wonder, they can be lovely, dark and deep. With full-colour illustration throughout, this book branches out into the British Library to find both the haunting and the hopeful in an unparalleled collection of books, manuscripts and photography. It tells a global story of how we understand trees, and its beautifully illustrated pages present a moving argument for conservation and renewal. 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
4/12/202356 minutes, 18 seconds
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Kirstin Munro, "The Production of Everyday Life in Eco-Conscious Households" (Bristol UP, 2023)

Based on qualitative interviews with sustainability-oriented parents of young children, Kirstin Munro's book The Production of Everyday Life in Eco-Conscious Households (Bristol UP, 2023) describes what happens when people make interventions into mundane and easy-to-overlook aspects of everyday life to bring the way they get things done into alignment with their environmental values. Because the ability to make changes is constrained by their culture and capitalist society, there are negative consequences and trade-offs involved in these household-level sustainability practices. The households described in this book shed light on the full extent of the trade-offs involved in promoting sustainability at the household level as a solution to environmental problems. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/12/202348 minutes, 7 seconds
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Thomas M. Lekan, "Our Gigantic Zoo: A German Quest to Save the Serengeti" (Oxford UP, 2020)

How did the Serengeti become an internationally renowned African conservation site and one of the most iconic destinations for a safari? In Our Gigantic Zoo: A German Quest to Save the Serengeti (Oxford UP, 2020), Thomas M. Lekan illuminates the controversial origins of this national park by examining how Europe's greatest wildlife conservationist, former Frankfurt Zoo director and Oscar-winning documentarian Bernhard Grzimek, popularized it as a global destination. In the 1950s, Grzimek and his son Michael began a quest to save the Serengeti from modernization and "overpopulation" by remaking an imperial game reserve into a gigantic zoo for the earth's last great mammals. Grzimek, well-known to German audiences through his long-running television program, A Place for Animals, used the film Serengeti Shall Not Die to convince ordinary Europeans that they could save nature. Yet their message sidestepped the uncomfortable legacies of German colonial exploitation in the region that had endangered animals and excluded local people. After independence, Grzimek raised funds, brokered diplomatic favors, and convinced German tourists to book travel packages—all to persuade Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere that wildlife would fuel the young nation's economic development. Grzimek helped Tanzania to create almost a dozen new national parks by 1975, but wooing tourists conflicted with rights of the Maasai and other African communities to inhabit the landscape on their own terms. Grzimek's global priorities eventually clashed with Nyerere's nationalist ones, as a more self-assertive Tanzania resented conservationists' meddling and failed promises. A story that demonstrates the conflicts between international conservation, nature tourism, decolonization, and national sovereignty, Our Gigantic Zoo explores the legacy of the man who portrayed himself as a second Noah, called on a sacred mission to protect the last vestiges of paradise for all humankind. 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
4/11/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 33 seconds
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Andrew Curley, "Carbon Sovereignty: Coal, Development, and Energy Transition in the Navajo Nation" (U Arizona Press, 2023)

For almost fifty years, coal dominated the Navajo economy. But in 2019 one of the Navajo Nation’s largest coal plants closed. This comprehensive new work offers a deep dive into the complex inner workings of energy shift in the Navajo Nation. In Carbon Sovereignty: Coal, Development, and Energy Transition in the Navajo Nation (University of Arizona Press, 2023) geographer Andrew Curley, a member of the Navajo Nation, examines the history of coal development within the Navajo Nation, including why some Diné supported coal and the consequences of doing so. He explains the Navajo Nation’s strategic choices to use the coal industry to support its sovereignty as a path forward in the face of ongoing colonialism. Carbon Sovereignty demonstrates the mechanism of capitalism through colonialism and the construction of resource sovereignty, in both the Navajo Nation’s embrace and its rejection of a coal economy. For the people of the Navajo Nation, energy sovereignty is dire and personal. Thanks to on-the-ground interviews with Diné coal workers, environmental activists, and politicians, Curley documents the real consequences of change as they happened. While some Navajo actors have doubled down for coal, others have moved toward transition. Curley argues that political struggles ultimately shape how we should understand coal, capitalism, and climate change. The rise and fall of coal magnify the nuance and complexity of change. Historical and contemporary issues intermingle in everyday life with lasting consequences. Andrew Curley is a member of the Navajo Nation and an assistant professor in the School of Geography, Development & Environment at the University of Arizona. 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
4/11/202352 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Cooperative Extension System

In this episode of High Theory, Karl Dudman tells us about the Cooperative Extension System. Formed in 1914 as an extension of the Land Grant University system in the United States, the Cooperative Extension System is an extraordinarily public model of scientific communication. There is an extension officer in every county of the US. The original goal was to transmit academic scientific knowledge on agriculture to America’s farmers, but the program’s remit has expanded over the past hundred years. And it varies widely from place to place. You might go to an extension office to test the soil of your rose bed, to find a food pantry, or attend a kids exercise class. You might also have a conversation about climate change. In the full version of our conversation, Karl discussed the National Extension Climate Initiative which aims to unite climate change education and research across the cooperative extension system and Christopher Henke’s book, Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power: Science and Industrial Agriculture in California (MIT Press, 2008). Karl Dudman is doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Science, Innovation and Society and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Science Technology and Society. He does qualitative research on climate science in the US. His ongoing fieldwork, hosted by the North Carolina State Climate Office, examines how actors within climate science, coastal management and local politics navigate accelerating sea level rise in the context of widespread ambivalence towards the mainstream climate change narrative. Karl is also a photographer, and through his work explores the politics of competing cultural relationships with landscapes, and their subsequent representation. This week’s image is a photograph of two men in a field of tall grass taken November 11, 2008 by Dennis Pennington, Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University Extension. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/10/202321 minutes, 17 seconds
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Christopher J. Preston, "Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals" (MIT Press, 2023)

The news about wildlife is dire—more than 900 species have been wiped off the planet since industrialization. Against this bleak backdrop, however, there are also glimmers of hope and crucial lessons to be learned from animals that have defied global trends toward extinction: bears in Italy, bison in North America, whales in the Atlantic. These populations are back from the brink, some of them in numbers unimaginable in a century. How has this happened? What shifts in thinking did it demand? In crisp, transporting prose, Christopher Preston reveals the mysteries and challenges at the heart of these resurgences. Drawing on compelling personal stories from the researchers, Indigenous people, and activists who know the creatures best, Preston weaves together a gripping narrative of how some species are taking back vital, ecological roles. Each section of the book—farms, prairies, rivers, forests, oceans—offers a philosophical shift in how humans ought to think about animals, passionately advocating for the changes in attitude necessary for wildlife recovery. Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think About Animals (MIT Press, 2023) is quintessential nature writing for the Anthropocene, touching on different facets of ecological restoration from Indigenous knowledge to rewilding practices. More important, perhaps, the book offers a road map—and a measure of hope—for a future in which humans and animals can once again coexist. Christopher J. Preston is a writer and professor based in Missoula, MT. His work at the University of Montana centers on wildlife, technology, and climate change. Christopher has written for The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Discover, The Conversation, Aeon, Slate.com, Philosophical Salon, the Wall Street Journal, and The BBC. His award-winning book, The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World, has been translated into six languages. He gives talks in state parks, libraries, and breweries across Montana to audiences interested in conservation, climate change, and technology. In early 2023, he won an annual award from the International Society for Environmental Ethics for his work as a public philosopher. Callie Smith is a poet and museum educator with a PhD in English. She currently lives in Louisiana.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
4/8/202351 minutes, 15 seconds
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Joseph Giacomelli, "Uncertain Climes: Debating Climate Change in Gilded Age America" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

Even people who still refuse to accept the reality of human-induced climate change would have to agree that the topic has become inescapable in the United States in recent decades. But as Joseph Giacomelli shows in Uncertain Climes: Debating Climate Change in Gilded Age America (University of Chicago Press, 2023), this is actually nothing new: as far back as Gilded Age America, climate uncertainty has infused major debates on economic growth and national development. In this ambitious examination of late-nineteenth-century understandings of climate, Giacomelli draws on the work of scientists, foresters, surveyors, and settlers to demonstrate how central the subject was to the emergence of American modernity. Amid constant concerns about volatile weather patterns and the use of natural resources, nineteenth-century Americans developed a multilayered discourse on climate and what it might mean for the nation’s future. Although climate science was still in its nascent stages during the Gilded Age, fears and hopes about climate change animated the overarching political struggles of the time, including expansion into the American West. Giacomelli makes clear that uncertainty was the common theme linking concerns about human-induced climate change with cultural worries about the sustainability of capitalist expansionism in an era remarkably similar to the United States’ unsettled present. Joseph Giacomelli is Assistant Professor of Environmental History at Duke Kunshan University. Brian Hamilton is chair of the History and Social Science Department 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
4/5/202341 minutes, 21 seconds
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Gender and Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh

What does climate change adaptation look like in Bangladesh? And what kind of gendered social landscape does climate change adaptation have to navigate in Bangladesh? Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from the negative consequences, and often spoken of as ground zero of climate change. In recent years, more attention has been devoted to grappling with the question of how gender intersects with climate change and adaptation. In this episode Kenneth Bo Nielsen is joined by Kathinka Fossum Evertsen to discuss these questions and more, as we focus on gender and climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. Kathinka Fossum Evertsen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institue for Social Research. Her research interests include questions of migration, gender, and climate change, as well as the politics that shape how these issues are understood and how they intersect. 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 Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: https://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
3/31/202322 minutes, 5 seconds
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Wake Smith, "Pandora's Toolbox: The Hopes and Hazards of Climate Intervention" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Reaching net zero emissions will not be the end of the climate struggle, but only the end of the beginning. For centuries thereafter, temperatures will remain elevated; climate damages will continue to accrue and sea levels will continue to rise. Even the urgent and utterly essential task of reaching net zero cannot be achieved rapidly by emissions reductions alone. To hasten net zero and minimize climate damages thereafter, we will also need massive carbon removal and storage. We may even need to reduce incoming solar radiation in order to lower unacceptably high temperatures. Such unproven and potentially risky climate interventions raise mind-blowing questions of governance and ethics. Wake Smith's book Pandora's Toolbox: The Hopes and Hazards of Climate Intervention (Cambridge UP, 2022) offers readers an accessible and authoritative introduction to both the hopes and hazards of some of humanity's most controversial technologies, which may nevertheless provide the key to saving our world. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/28/202329 minutes, 12 seconds
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Winning & Losing in the Emerging EV Wars/The Aftershocks of the EV Transition Could Be Ugly

Robert Charette, engineer, consultant, and contributing editor at IEEE Spectrum magazine, talks about his twelve-part series, “The Electric Vehicle Transition Explained,” with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The series takes a systems perspective on electric vehicles, and talks about all of the potential barriers – from a lack of minerals, to stressing out the electricity grid, to being short on consumers or workers – that face EVs, which are too often cast as a climate change cure-all. Charette and Vinsel also talk about the kinds of thinking that are necessary if we are to have realistic policies around EVs. Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/27/20231 hour, 36 minutes, 39 seconds
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Sara Rich, "Mushroom" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

They are the things we step on without noticing and the largest organisms on Earth. They are symbols of inexplicable growth and excruciating misery. They are grouped with plants, but they behave more like animals. In their inscrutability, mushrooms are wondrous organisms. Mushroom (Bloomsbury, 2023) by Dr. Sara Rich explores the ordinary object of mushroom, one whose encounters with humans are usually limited to a couple of species prepackaged at the grocery store. This book presents these objects as the firmament for life as we know it, enablers of mystical traditions, menders of minds lost to depression. But it acknowledges, too, that this firmament only exists because of death and rot. Rummaging through philosophical, literary, medical, ecological, and anthropological texts only serves to confirm what the average forager already knows: that mushrooms are to be regarded with a reverence deserving of only the most powerful entities: those who create and destroy, and thrive on both. Dr. Sara Rich has also been interviewed on the New Books Network about her previous book Shipwreck Hauntography, see that episode here. 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
3/25/202345 minutes, 16 seconds
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Adam Sowards, "Making America's Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)

Over one quarter - some 640 million acres - of the United States consists of public land owned, not privately, but by the federal government, much of it in the American West. University of Idaho professor emeritus of history Adam Sowards explains why in his new book, Making America's Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022). Sowards explains the origins of the concept of public land and how the idea has come into conflict with American's adoration for private property, as well as how different stakeholders have come into conflict over the proper use of resources on these lands. From ranching and timber cutting to tourism and wilderness, the US government has attempted to make public lands fulfill several different roles, and in doing so have turned them into something of a political football over the course of the twentieth century. But, as Sowards argues, by being such a malleable, egalitarian, and controversial project, they have come to represent the hope and inconsistencies within American democracy itself. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/24/202352 minutes, 34 seconds
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Adam Sowards, "Making America's Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)

Over one quarter - some 640 million acres - of the United States consists of public land owned, not privately, but by the federal government, much of it in the American West. University of Idaho professor emeritus of history Adam Sowards explains why in his new book, Making America's Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022). Sowards explains the origins of the concept of public land and how the idea has come into conflict with American's adoration for private property, as well as how different stakeholders have come into conflict over the proper use of resources on these lands. From ranching and timber cutting to tourism and wilderness, the US government has attempted to make public lands fulfill several different roles, and in doing so have turned them into something of a political football over the course of the twentieth century. But, as Sowards argues, by being such a malleable, egalitarian, and controversial project, they have come to represent the hope and inconsistencies within American democracy itself. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/24/202352 minutes, 34 seconds
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Seeing Truth in the Climate Crisis

Feeling bad about the environment? You should. Artist Alexis Rockman talks about his art, the potential for real change, and his ongoing relationship with the American Museum of Natural History. Learn more about the Seeing Truth exhibition at our website. Follow us on Twitter @WhyArguePod and on Instagram @WhyWeArguePod Alexis L. Boylan is the director of academic affairs of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) and an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Art and Art History Department and the Africana Studies Institute Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/23/202336 minutes, 29 seconds
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Brian Tokar and Tamra Gilbertson, "Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions" (Routledge, 2020)

Brian Tokar and Tamra Gilbertson's book Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions (Routledge, 2020) brings together the voices of people from five continents who live, work, and research on the front lines of climate resistance and renewal. The many contributors to this volume explore the impacts of extreme weather events in Africa, the Caribbean and on Pacific islands, experiences of life-long defenders of the land and forests in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and eastern Canada, and efforts to halt the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure from North America to South Africa. They offer various perspectives on how a just transition toward a fossil-free economy can take shape, as they share efforts to protect water resources, better feed their communities, and implement new approaches to urban policy and energy democracy. Climate Justice and Community Renewal uniquely highlights the accounts of people who are directly engaged in local climate struggles and community renewal efforts, including on-the-ground land defenders, community organizers, leaders of international campaigns, agroecologists, activist-scholars, and many others. It will appeal to students, researchers, activists, and all who appreciate the need for a truly justice-centered response to escalating climate disruptions. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/20/202330 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ezra Rashkow, "The Nature of Endangerment in India: Tigers, 'Tribes', Extermination and Conservation, 1818-2020" (Oxford UP, 2023)

Perhaps no category of people on earth has been perceived as more endangered, nor subjected to more preservation efforts, than indigenous peoples. And in India, calls for the conservation of Adivasi culture have often reached a fever pitch, especially amongst urban middle-class activists and global civil society groups. But are India’s ‘tribes’ really endangered? Do they face extinction? And is this threat somehow comparable to the threat of extinction facing tigers and other wildlife?  Combining years of fieldwork and archival research with intensive theoretical interrogations, Ezra Rashkow's book The Nature of Endangerment in India: Tigers, 'Tribes', Extermination and Conservation, 1818-2020 (Oxford UP, 2023) offers a global intellectual history of efforts to ‘protect’ indigenous peoples and their cultures, usually from above. It also offers a critique of the activist impulse to cry ‘Save the tigers!’ and ‘Save the tribes!’ together in the same breath. It is not a history or an ethnography of the tribes of India but rather a history of discourses—including Adivasis’ own—about what is perceived to be the fundamental question for nearly all indigenous peoples in the modern world: the question of survival. Examining views of interlinking biological and cultural (or biocultural) diversity loss in western and central India—particularly in regard to Bhil and Gond communities facing not only conservation and development-induced displacement but also dehumanizing animal analogies comparing endangered tigers and tribes—the book problematizes the long history of human endangerment and extinction discourse. In doing so, it shows that fears of tribal extinction actually predated scientific awareness of the extinction of non-human species. Only by confronting this history can we begin to decolonize this discourse. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.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
3/16/202348 minutes, 9 seconds
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Seeing Truth in the Lab

Max Liboiron founder of Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist, anti-colonial laboratory talks about making better science and how they aren’t interested in dismantling the masters house (because who cares about that place) but they definitely are taking those tools. Learn more about the Seeing Truth exhibition at our website. Follow us on Twitter @WhyArguePod and on Instagram @WhyWeArguePod Alexis L. Boylan is the director of academic affairs of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) and an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Art and Art History Department and the Africana Studies Institute Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/9/202336 minutes
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Book Chat: Oceanic Writing

In this episode, our host, Ti-han Chang, conducted an interview chat with the ecowriter, Liao Hung-chi about his oceanic and cetacean writings. The interview covers the writer's view on the oceanic narrative formation in Taiwan, his perspective on non-human agency and Hokkien (Hoklo) language employment in literary writing, as well as his dedication in Pacific ocean conservation. The interviewed is conducted in Chinese and translated by Zhan Fe-fei in English, hence tailored to both English and Chinese audience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/9/202353 minutes, 48 seconds
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Film Chat: "Whale Island" (2020)

In this episode, our host, Ti-han Chang, conducted an interview chat with the film director, Huang Chia-chu about his making of the eco-film, Whale Island (2020). The interview covers the Director's engagement with this amazing project to tell a "sea story" of Taiwan, his encountering with the writer, Liao Hung-chi and the photographer, Jin Lai, his choice of film translated title as well as movie soundtracks. The interviewed is conducted in Chinese and translated by Zhan Fe-fei in English, hence tailored to both English and Chinese audience.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/8/202355 minutes, 51 seconds
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William Carruthers, "Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology (Cornell UP, 2022) examines a world famous yet critically underexamined event—UNESCO's International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia (1960–80)—to show how the project, its genealogy, and its aftermath not only propelled archaeology into the postwar world but also helped to "recolonize" it. In this book, William Carruthers asks how postwar decolonization took shape and what role a colonial discipline like archaeology—forged in the crucible of imperialism—played as the "new nations" asserted themselves in the face of the global Cold War. As the Aswan High Dam became the centerpiece of Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egyptian revolution, the Nubian campaign sought to salvage and preserve ancient temples and archaeological sites from the new barrage's floodwaters. Conducted in the neighboring regions of Egyptian and Sudanese Nubia, the project built on years of Nubian archaeological work conducted under British occupation and influence. During that process, the campaign drew on the scientific racism that guided those earlier surveys, helping to consign Nubians themselves to state-led resettlement and modernization programs, even as UNESCO created a picturesque archaeological landscape fit for global media and tourist consumption. Flooded Pasts describes how colonial archaeological and anthropological practices—and particularly their archival and documentary manifestations—created an ancient Nubia severed from the region's population. As a result, the Nubian campaign not only became fundamental to the creation of UNESCO's 1972 World Heritage Convention but also exposed questions about the goals of archaeology and heritage and whether the colonial origins of these fields will ever be overcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/5/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 23 seconds
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Nuclear Ghosts: Ryo Morimoto (EF, JP)

John and Elizabeth, in this special Centennial episode of Recall this Book, explore spectral radiation with Ryo Morimoto, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. His new book Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihoods in Fukushima's Grey Zone (University of California Press, 2023) is based on several years of fieldwork in coastal Fukushima after the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. Ryo's book shows how residents of the region live with and through the "nuclear ghost" that resides with them. The trio discuss ways that residents acclimatize themselves to the presence of radiation, efforts to live their lives in ways not only shaped by catastrophe and irradiation, and the Geiger counter as a critical object. Ryo relates the astonishing--but when you stop to think unsurprising—fact that "once you have [a Geiger counter] you actually want to see higher scores." Mentioned in this episode: Paul Saint-Amour, Tense Future Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Roadside Picnic Tarkovksy, Stalker (the film) Stalker (the video game) Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Pat Barker The Ghost Road Read the episode here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/2/202344 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ronald L. Trosper, "Indigenous Economics: Sustaining Peoples and Their Lands" (U Arizona Press, 2022)

What does “development” mean for Indigenous peoples? Indigenous Economics: Sustaining Peoples and Their Lands (U Arizona Press, 2022) lays out an alternative path showing that conscious attention to relationships among humans and the natural world creates flourishing social-ecological economies.  Economist Ronald L. Trosper draws on examples from North and South America, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia to argue that Indigenous worldviews centering care and good relationships provide critical and sustainable economic models in a world under increasing pressure from biodiversity loss and climate change. He explains the structure of relational Indigenous economic theory, providing principles based on his own and others’ work with tribal nations and Indigenous communities. Trosper explains how sustainability is created at every level when relational Indigenous economic theory is applied—micro, meso, and macro. Good relationships support personal and community autonomy, replacing the individualism/collectivism dichotomy with relational leadership and entrepreneurship. Basing economies on relationships requires changing governance from the top-down approaches of nation-states and international corporations; instead, each community creates its own territorial relationships, creating plurinational relational states. This book offers an important alternative to classic economic theory. In Indigenous Economics, support for Indigenous communities’ development and Indigenous peoples’ well-being go hand-in-hand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
3/1/202349 minutes, 1 second
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David Bond, "Negative Ecologies: Fossil Fuels and the Discovery of the Environment" (U California Press, 2022)

So much of what we know of clean water, clean air, and now a stable climate rests on how fossil fuels first disrupted them. Negative Ecologies: Fossil Fuels and the Discovery of the Environment (U California Press, 2022) is a bold reappraisal of the outsized role fossil fuels have played in making the environment visible, factual, and politically operable in North America. Following stories of hydrocarbon harm that lay the groundwork for environmental science and policy, this book brings into clear focus the dialectic between the negative ecologies of fossil fuels and the ongoing discovery of the environment. Exploring iconic sites of the oil economy, ranging from leaky Caribbean refineries to deepwater oil spills, from the petrochemical fallout of plastics manufacturing to the extractive frontiers of Canada, Negative Ecologies documents the upheavals, injuries, and disasters that have long accompanied fossil fuels and the manner in which our solutions have often been less about confronting the cause than managing the effects. This history of our present promises to re-situate scholarly understandings of fossil fuels and renovate environmental critique today. David Bond challenges us to consider what forms of critical engagement may now be needed to both confront the deleterious properties of fossil fuels and envision ways of living beyond them. David Bond is the Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action and teaches on the environment and public action. Trained as an anthropologist, Bond studies oil spills and their imprint on environmental science and governance. His work shows how toxic disruptions can fix vital relations with new forms of knowledge and care. Cody Skahan ([email protected]) is a student in the MA program in Anthropology at the University of Iceland as a Leifur Eriksson Fellow. His work focuses on environmentalism in Iceland, especially the social and political implications of the youth environmentalist movement in an arctic country that has created for itself a façade of being environmentally and socially progressive. More generally, his other interests span anywhere from critical theory, psychoanalysis, queer theory, anarchism, cultural studies, anime, media and applying theory through praxis. Cody has a blog here where he is trying to write more rather than just only read and talk about books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/21/20231 hour, 8 minutes
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Anna Zeide, "US History in 15 Foods" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

From whiskey in the American Revolution to Spam in WWII, food reveals a great deal about the society in which it exists. Selecting 15 foods that represent key moments in the history of the United States, this book takes readers from before European colonization to the present, narrating major turning points along the way, with food as a guide. US History in 15 Foods (Bloomsbury, 2023) takes everyday items like wheat bread, peanuts, and chicken nuggets, and shows the part they played in the making of America. What did the British colonists think about the corn they observed Indigenous people growing? How are oranges connected to Roosevelt's New Deal? And what can green bean casserole tell us about gender roles in the mid-20th century? Weaving food into colonialism, globalization, racism, economic depression, environmental change and more, Anna Zeide shows how America has evolved through the food it eats. Anna Zeide is Associate Professor of History and the founding director of the Food Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, USA. She has previously written Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry (2018), which won a 2019 James Beard Media Award, and co-edited Acquired Tastes: Stories about the Origins of Modern Food (2021). Twitter. Website.  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
2/20/202339 minutes, 24 seconds
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Robyn Sloggett and Marcelle Scott, "Climatic and Environmental Threats to Cultural Heritage" (Routledge, 2022)

How can cultural heritage give us the methodological tools and source material to confront climate change? How can the cultural heritage sector lead the way into a future that proactively faces the climate crisis? Who can be involved in this work—who gets to identify as a “cultural heritage expert”—and what is the work to be done? Climatic and Environmental Threats to Cultural Heritage (Routledge, 2022) examines the challenges that environmental change, both sudden and long-term, poses to the preservation of cultural material. But more than this, Robyn Sloggett and Marcelle Scott point out how our confrontation of the climate crisis relies on the cultural heritage sector, which makes records and narratives available to inform decisions now and into the future. Bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders who have an interest in—and responsibility for—the care of cultural heritage material and sites of cultural heritage value, the book explores thinking on and actions in relation to issues of climate change and environmental risk. Sloggett and Scott highlight stakeholders’ shared interest in drawing on collective expertise to meet the challenges that environmental change brings to the future of our cultural heritage and our cultural identity. Based on the understanding that this global challenge requires local, national and international co‐operation, the book also considers how local knowledge can have international application. Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology and a volunteer at Interference Archive. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/18/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Politics of Bicycling

Zack Furness, an associate professor of communications at Penn State Greater Allegheny, talks about his 2010 book, One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Temple University Press), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. One Less Car examines the history of how bicycles became a tool and object of advocacy and activism. With roots going back 1960s countercultures and growing through punk subcultures and the Critical Mass movement, bicycle activism has been an important focus of environmentalism and countering what Furness calls the “automobile-industrial complex.” Over a wide-ranging conversation, Furness and Vinsel also discuss Furness’s more recent research project on the history of Israeli punk bands. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/16/20231 hour, 31 minutes, 3 seconds
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Matthew S. Henry, "Hydronarratives: Water, Environmental Justice, and a Just Transition" (U Nebraska Press, 2023)

The story of water in the United States is one of ecosystemic disruption and social injustice. From the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and Flint, Michigan, to the Appalachian coal and gas fields and the Gulf Coast, low-income communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color face the disproportionate effects of floods, droughts, sea level rise, and water contamination.  In Hydronarratives: Water, Environmental Justice, and a Just Transition (U Nebraska Press, 2023) Matthew S. Henry examines cultural representations that imagine a just transition, a concept rooted in the U.S. labor and environmental justice movements to describe an alternative economic paradigm predicated on sustainability, economic and social equity, and climate resilience. Focused on regions of water insecurity, from central Arizona to central Appalachia, Henry explores how writers, artists, and activists have creatively responded to intensifying water crises in the United States and argues that narrative and storytelling are critical to environmental and social justice advocacy. By drawing on a wide and comprehensive range of narrative texts, historical documentation, policy papers, and literary and cultural scholarship, Henry presents a timely project that examines the social movement, just transition, and the logic of the Green New Deal, in addition to contemporary visions of environmental justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/15/202355 minutes, 46 seconds
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Brian Lander, "The King's Harvest: A Political Ecology of China from the First Farmers to the First Empire" (Yale UP, 2022)

The King's Harvest: A Political Ecology of China from the First Farmers to the First Empire (Yale UP, 2021) is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology of China's early political systems up to the fall of the first empire in 207 BCE. Brian Lander traces the formation of lowland North China's agricultural systems and the transformation of its plains from diverse forestland and steppes to farmland. He argues that the growth of states in ancient China, and elsewhere, was based on their ability to exploit the labor and resources of those who harnessed photosynthetic energy from domesticated plants and animals. Focusing on the state of Qin, Lander amalgamates abundant new scientific, archaeological, and excavated documentary sources to argue that the human domination of the central Yellow River region, and the rest of the planet, was made possible by the development of complex political structures that managed and expanded agroecosystems. Brian Lander is assistant professor of history at Brown University and a fellow of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/15/202342 minutes, 47 seconds
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Malcolm Harris, "Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World" (Little, Brown, 2023)

Palo Alto is nice. The weather is temperate, the people are educated, rich, healthy, enterprising. Remnants of a hippie counterculture have synthesized with high technology and big finance to produce the spiritually and materially ambitious heart of Silicon Valley, whose products are changing how we do everything from driving around to eating food. It is also a haunted toxic waste dump built on stolen Indian burial grounds, and an integral part of the capitalist world system. In Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World (Little, Brown, 2023), the first comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley, Malcolm Harris examines how and why Northern California evolved in the particular, consequential way it did, tracing the ideologies, technologies, and policies that have been engineered there over the course of 150 years of Anglo settler colonialism, from IQ tests to the "tragedy of the commons," racial genetics, and "broken windows" theory. The Internet and computers, too. It's a story about how a small American suburb became a powerful engine for economic growth and war, and how it came to lead the world into a surprisingly disastrous 21st century. Palo Alto is an urgent and visionary history of the way we live now, one that ends with a clear-eyed, radical proposition for how we might begin to change course. Malcolm Harris is a freelance writer and the author of Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials and Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit: History Since the End of History. He was born in Santa Cruz, CA and graduated from the University of Maryland. 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
2/14/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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Getting to Net Zero: A Conversation with Christian Arno

Kimon and Richard speak with Christian Arno, founder and CEO of Pawprint, about how companies can effectively achieve sustainability goals. As a young child growing up in Aberdeen, Christian was interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. His first venture was in comic book sales, and his first clients were his parents and schoolmates on the bus. When his father learned more about the finances of Christian’s venture, he shut the enterprise down, an early lesson in “regulation.” For university, Christian attended Oxford, where he studied languages. At around this time, the Dotcom boom began, and Christian created a website advertising translation services. He began to receive customer inquiries, and soon enough, was able to establish a revenue stream from recurrent clients. The most important thing that Christian learned while building Lingo24 was how to take advantage of SEO (search engine optimization). Christian was able to land bigger companies despite a lack of experience. Searchers would find his professionally-created website, purchase services, eventually leading Christian to start hiring employees to accommodate the growing demand. In the 20 years of running the company before exiting, Christian was able to grow Lingo24 to a maximum size of 230 people with a peak revenue of around $50 million in a year. Despite this success, Christian felt it was time to move on to another venture. In the mid-2010s, Christian’s father, formerly an oil and gas entrepreneur, reversed course and became a climate activist with Extinction Rebellion. Through conversations with his father, Christian came to believe that the second act of his career should attempt to address the environmental issues that threaten him, his father, and billions around the world. Christian’s new company is a software platform, Pawprint, that educates, motivates, and aligns employees of companies around sustainable development goals. The CEO of a company signs up, creating accounts for employees. The employees are placed into teams where they compete to reduce their CO2 emissions. The CEO is able to set various financial or non-financial awards for the best-performing employees. Pawprint doesn’t just track the results. It also gives employees various actions and pieces of advice, over 500 in total, to improve their environmental impact. Christian talks about his passion for Pawprint and the excitement of working on project with social impact. His big piece of advice for entrepreneurs: Start doing what you care about as early possible. Don’t wait! Links UN SDGs BCorp movement Unbabel Buys Lingo24 Pawprint About our Hosts: Kimon Fountoukidis: Kimon is the founder of both Argos Multilingual and PMR. He founded both companies in the mid-90s with zero capital, and both have gone on to become market leaders in their respective sectors. Kimon was born in New York and moved to Krakow, Poland in 1993. He is passionate about sharing his success with others and working entrepreneurs of all kinds to help them achieve their goals. Richard Lucas: Richard is a business and social entrepreneur who has founded or invested in more than 30 businesses, including Argos Multilingual, PMR and, in 2020, the New Books Network. Richard has been a TEDx event organiser for years, supports the pro-entrepreneurship ecosystem, and leads entrepreneurship workshops at all levels. He was born in Oxford and moved to Poland in 1991, where continues to invest in promising companies and helps other entrepreneurs realise their dreams. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/13/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ruth Rogaski, "Knowing Manchuria: Environments, the Senses, and Natural Knowledge on an Asian Borderland" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Among all the world’s most storied and legend-filled regions, the place known to some over time as ‘Manchuria’ has had an especially wide range of ideas projected onto it. Everyone from Manchu emperors to Chinese exiles, European missionaries, Korean poets, indigenous shamans, Russian botanists, Japanese colonists and socialist planners have sought to know and understand this region, framing its vast forests, mountains, plains and earth according their own political, spiritual or scientific priorities over the past 400 years. Ruth Rogaski’s extraordinary new book Knowing Manchuria: Environments, the Senses, and Natural Knowledge on an Asian Borderland (U Chicago Press, 2022) shows how these acts of knowing have brought multiple Manchurias into existence as people, culture, nature and ecology have been entangled in diverse ways at different points in time. Today, perhaps befitting its status as a contested and layered borderland space, ‘Manchuria’ itself is a contested term, but this only makes Rogaski’s beautifully written multi-perspectival and multilingually-sourced history of this fascinating region all the more valuable. Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/10/202359 minutes, 50 seconds
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John F. Ahern, "Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands" (U Massachusetts Press, 2022)

Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are special places known for their distinctive flora, including pine-oak forests, sandplain grasslands, and sand dunes peppered with bearberry shrubs. Unfortunately, this unique sense of place is under threat. In recent decades, contemporary landscape practices have come to depend on environmentally stressful fertilizers and irrigation systems, replacing this sensitive ecoregion’s native flora with generic turfgrasses and popular commercial nursery trees and shrubs that could exist anywhere. Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands (U Massachusetts Press, 2022) seeks to reverse this damaging trend by offering landscape professionals, local officials, and homeowners a sustainable approach to landscape design based on the ecoregion’s native plants and plant communities. Presenting detailed discussions of Cape Cod’s natural history, Jack Ahern focuses on the principal plant communities that define its landscape character and that are well adapted to local soils and growing conditions, including climate change. The book also includes strategies for ecological planting design and a portfolio of photographs of active ecologically designed landscapes. 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
2/8/202335 minutes, 13 seconds
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“Tech” Journalism and the Many Lives of Stewart Brand

Journalist John Markoff has been writing about Silicon Valley for over forty years. In this interview with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel, Markoff talks about his long career, how he became a “tech journalist” long before that term even existed, and how he came to write his new book, Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand. Markoff and Vinsel also talk about how Brand’s life is interwoven with the history of Silicon Valley and the technology its companies have made. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/7/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 6 seconds
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Philip Gooding, "On the Frontiers of the Indian Ocean World: A History of Lake Tanganyika, c.1830-1890" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

On the Frontiers of the Indian Ocean World: A History of Lake Tanganyika, c.1830-1890 (Cambridge UP, 2022) is the first interdisciplinary history of Lake Tanganyika and of eastern Africa's relationship with the wider Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth century. Philip Gooding deploys diverse source materials, including oral, climatological, anthropological, and archaeological sources, to ground interpretations of the better-known, European-authored archive in local epistemologies and understandings of the past. Gooding shows that Lake Tanganyika's shape, location, and distinctive lacustrine environment contributed to phenomena traditionally associated with the history of the wider Indian Ocean World being negotiated, contested, and re-imagined in particularly robust ways. He adds novel contributions to African and Indian Ocean histories of urbanism, the environment, spirituality, kinship, commerce, consumption, material culture, bondage, slavery, Islam, and capitalism. African peoples and environments are positioned as central to the histories of global economies, religions, and cultures. Philip Gooding is a postdoctoral fellow at the Indian Ocean World Centre and a course Lecturer in the History and Classical Studies department at McGill University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the Department of  History, University of London (SOAS) in 2017.  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
2/7/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 41 seconds
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Emily Strasser, "Half-Life of a Secret: Reckoning with a Hidden History" (UP of Kentucky, 2023)

In 1942, the US government began construction on a sixty-thousand-acre planned community named Oak Ridge in a rural area west of Knoxville, Tennessee. Unmarked on regional maps, Oak Ridge attracted more than seventy thousand people eager for high-paying wartime jobs. Among them was author Emily Strasser's grandfather George, a chemist. All employees—from scientists to secretaries, from military personnel to construction workers—were restricted by the tightest security. They were provided only the minimum information necessary to perform their jobs. It wasn't until three years later that the citizens of Oak Ridge, and the rest of the world, learned the true purpose of the local industry. Oak Ridge was one of three secret cities constructed by the Manhattan Project for the express purpose of developing the first atomic bomb, which devastated Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. In Half-Life of a Secret: Reckoning with a Hidden History (UP of Kentucky, 2023), Emily Strasser exposes the toxic legacy—political, environmental, and personal—that forever polluted her family, a community, the nation, and the world. Sifting through archives and family memories, and traveling to the deserts of Nevada and the living rooms of Hiroshima, she grapples with the far-reaching ramifications of her grandfather's work. She learns that during the three decades he spent building nuclear weapons, George suffered from increasingly debilitating mental illness. Returning to Oak Ridge, Strasser confronts the widespread contamination resulting from nuclear weapons production and the government's disregard for its impact on the environment and public health. With brilliant insight, she reveals the intersections between the culture of secrecy in her family and the institutionalized secrecy within the nuclear industry, which persists, with grave consequences, to this day. Emily Strasser: Emily Strasser is a writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her MFA in nonfiction from the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Ploughshares, Guernica, Colorado Review, The Bitter Southerner, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Gulf Coast, and Tricycle, among others, and she was the presenter of the BBC podcast “The Bomb.” Her essays have been named notable in Best American Essays 2016 and 2017 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was a winner of the 2015 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest, a 2016 AWP Intro Award, a 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist’s Initiative Grant, and the 2016 W.K. Rose Fellowship from Vassar College. She served as a 2018-19 Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Creative Writing at Colgate University and a 2019 McKnight Writing Fellow. Cody Skahan ([email protected]) is a student in the MA program in Anthropology at the University of Iceland as a Leifur Eriksson Fellow. His work focuses on environmentalism in Iceland, especially the social and political implications of the youth environmentalist movement in an arctic country that has created for itself a façade of being environmentally and socially progressive. More generally, his other interests span anywhere from critical theory, psychoanalysis, anarchism, cultural studies, anime, and applying theory through praxis. Cody has a blog where he is trying to write more rather than just only read and talk about books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/5/202359 minutes, 53 seconds
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Christiaan De Beukelaer, "Trade Winds: A Sailing Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping" (Manchester UP, 2023)

How can we build greener infrastructure in the face of the global climate emergency? In Trade Winds: A Sailing Voyage to a Sustainable Future for Shipping (Manchester UP, 2023), Christiaan De Beukelaer, a Senior Lecturer in Arts and Cultural Management at the University of Melbourne intertwines an depth analysis of modern shipping, with a memoir of being aboard a sailing ship during the 2020 pandemic. The book is a fascinating read, with both an extensive critique of the failures of the global shipping and trade system to be sustainable, as well as offering moving insights into a unique experience of a very different form of 2020’s lockdown. Concluding with both the return to land, and a detailed consideration of how shipping, trade, and the world might adapt to the climate crisis, the book is essential reading for anyone interested in a sustainable future for the planet. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/5/202348 minutes, 59 seconds
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Spencer D. Segalla, "Empire and Catastrophe: Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

Spencer Segalla’s Empire and Catastrophe: Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954 (U Nebraska Press, 2021) explores natural and anthropogenic disasters during the years of decolonization and Cold War. Four disasters make up the core of the book: the 1954 earthquake in Algeria’s Chélif Valley, just weeks before the onset of the Algerian Revolution; a mass poisoning in Morocco in 1959 caused by toxic substances from an American military base; the 1959 Malpasset dam collapse in Fréjus, France, which devastated the Algerian immigrant community in the town but which was blamed on Algerian sabotage; and the 1960 earthquake in Agadir, Morocco, which set off a public relations war between the United States, France, and the Soviet Union, and which ignited a Moroccan national debate over modernity, identity, architecture, and urban planning. Spencer Segalla argues for the integration of environmental events into narratives of political and cultural decolonization. Empire and Catastrophe will interest environmental historians, North Africa area studies specialists, and historians of France and French imperialism. Empire and Catastrophe: Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954 is available open access online for no charge. Dr. Segalla, professor of history at the University of Tampa, completed his Ph.D. at Stonybrook in 2003. In addition to Empire and Catastrophe, he has published The Moroccan Soul: French Education, Colonial Ethnology, and Muslim Resistance, 1912-1956 with the University of Nebraska Press in 2009. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/4/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 50 seconds
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Iza Ding, "The Performative State: Public Scrutiny and Environmental Governance in China" (Cornell UP, 2022)

What does the state do when public expectations exceed its governing capacity? The Performative State: Public Scrutiny and Environmental Governance in China (Cornell, 2022) shows how the state can shape public perceptions and defuse crises through the theatrical deployment of language, symbols, and gestures of good governance—performative governance. Iza Ding unpacks the black box of street-level bureaucracy in China through ethnographic participation, in-depth interviews, and public opinion surveys. She demonstrates in vivid detail how China's environmental bureaucrats deal with intense public scrutiny over pollution when they lack the authority to actually improve the physical environment. They assuage public outrage by appearing responsive, benevolent, and humble. But performative governance is hard work. Environmental bureaucrats paradoxically work themselves to exhaustion even when they cannot effectively implement environmental policies. Instead of achieving "performance legitimacy" by delivering material improvements, the state can shape public opinion through the theatrical performance of goodwill and sincere effort. The Performative State also explains when performative governance fails at impressing its audience and when governance becomes less performative and more substantive. Ding focuses on Chinese evidence but her theory travels: comparisons with Vietnam and the United States show that all states, democratic and authoritarian alike, engage in performative governance. Iza Ding is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her PhD from Harvard University.  Her work has appeared in World Politics, the China Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, and other academic journals. Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
2/3/202345 minutes, 9 seconds
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J. Brent Morris, "Dismal Freedom: A History of the Maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp" (UNC Press, 2022)

The massive and foreboding Great Dismal Swamp sprawls over 2,000 square miles and spills over parts of Virginia and North Carolina. From the early seventeenth century, the nearly impassable Dismal frustrated settlement. However, what may have been an impediment to the expansion of slave society became an essential sanctuary for many of those who sought to escape it. In the depths of the Dismal, thousands of maroons--people who had emancipated themselves from enslavement and settled beyond the reach of enslavers--established new lives of freedom in a landscape deemed worthless and inaccessible by whites.  Dismal Freedom: A History of the Maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp (UNC Press, 2022) is the first book to fully examine the lives of these maroons and their struggles for liberation. Drawing from newly discovered primary sources and archeological evidence that suggests far more extensive maroon settlement than historians have previously imagined, award-winning author J. Brent Morris uncovers one of the most exciting yet neglected stories of American history. This is the story of resilient, proud, and determined people of color who made the Great Dismal Swamp their free home and sanctuary and who played an outsized role in undermining slavery through the Civil War. Adam McNeil is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/31/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 45 seconds
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Corey Lee Wrenn, "Animals in Irish Society: Interspecies Oppression and Vegan Liberation in Britain's First Colony" (SUNY Press, 2021)

Irish vegan studies are poised for increasing relevance as climate change threatens the legitimacy and longevity of animal agriculture and widespread health problems related to animal product consumption disrupt long held nutritional ideologies. Already a top producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, Ireland has committed to expanding animal agriculture despite impending crisis. The nexus of climate change, public health, and animal welfare present a challenge to the hegemony of the Irish state and neoliberal European governance. Efforts to resist animal rights and environmentalism highlight the struggle to sustain economic structures of inequality in a society caught between a colonialist past and a globalized future.  Animals in Irish Society: Interspecies Oppression and Vegan Liberation in Britain's First Colony (SUNY Press, 2021) explores the vegan Irish epistemology, one that can be traced along its history of animism, agrarianism, ascendency, adaptation, and activism. From its zoomorphic pagan roots to its legacy of vegetarianism, Ireland has been more receptive to the interests of other animals than is currently acknowledged. More than a land of "meat" and potatoes, Ireland is a relevant, if overlooked, contributor to Western vegan thought. Corey Lee Wrenn is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent. She is the author of several books, including A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Piecemeal Protest: Animal Rights in the Age of Nonprofits (University of Michigan Press, 2019).  Kyle Johannsen is a philosophy instructor at Trent University and Wilfrid Laurier University. His most recent book is Wild Animal Ethics: The Moral and Political Problem of Wild Animal Suffering (Routledge, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/28/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 40 seconds
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Stephanie C. Kane, "Just One Rain Away: The Ethnography of River-City Flood Control" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022)

Not long ago it seemed flood control experts were close to mastering the unruly flows funnelling toward Hudson Bay and the Prairie city of Winnipeg. But as more intense and out-of-synch flood events occur, wary cities like Winnipeg continue to depend on systems and specifications that will soon be out of date. Rivers have impulses that defy many of the basic human assumptions underpinning otherwise sophisticated technologies. This is the river-city expression of climate change.  In Just One Rain Away: The Ethnography of River-City Flood Control (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022), Stephanie Kane shows how geoscience, engineering, and law converge to affect flood control in Winnipeg. She questions technicalities produced and maintained in tandem with settler folkways at the expense of the plural legal cultures of Indigenous nations. The dynamics of this experimental ethnography feel familiar yet strange: here, many of the starring actors are not human. Ice and water - materializing as bodies, elements, and digital signals - act with diatoms, diversions, sensors, sandbags, and satellites, looping theories about glacial erratics and feminist science studies into scenes from neighbourhood parks, conferences, survey maps, plays, archival photos, a novel, an emergency press conference, LiDAR images, and a lab experiment in a bathtub.  Through storytelling and environmental analytics, Just One Rain Away provides a starting point for cross-cultural discussions about how expert knowledge and practice should inform egalitarian decision-making about flood control and, more broadly, decolonize current ways of thinking, being, and becoming with rivers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/25/202344 minutes, 39 seconds
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Climate of Denial: Why Do Americans Doubt Climate Change?

Human-caused climate change is real and growing in impact. Yet many Americans see climate change as a belief that they can opt out of. Two belief structures are to blame: American Protestantism and postmodernism. Guests: Tanya Luhrmann, professor of anthropology and psychology at Stanford University and author of When God Talks Back. Gary Aylesworth, professor emeritus of philosophy at Eastern Illinois University. Lee McIntyre, Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and author of Post-Truth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/23/202333 minutes, 57 seconds
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Helen Anne Curry, "Endangered Maize: Industrial Agriculture and the Crisis of Extinction" (U California Press, 2022)

In Endangered Maize: Industrial Agriculture and the Crisis of Extinction (U California Press, 2022), historian Helen Anne Curry investigates more than a hundred years of agriculture and conservation practices to understand the tasks that farmers and researchers have considered essential to maintaining crop diversity. Through the contours of efforts to preserve diversity in one of the world's most important crops, Curry reveals how those who sought to protect native, traditional, and heritage crops forged their methods around the expectation that social, political, and economic transformations would eliminate diverse communities and cultures. In this fascinating study of how cultural narratives shape science, Curry argues for new understandings of endangerment and alternative strategies to protect and preserve crop diversity. Isobel Akerman is a History PhD student at the University of Cambridge studying biodiversity and botanic gardens. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/21/202349 minutes, 49 seconds
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Jeff Fearnside, "Ships in the Desert" (Santa Fe Writer's Project, 2022)

Many of us have likely seen photos of the Aral Sea, and the rusted Soviet-era ships, sitting in the desert with no water in sight. The Aral Sea is now just 10% of its former volume, shrinking down from what was once the fourth-largest body of inland water in the world, after what writer Jeff Fernside calls “one of the worst human-caused environmental catastrophes.” Jeff traveled to the region as a Peace Corps volunteer. Afterward, he turned his experiences into an essay collection, Ships in the Desert (Santa Fe Writers Project: 2022), where Jeff writes about the families he met, his thoughts on missionaries, and his visit to the Aral Sea, where he saw “a fleet of rusting Soviet fishing ships, hammer and sickle still clearly discernible on many, sitting bolt upright in desert sands as if plowing through ocean waves.” Jeff Fearnside is the author of the short-story collection Making Love While Levitating Three Feet in the Air (Stephen F. Austin State University Press: 2006), which won the 2005 SFWP Awards Program. He is also the author of the chapbook A Husband and Wife Are One Satan (Orison Books: 2021), winner of the Orison Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as The Paris Review, Los Angeles Review, Story, and many others. In this interview, Jeff and I talk about what inspired his essays, including what he saw in the barren Aral Sea. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Ships in the Desert. 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
1/19/202340 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Climate Change Scientist: A Conversation with Dr. Shuang-Yu Wu

What is the difference between global warming and climate change? This episode explores: What led Dr. Wu into STEM, and to the study of climate change. Why the term global warming is misleading, and potentially confusing. Why weather around the world is getting more extreme. What she foresees for the future, and what we can do to change that. Why human choices matter on much a larger scale than most people realize. A discussion of the article “Looking Back on America’s Summer of Heat, Floods, and Climate Change: Welcome to the New Abnormal”. Today’s article is: Looking Back on America's Summer of Heat, Floods, and Climate Change: Welcome to the New Abnormal by Dr. Shuang-Yu Wu, which provides an overview of the record-breaking heat and historic floods of 2022. Dr. Wu discusses how the new abnormal is increasingly seen as the new weather pattern, why it’s dangerous to normalize this, and what we can do change it. “Welcome to the New Abnormal” was published in The Conversation on September 21, 2022. Our guest is: Dr. Shuang-Yu Wu, who is a climate scientist. Dr. Wu uses climate models to project future climate change and its potential impacts on the hydrological cycle, including precipitation, extreme storms and flood risks. She also collaborates with researchers in ice core science and stable isotope geochemistry investigate climate and environmental change in the past ten thousand years. Dr. Wu received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2000 where she studied environmental geography. She joined the University of Dayton department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences in 2004 after completing three-year post-doctoral research at Pennsylvania State University. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact scientific journals, and received close to two million dollars in external funding for her research. Dr. Wu teaches a variety courses mainly in the field of climate change, environmental geosciences, and Geographical Information Systems. Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender. Listeners to this episode may also be interested in: The Conversation article: 2022's US Climate Disasters: A tale of too much rain and too little The Conversation article: For a Flooded Midwest Climate Forecasts Offer Little Comfort Bedaso, Z., & Wu, S. Y. (2020). Daily precipitation isotope variation in Midwestern United States: Implication for hydroclimate and moisture source. Science of The Total Environment, 713, 136631. Yuan, W., Wu, S. Y., Hou, S., Xu, Z., & Lu, H. (2019). Normalized Difference Vegetation Index‐based assessment of climate change impact on vegetation growth in the humid‐arid transition zone in northern China during 1982–2013. International Journal of Climatology, 39(15), 5583-5598. Wu, Y., Ji, H., Wen, J., Wu, S.-Y., Xu, M., Tagle, F., Duan, W., Li, J. (2018). The characteristics of regional persistent heavy precipitation events over eastern monsoon China during 1960-2013. Global and Planetary Change, 172, pp.414-427. Welcome to The Academic Life! Join us here each week, where we go inside the academy to learn directly from experts. We embrace a broad definition of what it means to lead an academic life, and are inspired by today’s knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/12/20231 hour, 1 minute, 15 seconds
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Poverty, Race, and Rural Sanitation

Catherine Coleman Flowers, activist, author, founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, and MacArthur “genius prize” winner, talks about her book Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret with Peoples & Things host Lee Vinsel. Waste examines the brutal realities of rural sanitation issues, particularly the lack of septic tanks, and how they affect poor, often black, people. Flowers also reflects on growing up in Lowndes County, Alabama and how her family, the Civil Rights Movement, and her faith life led her to be the leader she is today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/10/20231 hour, 49 seconds
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Char Miller, "Natural Consequences: Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril" (Chin Music, 2022)

A collection of 42 essays meditating on both California’s natural gifts and its natural disasters, Natural Consequences: Intimate Essays for a Planet in Peril (Chin Music, 2022) urges readers to consider their role in the environment, no matter where they live. Char Miller’s approach to his topic is intimate and immediate but also incorporates his perspective as a historian. He weaves the present dilemma of Hetch Hetchy dam in Yosemite into a reflection on the injustices wreaked upon Indigenous peoples, and a discussion of the Weeks Act of 1911 (read the essay “Upper Reaches” if you’re wondering what that is) into a tale of two environmental historians’ conferences. Organized into six sections, the book is like a meander through a broad topography, including urban areas, total wilderness, and the uneasy liminal spaces between. Throughout, Miller acknowledges his own, and our collective, role in arriving at this perilous place – and manages to strike a balance between hope and concern. His disarmingly brief essays linger after the words are gone. Rachel Pagones is an acupuncturist, educator, and author living in Cambridge, England. Long before moving to the UK, she was an Environmental Studies student at UC Santa Cruz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/7/20231 hour, 55 seconds
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Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Mediterranean

For most of human history, the Mediterranean was home to a significant number of pastoralists, who herded livestock along seasonal migratory routes. Today, traces of this pastoralist presence have all but disappeared. Dr. Andrea Duffy's book Nomad's Land: Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the 19th-Century Mediterranean World (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) seeks to answer the question - what caused the decline and retreat of Mediterranean pastoralism? Dr. Duffy explores the development of a French environmental policy which was centered around forestry and afforestation, and led to the targeting and demonization of pastoralists not only in France but throughout the Mediterranean world. In this episode, Dr. Duffy joins me to talk about pastoralism in 19th-century France, Algeria, and Anatolia, nomadism vs. transhumance, environmentalism past and present, and the legacies of pastoralism around the Mediterranean today.  Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
1/6/202355 minutes, 58 seconds
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Mathew Gandy, "Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space" (MIT Press, 2022)

In his new book, Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space (MIT Press, 2022), Mathew Gandy explores urban nature as a multilayered material and symbolic entity. The book examines the articulation of alternative, and in some cases, counterhegemonic, sources of knowledge about urban nature produced by artists, writers, scientists, as well as curious citizens, including voices seldom heard in environmental discourse. The book is driven by Dr. Gandy’s long-standing fascination with spontaneous forms of urban nature ranging from postindustrial wastelands brimming with life to the return of such predators as wolves and leopards on the urban fringe. Dr. Gandy develops a critical synthesis between different strands of urban ecology and considers whether “urban political ecology,” broadly defined, might be imaginatively extended to take fuller account of both the historiography of the ecological sciences, and recent insights derived from feminist, posthuman, and postcolonial thought. In this episode, Tayeba Batool talks to Dr. Mathew Gandy about his inspiration to write this book, and how an attention to spontaneous ecologies adds to the critical discourse on “new cultures of nature” and the “constellation” of diverse ecological relations, ideas, and assemblages. Moving beyond planned urban spaces (such as parks), Dr. Gandy argues that an attention to the “marginal or interstitial spaces of urban nature” or wastelands brings forward the most compelling assemblages of relations, biodiversity, and life in cities. The conversation also highlights the role of language in setting up taxonomic borders and ideological agendas for species and diversity, and advocates caution against global theories of urban change. Dr. Gandy also shares his thoughts on future direction of urban political ecology and how the book innovates across disciplines of botany, geography, cultural history, and urban studies. You can also learn more about his film project, “Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin” here. Dr. Mathew Gandy is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography and Fellow of King’s College at University of Cambridge. Tayeba Batool is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Tayeba Batool is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/30/202232 minutes, 49 seconds
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Sayan Dey, "Green Academia: Towards Eco-Friendly Education Systems" (Routledge, 2022)

Green Academia: Towards Eco-Friendly Education Systems (Routledge, 2022) can be read as a systemic long-term counter-intervention strategy against any form of impending pandemics in the post-COVID era and beyond. It argues that anti-nature and capitalistic knowledge systems have contributed to the evolution and growth of COVID-19 across the globe and emphasises the merits of reinstating nature-based and environment-friendly pedagogical and curricular infrastructures in mainstream educational institutions. The volume also explores possible ways of weaving ecology and the environment as a habitual practice of teaching and learning in an intersectional manner with Science and Technology Studies. With detailed case studies of the green schools in Bhutan and similar practices in India, Kenya, and New Zealand, the book argues for different forms of eco-friendly education systems and the possibilities of expanding these local practices to a global stage. This book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of sociology, cultural studies, decolonial studies, education, ecology, public policy social anthropology, sustainable development, sociology of education, and political sociology. Rituparna Patgiri is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/26/202244 minutes, 17 seconds
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The ‘Domino Effect’: Global and Regional Climate Change Impacts on Food Supply Chains

There is a complex relationship between climate change and food systems. Food supply chains – in particular food transportation – result in global greenhouse gas emissions, and these emissions are known to be a driving force underlying climate change. But it also works the other way. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Arunima Malik discusses the wide-ranging impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on global regional food systems and supply chains, identifying potential cascading repercussions including job and income loss as well as a loss in nutrient availability and diet quality. About Arunima Malik: Dr Arunima Malik is an academic in the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) group at the School of Physics, and in the Discipline of Accounting, Business School of the University of Sydney. Her research focusses on big-data modelling to quantify sustainability impacts at local, national and global scales. Arunima’s research is interdisciplinary, and focuses on the appraisal of social, economic and environmental impacts using input-output analysis. Arunima works with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network for quantifying spillover effects in international supply chains. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/22/202222 minutes
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Finis Dunaway. "Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice" (UNC Press, 2021)

In far northeastern Alaska lies one of the most remarkable, and contested, places in North America: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This coastal arctic region is a place of great natural beauty, ecological importance, as well as being home and birthplace of the Gwich'in people. It's also thought to contain massive fossil fuel wealth, making it a site of fifty years and more political contestation.  In the award-winning book, Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, An Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice (UNC Press: 2021), Finis Dunaway explains how Indigenous people teamed up with the activist, photographer, and jazz drummer Lenny Kohm to build a grassroots movement to protect this sacred place from extractive industry. Using a humble photo slide show, Kohm and other activists, both Native people from the region and outsiders, marshaled the power of everyday people to convince critical and powerful actors that this was a place that deserved federal protection. While this fight is ongoing, Dunaway's book shows that sometimes power can be found in unexpected places, and that environmental history is not a simple story of decline and hopelessness. Defending the Arctic Refuge website and teaching tools are here. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/22/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 23 seconds
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Brenden W. Rensink, "The North American West in the Twenty-First Century" (U Nebraska Press, 2022)

In 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner famously argued that the generational process of meeting and conquering the supposedly uncivilized western frontier is what forged American identity. In the late twentieth century, “new western” historians dissected the mythologized western histories that Turner and others had long used to embody American triumph and progress. While Turner’s frontier is no more, the West continues to present America with challenging processes to wrestle, navigate, and overcome. The North American West in the Twenty-First Century (U Nebraska Press, 2022), edited by Brenden W. Rensink, takes stories of the late twentieth-century “modern West” and carefully pulls them toward the present—explicitly tracing continuity with or unexpected divergence from trajectories established in the 1980s and 1990s. Considering a broad range of topics, including environment, Indigenous peoples, geography, migration, and politics, these essays straddle multiple modern frontiers, not least of which is the temporal frontier between our unsettled past and uncertain future. These forays into the twenty-first-century West will inspire more scholars to pull histories to the present and by doing so reinsert scholarly findings into contemporary public awareness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/21/202259 minutes, 45 seconds
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Munira Khayyat, "A Landscape of War: Ecologies of Resistance and Survival in South Lebanon" (U California Press, 2022)

What worlds take root in war? In A Landscape of War: Ecologies of Resistance and Survival in South Lebanon (U California Press, 2022), anthropologist Munira Khayyat describes life along the southern border of Lebanon, where resistant ecologies thrive amid a terrain of perennial war. A Landscape of War takes us to frontline villages where armed invasions, indiscriminate bombings, and scattered land mines have become the environment where everyday life is waged. This book dwells with multispecies partnerships such as tobacco farming and goatherding that carry life through seasons of destruction. Neither green-tinged utopia nor total devastation, these ecologies make life possible in an insistently deadly region. Sourcing an anthropology of war from where it is lived, this book decolonizes distant theories of war and brings to light creative practices forged in the midst of ongoing devastation. In lyrical prose that resonates with imperiled conditions across the Global South, Khayyat paints a portrait of war as a place where life must go on. Eyad Houssami makes theatre and has participated in the revitalization of an ancient organic farm in southern Lebanon. He is editor of the Arabic-English book Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre (Pluto Press/Dar Al Adab) and was editor-at-large of Portal 9, a bilingual literary and academic journal about urbanism. His doctoral research project on ecology and agriculture in post-independence Lebanon at the University of Leeds and this work are supported by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/R012733/1) through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/18/20221 hour, 1 minute, 31 seconds
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Michael Weeks, "Cattle Beet Capital: Making Industrial Agriculture in Northern Colorado" (U Nebraska Press, 2022)

In 1870 several hundred settlers arrived at a patch of land at the confluence of the South Platte and Cache la Poudre Rivers in Colorado Territory. Their planned agricultural community, which they named Greeley, was centered around small landholdings, shared irrigation, and a variety of market crops. One hundred years later, Greeley was the home of the world’s largest concentrated cattle-feeding operation, with the resources of an entire region directed toward manufacturing beef. How did that transformation happen? Cattle Beet Capital: Making Industrial Agriculture in Northern Colorado (U Nebraska Press, 2022) is animated by that question. Expanding outward from Greeley to all of northern Colorado, Cattle Beet Capital shows how the beet sugar industry came to dominate the region in the early twentieth century through a reciprocal relationship with its growers that supported a healthy and sustainable agriculture while simultaneously exploiting tens of thousands of migrant laborers. Michael Weeks shows how the state provided much of the scaffolding for the industry in the form of tariffs and research that synchronized with the agendas of industry and large farmers. The transformations that led to commercial feedlots began during the 1930s as farmers replaced crop rotations and seasonal livestock operations with densely packed cattle pens, mono-cropped corn, and the products pouring out of agro-industrial labs and factories. Using the lens of the northern Colorado region, Cattle Beet Capital illuminates the historical processes that made our modern food systems. Michael Weeks is a lecturer of history at Utah Valley University. Troy A. Hallsell is the 341st Missile Wing Historian at Malmstrom AFB. MT. The ideas expressed in this podcast do not represent the 341st Missile Wing, United States Air Force, or Department of Defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/17/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 59 seconds
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Cynthia Radding, "Bountiful Deserts: Sustaining Indigenous Worlds in Northern New Spain" (U Arizona Press, 2022)

Common understandings drawn from biblical references, literature, and art portray deserts as barren places that are far from God and spiritual sustenance. In our own time, attention focuses on the rigors of climate change in arid lands and the perils of the desert in the northern Mexican borderlands for migrants seeking shelter and a new life. Bountiful Deserts: Sustaining Indigenous Worlds in Northern New Spain (U Arizona Press, 2022) foregrounds the knowledge of Indigenous peoples in the arid lands of northwestern Mexico, for whom the desert was anything but barren or empty. Instead, they nurtured and harvested the desert as a bountiful and sacred space. Drawing together historical texts and oral testimonies, archaeology, and natural history, author Cynthia Radding develops the relationships between people and plants and the ways that Indigenous people sustained their worlds before European contact through the changes set in motion by Spanish encounters, highlighting the long process of colonial conflicts and adaptations over more than two centuries. This work reveals the spiritual power of deserts by weaving together the cultural practices of historical peoples and contemporary living communities, centered especially on the Yaqui/Yoeme and Mayo/Yoreme. Radding uses the tools of history, anthropology, geography, and ecology to paint an expansive picture of Indigenous worlds before and during colonial encounters. She re-creates the Indigenous worlds in both their spiritual and material realms, bringing together the analytical dimension of scientific research and the wisdom of oral traditions in its exploration of different kinds of knowledge about the natural world. Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/16/202258 minutes, 56 seconds
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Off-Shore Aesthetics

Sritama Chatterjee talks about a model of literary criticism that she developed in the process of writing her new essay on shipbreaking in Bangladesh. It is a form of materialist understanding for texts, places, and geographies together, taking into account particular signifiers of a place and looking at correspondent literary responses. Sritama is a literary and cultural theorist of the Indian Ocean World, in the Literature program at the Dietrich School of Arts and sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation project titled, “Ordinary Environments and Aesthetics in Contemporary Indian Ocean Archipelagic Writing” has been awarded an Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from her graduate school for outstanding research and scholarly excellence. Her work on the Indian Ocean archipelagos also takes the shape of a collaborative public-facing, community project Delta Lives, which platforms communities in Sundarbans telling their stories. As part of her commitment to rethinking environmental humanities pedagogy, she has edited a cluster on “Water Pedagogies: From the Academy and Beyond” published by NICHE Canada which brings together a set of eleven articles from scholars and activists reflecting on water pedagogy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/16/202220 minutes, 23 seconds
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Joanne Yao, "The Ideal River: How Control of Nature Shaped the International Order" (Manchester UP, 2022)

Environmental politics has traditionally been a peripheral concern for international relations theory, but increasing alarm over global environmental challenges has elevated international society's relationship with the natural world into the theoretical limelight. IR theory's engagement with environmental politics, however, has largely focused on interstate cooperation in the late twentieth century, with less attention paid to how the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century quest to tame nature came to shape the modern international order. The Ideal River: How Control of Nature Shaped the International Order (Manchester UP, 2022) examines nineteenth-century efforts to establish international commissions on three transboundary rivers - the Rhine, the Danube, and the Congo. It charts how the Enlightenment ambition to tame the natural world, and human nature itself, became an international standard for rational and civilized authority and informed our geographical imagination of the international. This relationship of domination over nature shaped three core IR concepts central to the emergence of early international order: the territorial sovereign state; imperial hierarchies; and international organizations. The book contributes to environmental politics and international relations by highlighting how the relationship between society and nature is not a peripheral concern, but one at the heart of international politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/14/202240 minutes, 5 seconds
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Scott Moore, "China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology Are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future" (Oxford UP, 2022)

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that the world is bound together by shared challenges—and that at the center of those challenges stands China. China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology Are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future (Oxford UP, 2022) re-envisions China’s role in the world in terms of sustainability and technology. The danger is that China’s next act will drive divergence on the rules and standards the world desperately needs in the decades ahead. This book helps foreign countries, companies, and other organizations prepare for a future shaped by sustainability, technology—and a dramatic new chapter for China and our world. Sample takeaways: China-linked political + economic risk isn’t going away and will get worse. No-regrets supply chain diversification will only make more sense over time. Environmental sustainability will become a bigger and bigger priority in the China market because of growing regulatory + consumer pressure. This is both in direct operations & larger supply chains. Data privacy, security, and surveillance will pose growing dilemmas for multi-national companies. Data governance is becoming more fragmented, and compliance and cross-border transfer more difficult. Firms need to prepare for “data de-globalization.” China is becoming a more isolated, but still large & important, innovation ecosystem. How to access & leverage this ecosystem, and the talent within it, will become a bigger challenge as China-global research collaborations, student flows, etc. shrink. China’s frothy biotech sector is cooling, but will still be a major growth driver in the years ahead. And developments in biotech will disrupt and reshape many sectors and industries via biometrics, biomaterials, etc. Dr. Scott Moore is an acclaimed authority on China, sustainability, and technology whose career has spanned the U.S. government, multi-lateral institutions, and academia. He currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives. Before returning to academia, Dr. Moore worked extensively on the Paris Agreement on climate change at the U.S. Department of State and at the World Bank. He graduated from Princeton University and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Dong Wang is collection editor of Asian Studies books at Lived Places Publishing (New York & the UK), H-Diplo review editor, director of the Wellington Koo Institute for Modern China in World History (Germany & USA), research associate at Harvard Fairbank Center (since 2002), distinguished professor of history at Shanghai University (since 2016), a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/13/202239 minutes, 32 seconds
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Sarah Milne, "Corporate Nature: An Insider's Ethnography of Global Conservation" (U Arizona Press, 2022)

In 2012, Cambodia’s most prominent environmental activist was brutally murdered in a high-profile conservation area in the Cardamom Mountains. Tragic and terrible, this event magnifies a crisis in humanity’s efforts to save nature: failure of the very tools and systems at hand for advancing global environmental action. Sarah Milne spent more than a decade working for and observing global conservation projects in Cambodia. During this time, she saw how big environmental NGOs can operate rather like corporations. Their core practice involves rolling out appealing and deceptively simple policy ideas, like Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Yet, as policy ideas prove hard to implement, NGOs must also carefully curate evidence from the field to give the impression of success and effectiveness. In Corporate Nature: An Insider's Ethnography of Global Conservation (U Arizona Press, 2022), Milne delves inside the black box of mainstream global conservation. She reveals how big international NGOs struggle in the face of complexity—especially in settings where corruption and political violence prevail. She uses the case of Conservation International’s work in Cambodia to illustrate how apparently powerful NGOs can stumble in practice: policy ideas are transformed on the ground, while perverse side effects arise, like augmented authoritarian power, illegal logging, and Indigenous dispossession. The real power of global conservation NGOs is therefore not in their capacity to control what happens in the field but in their capacity to ignore or conceal failings. Milne argues that this produces an undesirable form of socionature, called corporate nature, that values organizational success over diverse knowledges and ethical conduct. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/12/202252 minutes, 56 seconds
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What Went Wrong in the 1970s in the USA?: A Discussion with Bill McKibben

In this episode of How To Be Wrong we talk with author, educator, and environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of Third Act, an organization focused on bringing together people over 60 for action on climate and justice, and also 350.org, a global grassroots climate campaign. Bill’s work regularly appears in periodicals such as Rolling Stone and The New Yorker, and he has written numerous books, the most recent being The Flag, The Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened, published by Holt in 2022. Our conversation explores what went wrong in the 1970s in the US, ideas about intellectual humility, and the role people over 60 can play in addressing problems in our society. John Kaag is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at UMass Lowell and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/12/202244 minutes, 8 seconds
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Matthew Thaler, "No Other Planet: Utopian Visions for a Climate-changed World" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Visions of utopia – some hopeful, others fearful – have become increasingly prevalent in recent times. In No Other Planet: Utopian Visions for a Climate-changed World (Cambridge UP, 2021), Mathias Thaler examines expressions of the utopian imagination, with a focus on the pressing challenge of how to inhabit a climate-changed world. Forms of social dreaming are tracked across two domains: political theory and speculative fiction. The analysis aims to both uncover the key utopian and dystopian tendencies in contemporary debates around the Anthropocene; as well as to develop a political theory of radical transformation that avoids not only debilitating fatalism but also wishful thinking. This book juxtaposes theoretical interventions, from Bruno Latour to the members of the Dark Mountain collective, with fantasy and science fiction texts by N. K. Jemisin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood, debating viable futures for a world that will look and feel very different from the one we live in right now. Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at [email protected]. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/10/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 44 seconds
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Prakash Kashwan, "Climate Justice in India" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Prakash Kashwan's edited volume Climate Justice in India (Cambridge UP, 2022) brings together a collective of academics, activists, and artists to paint a collage of action-oriented visions for a climate just India. This unique and agenda setting volume informs researchers and readers interested in topics of just transition, energy democracy, intersectionality of access to drinking water, agroecology and women's land rights, national and state climate plans, urban policy, caste justice, and environmental and climate social movements in India. It synthesizes the historical, social, economic, and political roots of climate vulnerability in India and articulates a research and policy agenda for collective democratic deliberations and action. This crossover volume will be of interest to academics, researchers, social activists, policymakers, politicians, and a general reader looking for a comprehensive introduction to the unprecedented challenge of building a praxis of justice in a climate-changed world. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/9/202258 minutes, 24 seconds
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Max Haiven, "Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire" (Pluto Press, 2022)

Palm oil is a commodity like no other. Found in half of supermarket products, from food to cosmetics to plastics, it has shaped the world in which we live. In Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (Pluto Press, 2022), Max Haiven tells a sweeping story that touches on everything from empire to art, from war to food, and from climate change to racial capitalism. By tracing the global history of this ubiquitous elixir we see how capitalism creates surplus populations: people made dependent on capitalist wages but denied the opportunity to earn them - a proportion of humanity that is growing in our age of racialized and neo-colonial dispossession. Inspired by revolutionary writers like Eduardo Galeano, Saidiya Hartman, C.L.R. James and Rebecca Solnit, this kaleidoscopic and experimental book seeks to weave a story of the past in the present and the present in the past. Max Haiven is Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Northwest Ontario and director of the Reimagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL). He writes articles for both academic and general audiences and is the author of the books Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons, The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (with Alex Khasnabish) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life. He is currently working on a book titled Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/8/202254 minutes, 13 seconds
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Char Miller, "West Side Rising: How San Antonio's 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement" (Maverick Books, 2022)

On September 9, 1921, a tropical storm raged above San Antonio, Texas. The rain that night flooded the city's many waterways, distributing unequal destruction throughout its many neighborhoods. For the whiter, wealthier, parts of the city, the flood was an inconvenient detriment to business. For the Latinx West Side, it was a devastating tragedy.  In West Side Rising: How San Antonio's 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Miller (Maverick Books, 2021), Pomona College professor Char Miller explains why this flood happened, what made it so devastating, and how it galvanized a community activist movement that remade San Antonio politics. Miller uses never-before analyzed sources to explain how flood control and urban redevelopment left the city's most vulnerable population behind in the disaster's aftermath, and how this blatant environmental racism formed the nuclear of several generations of environmental activist organizations. By taking the story of 1921 into the twenty-first century, Miller argues that a story that could be told as simple tragedy in fact represents the best in the human spirit, as people band together to aid one another and seize power for themselves. Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
12/2/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 22 seconds
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Stephanie LeMenager and Teresa Shewry, "Literature and the Environment: Critical and Primary Sources" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

Bringing together 100 essential critical articles across 4 volumes, Literature and the Environment: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2021) is a comprehensive collection of the most important academic writings on ecocriticism and literature's engagement with environmental crisis. With texts by key scholars, creative writers and activists, the articles in these four volumes follow the development and history of environmental criticism, as well as interdisciplinary conversations with contemporary philosophy and media studies. Literature and the Environment includes work by such writers as: Stacy Alaimo, Jonathan Bate, Winona LaDuke, Laura Pulido, Kyle Powis Whyte, Jacques Derrida, Ursula K. Heise, Bruno Latour, Rob Nixon, Ken Saro-Wiwa, William Shakespeare, Leslie Marmon Silko, Henry David Thoreau, Rita Wong. E.O. Wilson, Cary Wolfe and William Wordsworth. Stephanie LeMenager is Barbara and Carlisle Moore Distinguished Professor in English and American Literature and Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, USA. She is co-founder (with Stephanie Foote) of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities and her previous books include Living Oil: Petroleum and Culture in the American Century (2014). Teresa Shewry is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. She is the author of Hope At Sea: Possible Ecologies in Oceanic Literature (2015). 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
11/30/202249 minutes, 33 seconds
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Sally Weintrobe et al., "Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death" (Phoenix Publishing House, 2022)

Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death (Phoenix Publishing House, 2022) offers ways to work with the unthinkable and emotionally unendurable current predicament of humanity. The style and writing interweave passion and reflection, animation and containment, radical hope, and tragedy to reflect the dilemmas of our collective crisis. The authors model a relational approach in their styles of writing and in the book's structure. Four chapters, each with a strikingly original voice and insight, form the core of the book, held either end by two jointly written chapters. In contrast to a psychology that focuses on individual behavior change, the authors use a transdisciplinary mix of approaches (depth psychology and psychotherapy, earth systems, deep ecology, cultural sociology, critical history, group and institutional outreach) to bring into focus the predicament of this period. While the last decade required a focus on climate denial in all its manifestations (which continues in new ways), a turning point has now been reached. Increasingly extreme weather across the world is making it impossible for simple avoidance of the climate threat. Wendy Hollway, Paul Hoggett, Chris Robertson, and Sally Weintrobe address how climate psychology illuminates and engages the life and death challenges that face terrestrial life. This book will appeal to three core groups. First, mental health and social care professionals wanting support in containing and potentially transforming the malaise. Second, activists wanting to participate in new stories and practices that nurture their engagement with the present social and cultural crisis. Third, those concerned about the climate emergency, wanting to understand the deeper context for this dangerous blindness. Karyne Messina is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and am on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Resurgence of Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy (Routledge, 2022). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/29/202254 minutes, 53 seconds
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Michael Bess, "Planet in Peril: Humanity's Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Michael Bess is the Chancellor's Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His fifth and most recent book is Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. This study focuses on the existential risks posed by climate change, nuclear weapons, pandemics (natural or bioengineered), and artificial intelligence – surveying the solutions that have been tried, and why they have fallen short thus far. Bess describes a pathway for gradually modifying the United Nations over the coming century so that it becomes more effective at coordinating global solutions. Planet in Peril explores how to get past ideological polarization and global political fragmentation, drawing lessons from the experiences of environmental movements and European integration. Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/29/202249 minutes, 47 seconds
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Public Participation and Contested Hydropower Development in the Mekong River Basin

Regional demand for renewable hydropower from the Mekong River and its tributaries in Laos is on the rise. In June 2022, Laos exported one hundred megawatts of hydropower to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia – a historic milestone that further establishes Laos as the battery of Asia. However, these developments take place amid rising concerns for the ecological future of the transboundary Mekong River and the millions of people who depend on it. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Ming Li Yong exposes how further hydropower development on the Mekong River could negatively affect ecosystems, resulting in decreased food security and jeopardising livelihoods in the river basin. She also discusses processes of public consultation and how they fail to consider local communities’ opinions on these contested projects. About Ming Li Yong: Ming Li is a Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i. She researches transboundary water governance and hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin. Her research focuses on community-based natural resource management, civil society movements, public participation, and the institutional arrangements that influence the politics of water resources development in the Mekong region. She received her Ph.D. from The University of Sydney and has previously taught courses on environmental ethics, sustainability, and food at the School for Field Studies and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, and at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/24/202223 minutes, 24 seconds
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Kasia Paprocki, "Threatening Dystopias: The Global Politics of Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh" (Cornell UP, 2021)

In Threatening Dystopias: The Global Politics of Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh (Cornell UP, 2021), Kasia Paprocki challenges two well-worn assumptions about climate change and its relationship with the political economy of development and agriculture, in Bangladesh, which helps shed light on how climate change becomes a politically contested category, in countries across the Global South. The first, is that climate change is simply a contemporary phenomenon without a longer history embedded in the ecology, economics, politics, and social relations in the region. Second, that climate change is the driver of the increased vulnerability of large swaths of the Bangladeshi population, like the community she closely follows in Khulna, in the southwestern part of the country. Through fine-grained ethnographic and archival detail, Paprocki engages with developers, policy makers, scientists, farmers, and rural migrants to show how Bangladeshi and global elites ignore the history of landscape transformation and its attendant conflicts in advancing certain ‘climate adaptation’ agendas, which have dire consequences for the most marginalized.  She looks at how groups craft economic narratives and strategies that redistribute power and resources away from peasant communities. Although these groups claim that increased production of export commodities will reframe the threat of climate change into an opportunity for economic development and growth, the reality is not so simple. For the country's rural poor, these promises ring hollow. As development dispossesses the poor from agrarian livelihoods, outmigration from peasant communities leads to precarious existences in urban centers. And a vision of development in which urbanization and export-led growth are both desirable and inevitable is not one the land and its people can sustain. Threatening Dystopias shows how a powerful rural movement, although hampered by an all-consuming climate emergency, is seeking climate justice in Bangladesh. Archit Guha is a PhD researcher at the Duke University History Department.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/24/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 15 seconds
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Lyndsie Bourgon, "Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods" (Little, Brown Spark, 2022)

There's a strong chance that chair you are sitting on was made from stolen lumber. In Tree Thieves: Crime And Survival In North America's Woods (Little, Brown Spark, 2022), Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way. Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn't include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results. Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy. 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
11/22/202240 minutes, 36 seconds
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Cajetan Iheka, "African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics" (Duke UP, 2021)

In African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics (Duke UP, 2021), Cajetan Iheka examines the ecological footprint of media in Africa alongside the representation of environmental issues in visual culture. Iheka shows how, through visual media such as film, photography, and sculpture, African artists deliver a unique perspective on the socioecological costs of media production, from mineral and oil extraction to the politics of animal conservation. Among other works, he examines Pieter Hugo's photography of electronic waste recycling in Ghana and Idrissou Mora-Kpai's documentary on the deleterious consequences of uranium mining in Niger. These works highlight not only the exploitation of African workers and the vast scope of environmental degradation but also the resourcefulness and creativity of African media makers. They point to the unsustainability of current practices while acknowledging our planet's finite natural resources. In foregrounding Africa's centrality to the production and disposal of media technology, Iheka shows the important place visual media has in raising awareness of and documenting ecological disaster even as it remains complicit in it. Dr. Cajetan Iheka is a Professor in the English Department at Yale University. Before African Ecomedia he published Naturalizing Africa: Ecological Violence, Agency, and Postcolonial Resistance in African Literature in 2018, which won two prizes - the Ecocriticism Book Award of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and the African Literature Association First Book Prize. Dr. Iheka has also edited the volume, Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, and co-edited another titled African Migration Narratives: Politics, Race, and Space. Sara Katz is a Postdoctoral Associate in the History Department at Duke University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/22/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ann-Christine Duhaime, "Minding the Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Why is it so difficult to adopt a more sustainable way of life, even when convinced of the urgency of the environmental crisis? If adopting new behaviors beneficial for the environment is so challenging at the individual level, no wonder it is even harder at the community or governmental levels. Seeing individual and collective behaviors not changing, or not rapidly enough, eventually leads to the belief that nothing can be done and that human beings are just “hard-wired” that way. This is where, quite unexpectedly, neuroscience can help us tackle the multidimensional and unprecedented problem that is the environmental crisis. In Minding the Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2022), Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime argues that by considering the long evolutionary history of the human brain and its reward-system, one can better understand, and therefore grow less frustrated about, why adopting sustainable behaviors can be so challenging. “Our brains are amazing," writes Dr. Duhaime, "– fine-tuned, capable, adaptable, to handle the incredible tasks of human life in its infinite variety and with its infinite day-to-day challenges. […] But there is a mismatch between the pace of evolution of this extraordinary able, pulsating, three-pound bundle of sparks and what we need to meet the challenge of this extraordinary rapid Age of the Anthropocene.” It is this mismatch that Dr. Duhaime proposes to analyze in this surprising book. Using insights provided by research at the intersection of neuroscience, environmental sciences and a number of other fields, Minding the Climate invites us to think about what a “sustainable brain” might look like and how to achieve it. Victor Monnin, Ph.D. is an historian of science specialized in the history of Earth sciences. He is also teaching French language and literature to undergraduates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/22/202259 minutes, 21 seconds
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Caroline Grego, "Hurricane Jim Crow: How the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893 Shaped the Lowcountry South" (UNC Press, 2022)

On an August night in 1893, the deadliest hurricane in South Carolina history struck the Lowcountry, killing thousands—almost all African American. But the devastating storm is only the beginning of this story. The hurricane's long effects intermingled with ongoing processes of economic downturn, racial oppression, resistance, and environmental change. In the Lowcountry, the political, economic, and social conditions of Jim Crow were inextricable from its environmental dimensions. This narrative history of a monumental disaster and its aftermath uncovers how Black workers and politicians, white landowners and former enslavers, northern interlocutors and humanitarians all met on the flooded ground of the coast and fought to realize very different visions for the region's future. Through a telescoping series of narratives in which no one's actions were ever fully triumphant or utterly futile, Hurricane Jim Crow: How the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893 Shaped the Lowcountry South (UNC Press, 2022) explores with nuance this painful and contradictory history and shows how environmental change, political repression, and communal traditions of resistance, survival, and care converged. Caroline Grego is assistant professor of history at Queens University of Charlotte. Twitter. Website. 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
11/22/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 6 seconds
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Jennifer Eaglin, "Sweet Fuel: A Political and Environmental History of Brazilian Ethanol" (Oxford UP, 2022)

As the hazards of carbon emissions increase and governments around the world seek to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, the search for clean and affordable alternate energies has become an increasing priority in the twenty-first century. However, one nation has already been producing such a fuel for almost a century: Brazil. Its sugarcane-based ethanol is the most efficient biofuel on the global fuel market, and the South American nation is the largest biofuel exporter in the world. Sweet Fuel: A Political and Environmental History of Brazilian Ethanol (Oxford UP, 2022) offers the first full historical account of the industry's origins. The Brazilian government mandated a mixture of ethanol in the national fuel supply in the 1930s, and the success of the program led the military dictatorship to expand the industry and create the national program Proálcool in 1975. Private businessmen, politicians, and national and international automobile manufacturers together leveraged national interests to support this program. By 1985, over 95% of all new cars in the country ran exclusively on ethanol, and, after consumers turned away from them when oil was cheap, the government successfully promoted flex fuel cars instead. Yet, as Jennifer Eaglin shows, the industry's growth came with associated environmental and social costs in the form of water pollution from liquid waste generated during ethanol distillation and exploitative rural labor practices that reshaped Brazil's countryside. By examining the shifting perceptions of the industry from a sugar byproduct to a national energy solution to a global clean energy option, Sweet Fuel ultimately reveals deeper truths about what a global large-scale transition away from fossil fuels might look like and challenges idealized views of green industries. Mohamed Gamal-Eldin is a historian of Modern Egypt, who is interested in questions related to the built environment, urban history, architecture, social history and environmental ecology of urban centers in 19th and early 20th century Egypt, the Middle East and globally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/18/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds
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Towards a Green China

What does the concept of ecological civilisation mean in practice? And how can we understand the relationship between grand visions, legal systems, green politics and development processes on the ground in contemporary China? In this episode we focus on China’s environmental ambitions and its increasingly central role in efforts towards global sustainability, as well as the importance placed upon sustainable development by the Chinese Communist Party, and by Xi Jinping himself. To unpack these issues and discuss the potentials of a greener China, Arve Hansen is joined by some of Norway’s leading experts on Chinese environmental politics and practice, Gørild Heggelund, Yong Zhou and Bjorn Leif Brauteseth. Bjorn Leif Brauteseth is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. Gørild Heggelund is Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Yong Zhou is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. Arve Hansen is a researcher at the Centre for Development and the Environment 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. Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/18/202238 minutes, 56 seconds
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Towards a Green China

What does the concept of ecological civilisation mean in practice? And how can we understand the relationship between grand visions, legal systems, green politics and development processes on the ground in contemporary China? In this episode we focus on China’s environmental ambitions and its increasingly central role in efforts towards global sustainability, as well as the importance placed upon sustainable development by the Chinese Communist Party, and by Xi Jinping himself. To unpack these issues and discuss the potentials of a greener China, Arve Hansen is joined by some of Norway’s leading experts on Chinese environmental politics and practice, Gørild Heggelund, Yong Zhou and Bjorn Leif Brauteseth. Bjorn Leif Brauteseth is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. Gørild Heggelund is Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Yong Zhou is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. Arve Hansen is a researcher at the Centre for Development and the Environment 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. Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/18/202238 minutes, 56 seconds
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David McDermott Hughes, "Energy without Conscience: Oil, Climate Change, and Complicity" (Duke UP, 2017)

In Energy without Conscience: Oil, Climate Change, and Complicity (Duke University Press, 2017), David McDermott Hughes investigates why climate change has yet to be seen as a moral issue. He examines the forces that render the use of fossil fuels ordinary and therefore exempt from ethical evaluation. Hughes centers his analysis on Trinidad and Tobago, which is the world's oldest petro-state, having drilled the first continuously producing oil well in 1866. Marrying historical research with interviews with Trinidadian petroleum scientists, policymakers, technicians, and managers, he draws parallels between Trinidad's eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave labor energy economy and its contemporary oil industry. Hughes shows how both forms of energy rely upon a complicity that absolves producers and consumers from acknowledging the immoral nature of each. He passionately argues that like slavery, producing oil is a moral choice and that oil is at its most dangerous when it is accepted as an ordinary part of everyday life. Only by rejecting arguments that oil is economically, politically, and technologically necessary, and by acknowledging our complicity in an immoral system, can we stem the damage being done to the planet. David McDermott Hughes is a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. In research and teaching, he explores ways in which people exploit each other while exploiting nature, environments, and the entire biosphere. He has written ethnography, history, and public criticism on topics as diverse as settler colonialism, racism, slavery, land reform, climate change, oil, and renewable energy – in Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and the European South. He is the author of many other books, with his most recent titled Who Owns the Wind? Climate Crisis and the Hope of Renewable Energy (Verso Press, 2021). He is also a scholar-activist, having served as president, chief negotiator, and climate justice chair of the Rutgers faculty labor union. Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/16/202255 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ryan Poll, "Aquaman and the War Against Oceans: Comics Activism and Allegory in the Anthropocene" (U Nebraska Press, 2022)

In Aquaman and the War against Oceans (University of Nebraska Press, 2022), Ryan Poll explores ways the New 52 reimagining of Aquaman--a massive overhaul and rebranding of all DC Comics--transformed the character from a joke to an important figure of ecological justice. In this series, Aquaman becomes an accessible figure for charting environmental violences endemic to global capitalism and for developing a progressive and popular ecological imagination. Poll argues that The New 52 Aquaman should be read as an allegory that responds to the crises of the Anthropocene, in which the oceans have become a site of warfare and mass death. Poll contends that the series, which works to bridge the terrestrial and watery worlds, can be understood as a form of comics activism by visualizing and verbalizing how the oceans are both beyond the projects of the "human" and "humanism," and simultaneously, all-too-human geographies that are inextricable from the violent structures of capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. The New 52 Aquaman, Poll demonstrates, proves an important form of ocean literacy in particular and ecological literacy more generally. Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/14/202242 minutes, 52 seconds
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Jan Selby et al., "Divided Environments: An International Political Ecology of Climate Change, Water and Security" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

What are the implications of climate change for twenty-first-century conflict and security? Rising temperatures, it is often said, will bring increased drought, more famine, heightened social vulnerability, and large-scale political and violent conflict; indeed, many claim that this future is already with us. Divided Environments: An International Political Ecology of Climate Change, Water and Security (Cambridge UP, 2022), however, shows that this is mistaken. Focusing especially on the links between climate change, water and security, and drawing on detailed evidence from Israel-Palestine, Syria, Sudan and elsewhere, it shows both that mainstream environmental security narratives are misleading, and that the actual security implications of climate change are very different from how they are often imagined. Addressing themes as wide-ranging as the politics of droughts, the contradictions of capitalist development and the role of racism in environmental change, while simultaneously articulating an original 'international political ecology' approach to the study of socio-environmental conflicts, Divided Environments offers a new and important interpretation of our planetary future. Jan Selby joined the University of Sheffield in June 2020 as Professor of Politics and International Relations. After completing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Lancaster (2002), Jan's first post was as a lecturer in Lancaster's Department of Politics and IR. After a short stint at Aberystwyth, he then moved to the Department of IR, University of Sussex, where he worked for 15 years (2005-20). He held several leadership positions at Sussex, including Head of Department (2007-09), Director of Research (2011-20), and Director of the cross-disciplinary Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (2012-18). Professor Selby’s research and teaching focus on climate change, water and energy politics, though he also works periodically on themes in IR theory, and conflict, peacebuilding and development. Sidney Michelini is a PhD student working on climate and conflict at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/11/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 10 seconds
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Martin Puchner, "Literature for a Changing Planet" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Why we must learn to tell new stories about our relationship with the earth if we are to avoid climate catastrophe.  Reading literature in a time of climate emergency can sometimes feel a bit like fiddling while Rome burns. Yet, at this turning point for the planet, scientists, policymakers, and activists have woken up to the power of stories in the fight against global warming.  In Literature for a Changing Planet (Princeton UP, 2022), Martin Puchner ranges across four thousand years of world literature to draw vital lessons about how we put ourselves on the path of climate change—and how we might change paths before it’s too late. From the Epic of Gilgamesh and the West African Epic of Sunjata to the Communist Manifesto, Puchner reveals world literature in a new light—as an archive of environmental exploitation and a product of a way of life responsible for climate change. Literature depends on millennia of intensive agriculture, urbanization, and resource extraction, from the clay of ancient tablets to the silicon of e-readers. Yet literature also offers powerful ways to change attitudes toward the environment. Puchner uncovers the ecological thinking behind the idea of world literature since the early nineteenth century, proposes a new way of reading in a warming world, shows how literature can help us recognize our shared humanity, and discusses the possible futures of storytelling. If we are to avoid environmental disaster, we must learn to tell the story of humans as a species responsible for global warming. Filled with important insights about the fundamental relationship between storytelling and the environment, Literature for a Changing Planet is a clarion call for readers and writers who care about the fate of life on the planet. Prof. Martin Puchner is Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University.  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
11/10/202239 minutes, 57 seconds
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Sustainable Peatland Management and Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia

Indonesian citizens, and those of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, have long suffered recurring haze pollution caused by peatland fires in Indonesia. To avoid these forest fires, and reduce the environmental harm and negative health impacts that transboundary haze gives rise to, Indonesia needs to restore its degraded peatlands. President Joko Widodo started this task in 2016 when he established the Peatland Restoration Agency, tasked with rehabilitating 2 million hectares of degraded peatland. What has this ad hoc body achieved since then, and where will it go from here? In this episode, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Rini Astuti to discuss why peatland fires are a particularly acute issue in Southeast Asia, and how Indonesia can play a crucial role in effectively mitigating transboundary haze in the region. About Rini Astuti: Dr Rini Astuti is a Research Fellow at Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. Rini is also the Global Public Voices Fellow for the Mario Einaudi Center on International Studies at Cornell University. Her research focuses on environmental governance and climate change in the Southeast Asia region (Indonesia in particular). She previous worked at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, where she was part of the multidisciplinary team researching forest & peatland fire and transboundary haze in Southeast Asia. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/10/202225 minutes, 6 seconds
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Thom van Dooren, "A World in a Shell: Snail Stories for a Time of Extinctions" (MIT Press, 2022)

In this time of extinctions, the humble snail rarely gets a mention. And yet snails are disappearing faster than any other species. In A World in a Shell: Snail Stories for a Time of Extinctions (MIT Press, 2022), Thom van Dooren offers a collection of snail stories from Hawai'i--once home to more than 750 species of land snails, almost two-thirds of which are now gone. Following snail trails through forests, laboratories, museums, and even a military training facility, and meeting with scientists and Native Hawaiians, van Dooren explores ongoing processes of ecological and cultural loss as they are woven through with possibilities for hope, care, mourning, and resilience. Van Dooren recounts the fascinating history of snail decline in the Hawaiian Islands: from deforestation for agriculture, timber, and more, through the nineteenth century shell collecting mania of missionary settlers, and on to the contemporary impacts of introduced predators. Along the way he asks how both snail loss and conservation efforts have been tangled up with larger processes of colonization, militarization, and globalization. These snail stories provide a potent window into ongoing global process of environmental and cultural change, including the largely unnoticed disappearance of countless snails, insects, and other less charismatic species. Ultimately, van Dooren seeks to cultivate a sense of wonder and appreciation for our damaged planet, revealing the world of possibilities and relationships that lies coiled within a snail's shell. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/7/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds
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June Carolyn Erlick, "Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: Coping with Calamity" (Routledge, 2021)

In Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: Coping with Calamity (Routledge, 2021), June Carolyn Erlick explores the relationship between natural disasters and civil society, immigration and diaspora communities and the long-term impact on emotional health. Natural disasters shape history and society and, in turn, their long-range impact is determined by history and society. This is especially true in Latin America and the Caribbean, where climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of these extreme events. Ranging from pre-Columbian flooding in the Andes to the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, this book focuses on long-range recovery and recuperation, rather than short-term disaster relief. Written in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the author shows how lessons learned about civil society, governance, climate change, inequality and trauma from natural disasters have their echoes in the challenges of today’s uncertain world. June Carolyn Erlick is the Editor-in-Chief of ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America and Publications Director at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. She is the author of five books, including Telenovelas in Pan-Latino Context (Routledge, 2018), Disappeared: A Journalist Silenced, the Irma Flaquer Story (Seal Press, 2004) and A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible War (University of Texas Press, 2010). She teaches journalism at Harvard Extension and Summer Schools and coordinates the journalism capstone and internship programs there.  Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
11/7/20221 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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Sarah T. Hines, "Water for All: Community, Property, and Revolution in Modern Bolivia" (U California Press, 2021)

Sarah T. Hines's Water for All Community, Property, and Revolution in Modern Bolivia (University of California Press, 2021) chronicles how Bolivians democratized water access, focusing on the Cochabamba region, the country's third largest city and most important agricultural valley. Covering the period from 1879 to 2019, Hines examines the conflict over control of the region's water sources, showing how communities of water users increased supply and extended distribution through collective labor and social struggle. Through analysis of a wide variety of sources from agrarian reform case records to oral history interviews, Hines investigates how water dispossession in the late nineteenth century and reclaimed water access in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries prompted, shaped, and strengthened popular and indigenous social movements. The struggle for democratic control over water culminated in the successful Water War uprising in 2000, a decisive turning point for Bolivian politics. This story offers lessons in contemporary resource management and grassroots movements for how humans can build equitable, democratic, and sustainable resource systems in the Andes, Latin America, and beyond. Water for All is essential reading for Andeanists and scholars of social and environmental movements in the Americas. 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
11/2/202252 minutes, 51 seconds
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Darts Transit Commission: Silicon Valley’s Car Culture

Paris Marx is one of the sharpest modern writers on Silicon Valley and transit. We have been talking a lot lately about the idea of techno-utopian thinking, but we’re coming to a somewhat surprising conclusion: there isn’t as much of it as there used to be. Our Silicon Valley tech bros have quite a curtailed vision. If they do have a utopia, it is a utopia of sustaining the unsustainable, of paving over the continent to keep everyone in their cars. With Paris we’ll traverse the intellectual history of hippies-turned-arch-capitalists, and focus especially on their ideas for transportation policy. Do they have a radical vision for a different transportation future, or is it a vision of maintaining the status quo? Marx is author of the book Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation, out now from Verso Books. 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
10/31/202247 minutes, 22 seconds
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Andreas Malm, "How to Blow Up a Pipeline" (Verso, 2021)

The science on climate change has been clear for a very long time now. Yet despite decades of appeals, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and peaceful demonstrations, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising emission levels, and a rising temperature. With the stakes so high, why haven’t we moved beyond peaceful protest? Offering a counter-history of how mass popular change has occurred, from the democratic revolutions overthrowing dictators to the movement against apartheid and for women’s suffrage, Malm argues that the strategic acceptance of property destruction and violence has been the only route for revolutionary change. In How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Verso, 2021), Malm offers us an incisive discussion of the politics and ethics of pacifism and violence, democracy and social change, strategy and tactics, and a movement compelled by both the heart and the mind. Here is how we fight in a world on fire. Jimena Ledgard is a journalist, writer and researcher from Lima, Peru. You can find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimedylan Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/27/202234 minutes, 55 seconds
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Agha Bayramov, "Constructive Competition in the Caspian Sea Region" (Routledge, 2022)

The Caspian Sea region has hitherto largely been investigated from a New Great Game' perspective that depicts the region as a geopolitical battle­ground between regional and external great powers, where tensions have been exacerbated by the sea's rich natural resources, strategic location, and legal disagreements over its status.  Agha Bayramov,'s book Constructive Competition in the Caspian Sea Region (Routledge, 2022), by contrast, portrays a new image of the region, which still ac­knowledges the difficulties and problematic starting situation of power poli­tics there. It, however, seeks to show that there are ways forward by identifying mechanisms and means to transform the New Great Game' into processes of functional co-operation. Drawing on theoretical insights from a functionalist framework, this book examines three intertwined case studies, namely the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), and the Caspian Environmental Program (CEP). It shows that lessons learned from environmental co-operation have influenced the discussion over the un­certain legal status of the sea, which culminated in the signing in 2018 of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. This book analyzes the three phases of the BTC and the SGC projects: the planning of the pipeline, its construction, and its use, none of which have been adequately addressed yet. This book illustrates the increasing role of actors beyond and besides the states in the Caspian Sea region, such as transnational corporations, non-governmental organizations, and intergovernment organizations. Luca Anceschi is Professor of Eurasian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he also edits Europe-Asia Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies
10/20/202239 minutes, 49 seconds
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John Suval, "Dangerous Ground: Squatters, Statesmen, and the Antebellum Rupture of American Democracy" (Oxford UP, 2022)

The squatter—defined by Noah Webster as "one that settles on new land without a title"—had long been a fixture of America's frontier past. In the antebellum period, white squatters propelled the Jacksonian Democratic Party to dominance and the United States to the shores of the Pacific. In a bold reframing of the era's political history, J