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The Sustainability Agenda
58 minutes | a month ago
Episode 118: Interview with Professor Rupert Read, former XR spokesperson, author of Parents for a Future
In this thought provoking and spirited interview, Rupert Read shares lessons and insights from his decades long experience as an activist. Rupert believes that as a society we are facing a “long emergency” with our entire civilisation at risk—and that nothing less than a complete transformation of our way of life will be necessary to deal with our environmental predicament. He discusses the vital role that Extinction Rebellion is playing in helping to create awareness and change and the importance of citizens assemblies and other bottom up approaches to change. At the heart of his passionate new book, Parents for a Future, Rupert argues that by caring for our own children, we are committed to caring for the whole of human future, and in turn, caring for the future of the natural world. A fascinating interview—and a strongly argued plea for dramatic action and change.Rupert Read is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, an author, a blogger, and a climate and environmental campaigner, including his work as a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion. He has written over a dozen books, most recently Parents for A Future. He has also been national parliamentary candidate, European parliamentary candidate and councillor for the Green Party of England and Wales and chaired the ecological think tank Green House. He is a strong advocate for positive, radical change to address the climate emergency, and has argued for the environment extensively in the media, including writings in the Guardian, The Independent and The Ecologist and frequent guest appearances on the radio.
62 minutes | a month ago
Episode 117: Interview with Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, New York University on environmental justice.
Dale discusses his recent thinking on the metaphysical challenges of climate change --the way a rapidly changing world unmoored from the traditional sources of meaning in our lives. He also explores the way that climate change interacts with our political institutions, with their inherent short-termism--and distinguishes between what he sees as the broad values of capitalism, when he was growing up, and what he calls today’s crony capitalism. At the heart of this discussion, Dale highlights the fundamental challenges that any person faces in life today, wherever they live, are: how should I live? How do I how do I go forward?
62 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 116: Interview with Johan Frijns, the director of BankTrack, whose mission is to stop banks from financing harmful business activities.
In this in-depth interview, Johan Frijns discusses the vital work that BankTrack does on banks and the activities they finance, tracking the involvement of banks in financing business activities with a negative impact on people and planet, so as to make information on this finance widely available in the public domain. Johan discusses some of the powerful techniques that BankTrack uses to bring about ambitious and effective sustainability commitments from banks, highlighting some recent success stories.Johan believes that there has been tremendous change in how banks think about the impact of their business on the environment in the last twenty years —but believes there is so much more to do, such as urgently stopping banks from financing the coal, oil and gas companies that are fuelling the climate crisis. Bank investment policies and climate commitments are rapidly evolving, but banks continue to pour hundreds of billions per year into the fossil fuel industry. A fascinating insight into the vital work that this small organisation is doing in a crucial but often overlooked area of finance.
64 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 115: Interview with John Clark, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University, director of La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
John Clark is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University, and director of La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology, and author. his latest book is Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community. In this wide-ranging and hard-hitting discussion, John analyses the roots of the environmental plight we are facing— what he calls the Necrocene- a period of mass extinction and reversal. He explores the roots of the problems through Murray Bookchin’s Social Ecology, and he considers the revitalising potential of communities to fuel creativity and regeneration-a recurring theme throughout this discussion -as he calls out for a revolutionary communitarian approach to the problems we are facing. John also discusses what we can learn from Buddhist teachings on impermanence, and also highlights some lessons from indigenous communities in how we relate to nature.
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 114: Professor Tim Lenton discusses Gaia 2.0
Tim Lenton is Professor of Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. He has had a lifelong interest in the Gaia Hypothesis and much of his recent work has been building on the work of James Lovelock, highlighting mechanisms by which the Earth system has been stabilised by negative feedbacks throughout Earth history. In this interview, Tim discusses his work with Bruno Latour, exploring how humans could add some level of self-awareness to Earth's self-regulation.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 113: Interview with Jagdeesh Rao, the Chief Executive of the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) in India,
The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) works on the ecological restoration and conservation of land and water resources in ecologically fragile, degraded regions of India, primarily through the collective efforts of village communities. FES is currently working with more than 20 thousand village communities on 6 plus million acres of common lands across 10 states of India. Jagdeesh’s work has been widely recognized and he has received the Times of India Social Impact award, the Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom Award on Commons, UN’s Land for Life award, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
53 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 112: Interview with David Loy, Zen teacher, Author of EcoDharma
In this episode, Zen teacher David Loy shares his thinking about EcoDharma: combining the teachings of Buddhism with ecology or ecological concerns. In this fascinating discussion, David explore the ecological implications of Buddhist teachings with insights into how to embody that understanding in the eco-activism that is needed in the world today. David explains that in Buddhism, while there aren’t prescriptive steps or writings from the Buddha on how to solve modern problems, we can follow the spiritual path of Buddhism to deal with our grief over climate change and move past it to feel empowered and grounded, part of the larger community of sentient, living beings. He outlines the Ecosattva Path, a path of liberation and salvation for all beings and the world itself.-- David Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. He is a prolific author, with his most recent books including Ecodharma, Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. He has also published in major journals such as Tikkun and Buddhist Magazines, and a variety of scholarly journals. In his lectures and teaching he focuses on comparative philosophy and the encounter between Buddhism and modernity. He is one of the founding members of the new Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colorado.
70 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 111: An interview with Dr. Harriet Bulkeley, Professor of Geography
In this episode, we talk with Professor Harriet Bulkely about the effectiveness of different approaches to climate governance and the possibility of a green recovery. Climate governance is particularly complex because of the need for urgency, yet as with any governance, it needs buy-in. She contrasts climate action at the city level vs. national and multi-national efforts and talks about top-down vs. bottom-up approaches, and in particular on the power of cities and communities adopting climate initiatives of their own choosing and solving in ways that fit with the local needs. Professor Harriet Bulkely holds joint appointments as Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University and at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Utrecht University. Her research focuses on environmental governance and the politics of climate change, energy and emerging urban management approaches to climate change. She's published 8 books and more than 60 research papers.
65 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 110: Interview with Alexander Dunlap, Social Anthropologist
In this episode, we discuss the social and ecological impact of so-called renewable energy, and how to actually think about the impact of its development, with Dr. Alexander Dunlap. Dr. Dunlap says a more accurate term for industrial-scale renewable energy is Fossil Fuel+, because of the intense hydrocarbon extraction and mineral extraction required, and the complex and large supply webs required to make the large technological apparatuses involved in these projects.He identifies and discusses five key elements we should think about to get a more complete picture of particular renewable energy projects, what Alexander calls Fossil Fuel+ development: 1) Raw material extraction; 2) Land contracting; 3) Social and economic and ecological costs; 4) What is the energy going to be used for; 5) What is the waste generated when it's decommissioned.Alexander focuses on the many facets of the extraction process, as well as the exploitative nature of the big companies coming in with big renewable energy plans and having large local impacts on indigenous peoples that were underprepared and uninformed of the consequences.--Alexander is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology, his PhD thesis examining the social ecological impact of wind energy development on the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has critically examined police military transformations, market-based conservation, wind energy development and other extractive projects.Photo: UiO
73 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 109: Interview with writer Andri Snær Magnason
In today's interview with writer Andri Snær Magnason, we explore Andri's use of his writing talent as a force for activism. One of Andri's focuses is to use language to make clear scientific concepts which can often feel foreign and unrelatable, while also invoking time intimacy to bridge the emotional gap we often feel toward future generations. He calls this time intimacy, where we can feel a connection across the generations who are intimate to us, our grandparents and future grandchildren, to feel a sense of timeHe shares the unique perspective of Icelandic people, who live in a land in which natural events seem to leave geological timeframe and happen at human speed. Glaciers shrink, have huge water sinkholes, and threaten disappear; new mountains form; volcanic fumes form, and so on. In some ways the warming of the planet is good for local climate, but they have to fight against their instincts that it's not a good change to see this local warming, it actually means humanity is in grave danger.Through everything, Andri aims to be optimistic and focused on what he can do to raise awareness and create change, to bring rationality and understanding of the climate crises to the public. He fights against momentum to simply harness and tame nature, such as with the eagerness to build dams all throughout the Icelandic highlands, and poetically wonders whether our sense of beauty was part of the immune system of the planet that was meant to protect us from this strain. --Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer who has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories, and essays. His work has been published or performed in more than 30 countries. He was awarded the Icelandic literary prize in 1999, for the children's book and play Blue Planet, and again in 2006 for the non-fiction book Dreamland, a critique of Icelandic industrial and energy policy. His latest book, On Time and Water, explores our relationship to time in an age of ecological crisis.
68 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 108: Interview with Arran Stibbe, Professor of Ecological Linguistics
In this interview with Dr. Arran Stibbe, we discuss ecolinguistics, or how language influences the way we treat the environment. Through a number of examples, he explains the great power of words to construct the concepts and values of our world. Stories influence how we think and talk and act. For instance the set of concepts in neoliberalism tell a story about the economy and impact how we view and value growth. This view is entrenched in our culture and therefore our language.Fortunately, Ecolinguistics exists to give people awareness and be able to change the stories that our society is based on. The stories and languages that are widespread are not the only way to think about things.One concept which can help in this reframing is to recognize one's personal ecosophy or ecological philosophy. An ecosophy is a framework by which people judge stories against. It's critical to think about what's important and not simply accept prevailing stories of the time. It can evolve and change over time, and we should continue to give thought to the stories we choose to live by.---Dr. Arran Stibbe is Professor of Ecological Linguistics at University of Gloucestershire. He has a PhD in Linguistics and MSc in Human Ecology and combines the two fields in his research and teaching which examines how our language and stories shape how we see ourselves and our relationship with other animals and the earth. He is the founder and convenor of The Ecolinguistics Association and has published several books on the topic of Ecolinguistics, including Ecolinguistics: Language, Ecology and the Stories We Live By, second edition releasing soon.
61 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 107: Interview with Joel Bakan, author, filmmaker and Law Professor
In this episode, we meet with Dr. Joel Bakan to discuss the growing sustainability focus of multinational corporations. He is a professor of law at the University of British Columbia, and a legal scholar and commentator. A former Rhodes Scholar and law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada, Bakan has law degrees from Oxford, Dalhousie, and Harvard. His critically acclaimed book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004) was published in over 20 languages. The book inspired a feature documentary film, The Corporation, written by Bakan and co-created with Mark Achbar, which won numerous awards, including best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. His most recent book is The New Corporation: How "Good" Corporations are Bad for Democracy (Penguin Random House, 2020); it is the basis for his second feature documentary film, The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, which Bakan wrote and co-directed with Jennifer Abbott.
56 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 106: Interview with Danny Dorling, social geographer and Professor of Geography
In this episode we talk with Danny Dorling, social geographer and Professor of Geography, about his views on many topics, much of which relates to large changes we see in society, and what things are slowing down. Through examining data, Danny aims to address arguments which are often very political. We have a real short-termism that prevents us from looking at the future, and from learning from the past. One area he has looked at is the increasing inequality in places like the UK, where 10 million households are facing destitution. We’re living in a very interesting time. Large portions of the population have welcomed certain changes to their lives caused by the pandemic, like not commuting. It’s hard to know if some of these changes will be adopted in some form for the long term, and how might we adapt them to work? Danny has looked at turning points in history and how to achieve social change. Some curious things Danny has seen through looking at data include that general elections don’t have a huge effect on the number of children people have or attitudes toward race. In hindsight, he examines how countries change, how they’ve evolved over time to become more or less equitable. Due to the great inequality in many countries, he says that population growth is not the problem with climate change. You have the top 10% producing the majority of carbon emissions while the bottom 50% is really small in comparison. Aside from the extreme inequality, we’ve reached mass affluence in rich parts of the world, like the UK and United States. So now people have a relative level of comfort, no ice on the insides of your windows, we’re not in a time before tractors were invented to work fields like our great grandparents. We’re at a point with automation in factories, relatively done with technology for basic life, where the biggest innovation of the year is a phone you can bend. That, in a sense, is showing things slowing down. There’s so much embedded carbon in the things we buy, a culture of buying too much, too much consumption. We buy more clothes than we will ever wear out, and also it’s normal to buy things that have built in obsolescence. We also have an instinct to explore and travel that’s going to be hard to combat as we learn to slow down. For the way forward, Danny has optimism that through looking at examples like Finland which ranks highly on many social success measures, we can understand what’s working and apply it more broadly elsewhere. -Danny Dorling is a social geographer and Geography Professor at the University of Oxford in England. He is a prolific writer who has published with many colleagues, including more than a dozen books on issues related to social inequalities in Britain and several hundred journal papers. His most recent book released in 2020 is entitled Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration — and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and our Lives. In 2006, Danny started working with a group of researchers on a project to remap the world (www.worldmapper.org). Prior to Oxford, from 1991 to 1993, Dorling was a Joseph Rowntree Foundation Fellow and from 1993 to 1996 he was British Academy Fellow at the University of Newcastle. From 1996 to 2000, he was on the faculty of the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. From 2000 to 2003 he was Professor of Quantitative Human Geography at the University of Leeds. From 2003 to 2013 he was Professor of Human Geography and also in 2013 he was Professor for the Public Understanding of Social Science at the University of Sheffield. He is an Academician of the Academy of the Learned Societies in the Social Sciences and was Honorary President of the Society of Cartographers from 2007 to 2017.
55 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 105: Interview with Roman Krznaric, public philosopher, author of The Good Ancestor
In this episode, we talk with Roman Krznaric about the necessity of overcoming our society's short-termism and discounting of future generations. Roman argues we need to see beyond the immediacy of the pandemic that we're in and recognize the challenges and injustices that we are passing on from one generation to the next if we do nothing. It's challenging, however, when addressing these long term injustices; it requires thinking about them for sometimes decades or centuries ahead. But with COVID we have a collective sense of crisis, a crisis that is one of the only ways we can achieve change. We have a transformative opening which may give space for transformative ideas like a circular economy or Universal Basic Income.Roman talks about what it means to be a Good Ancestor (the title of his recently released book). He cites Jonas Salk, the creator of the polio vaccine, who believed that we were only going to be able to deal with the great problems we're facing, such as the destruction of the natural world, nuclear threat, and more, if we expand our time horizons. For Roman, being a good ancestor is having a good long term vision. In Wales, Roman notes, there's a Future Generations commissioner; in Japan there's a citizens' assembly, a local decision making approach called Future Design. When people are tasked with representing future interests they weigh long term investments more heavily and also find the overlap between what benefits the population now and in the future. Roman also touches on the 6 different kinds of long term thinking featured in his book: deep time humility, a legacy mindset, intergenerational justice, cathedral thinking, holistic forecasting, transcendent goals.One form of intergenerational oppression Roman discusses is discounting - a form a very standard cost benefit analysis in which the further in the future someone is, the less weight is given to them, so the interests of 100 people of today might be valued the same as the interests of 23 people from 50 years in the future. In contrast, he discusses 7th generation thinking of several Native American peoples.In the end, Roman advocates for empathy, citizens assemblies like Japan's Future Design, rights for future people, and shifting off our our growth addicted economies to regenerative economies.Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His latest book, The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short Term World, has been described by U2’s The Edge as ‘the book our children’s children will thank us for reading’. His previous books, including Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained, have been published in more than 20 languages.After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, Roman studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD in political sociology. He is founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum and is currently a Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation.Roman has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers. His writings have been widely influential amongst political and ecological campaigners, education reformers, social entrepreneurs and designers. An acclaimed public speaker, his talks and workshops have taken him from a London prison to Google’s headquarters in California.Roman has previously been an academic, a gardener, and worked on human rights issues in Guatemala. He is also a fanatical player of the medieval sport of ‘real tennis’ and has a passion for making furniture.
39 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 104: An interview with Professor Kari Norgaard
In this episode, we dive into understanding denialism and justice dimensions that are gaining visibility with Professor Kari Norgaard. She talks about how we collectively experience and shape things as a society, and how denialism pertains to the various interconnected issues and movements of our time. Dr Norgaard has been reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought various issues to more of a public light. She has been focused on climate change and racial inequality for a long time, and in her 2011 book, Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life, she explores the issues of denialism, how we do it culturally, and in the United States in particular, how we have formed the capacity to ignore really large problems and try to put everything on the individual. There is more to denial than individual attributes. We live in this society where you can't really talk about things that are disturbing. Fortunately, Dr Norgaard says that there is starting to be greater recognition and awareness of our capacity for denial, and pursuit of change. Movements like Black Lives Matter bring people to collectively address and feel accountable for the society around us, changes we need to make, choices we make, and what we think is possible. Dr Norgaard also sees the intersectionality of many different justice issues, acknowledging that everyone will have their own sense of immediacy based on their own family history.Dr Norgaard has also worked closely with the Karuk tribe and sees that native peoples have extensive knowledge about the ecological sciences and fire.Lastly, Dr Norgaard talks about the importance of language; only when we collectively have the words to describe the important concepts and issues of our time can we talk more fluently about the world we live in.-Professor Kari Marie Norgaard (B.S. Biology Humboldt State University 1992, M.A. Sociology Washington State University 1994, PhD Sociology, University of Oregon 2003) is Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at University of Oregon. Dr Norgaard trained as a postdoctoral fellow in an interdisciplinary IGERT Program on Invasive Species at University California Davis from 2003-2005 and from there joined the faculty as Assistant Professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA from 2005-2011. She joined the University of Oregon faculty in 2011. Over the past fifteen years Dr Norgaard has published and taught in the areas of environmental sociology, gender and environment, race and environment, climate change, sociology of culture, social movements and sociology of emotions. She currently has two active areas of research: work on the social organization of denial (especially regarding climate change), and environmental justice and climate work with the Karuk Tribe on the Klamath River.Norgaard is Past Chair of the Environmental Sociology Section of American Sociological Association and author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life (MIT 2011). She is recipient of a University of Oregon Faculty Excellence Award in 2017, the University of Oregon Graduate Mentoring Award in 2011 and the Pacific Sociological Association's Distinguished Practice Award for 2005. Her latest book Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Colonialism, Nature and Social Action was published by Rutgers
49 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 103: Interview with Dr. Frances Fox Piven, social scientist, activist and professor
In this episode, Professor Frances Fox Piven talks about this unique moment in United States history in which there is an extensive social movement against fascism. While brought to life by a revulsion and anger at police brutality against African American people, it also carries a host of grievances related to the strength of neoliberalism in the United States. Frances talks about the many ways in which collective action and popular power manifest; not just through strikes or the withholding of labor but also the withholding of other forms of cooperation in obeying the rules of our society. Children can refuse to go to school; people can refuse to obey traffic laws. The complexity of our society and its interdependence increases our popular power.She also talks about the deep economic issues stemming from both consumer capitalism and a level deeper, with the love of “stuff” and dependency upon fossil fuels. There is substantial work to be done to create alternatives to the use of fossil fuels when right now entire sections of the country are heavily dependent. The U.S. needs to find its way to a Green New Deal through the disruptive effects of mass movements. Voting and forming non-profits aren’t enough to stop some of the most powerful interests in American and world politics. Looking to the past, Occupy Wall Street was a success in that it drew attention where it was needed, and in the present, the current Black Lives Matter movement is taking the next step in demanding action to address spiraling increase in inequality in U.S.With November around the corner, Dr. Piven is counting on the current movement to help with electoral victory in 2020. She calls this an exciting and promising time, with hopes that the active protesting can continue to change the course of policy in the United States and create better well-being for the American people. Professor Piven is a renowned social scientist and life-long advocate for working people and the poor. The publication of Regulating the Poor, her ground-breaking book with Richard A. Cloward, ignited a debate that reshaped the field of social welfare policy. Her other books include Poor People’s Movements, The Breaking of the American Social Compact, and Challenging Authority. Dr. Piven has been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim awards and has been a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, Hebrew University, and the University of Bologna.Dr. Piven was a founder of the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) and was a co-founder of the Human Service Employees Registration and Voter Education Campaign, which led to legislation popularly known as the “motor voter” bill. She serves on the boards of several advocacy organizations, including Project Vote and Wellstone Action. Her many honors include the Shirley Chisholm Lights of Freedom Award from Community Voices Heard and the Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship.
49 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 103: Interview with Dr. Francis Fox Piven, social scientist, activist and professor
In this episode, Professor Frances Fox Piven talks about this unique moment in United States history in which there is an extensive social movement against fascism. While brought to life by a revulsion and anger at police brutality against African American people, it also carries a host of grievances related to the strength of neoliberalism in the United States. Frances talks about the many ways in which collective action and popular power manifest; not just through strikes or the withholding of labor but also the withholding of other forms of cooperation in obeying the rules of our society. Children can refuse to go to school; people can refuse to obey traffic laws. The complexity of our society and its interdependence increases our popular power. She also talks about the deep economic issues stemming from both consumer capitalism and a level deeper, with the love of “stuff” and dependency upon fossil fuels. There is substantial work to be done to create alternatives to the use of fossil fuels when right now entire sections of the country are heavily dependent. The U.S. needs to find its way to a Green New Deal through the disruptive effects of mass movements. Voting and forming non-profits aren’t enough to stop some of the most powerful interests in American and world politics. Looking to the past, Occupy Wall Street was a success in that it drew attention where it was needed, and in the present, the current Black Lives Matter movement is taking the next step in demanding action to address spiraling increase in inequality in U.S. With November around the corner, Dr. Piven is counting on the current movement to help with electoral victory in 2020. She calls this an exciting and promising time, with hopes that the active protesting can continue to change the course of policy in the United States and create better well-being for the American people. Professor Piven is a renowned social scientist and life-long advocate for working people and the poor. The publication of Regulating the Poor, her ground-breaking book with Richard A. Cloward, ignited a debate that reshaped the field of social welfare policy. Her other books include Poor People’s Movements, The Breaking of the American Social Compact, and Challenging Authority. Dr. Piven has been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim awards and has been a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, Hebrew University, and the University of Bologna. Dr. Piven was a founder of the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) and was a co-founder of the Human Service Employees Registration and Voter Education Campaign, which led to legislation popularly known as the “motor voter” bill. She serves on the boards of several advocacy organizations, including Project Vote and Wellstone Action. Her many honors include the Shirley Chisholm Lights of Freedom Award from Community Voices Heard and the Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship. The post Episode 103: Interview with Dr. Francis Fox Piven, social scientist, activist and professor appeared first on The Sustainability Agenda.
61 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 102: Interview with Rob Nixon, Professor in the Humanities and the Environment
In this episode we dive into a discussion with Rob Nixon on climate change denialism, the difficulty of understanding and drawing attention to "slow violence," and in particular, the power of social media and using story and image to to translate scientific knowledge into powerful currents that catalyze social sentiment and action. As Rob discusses the dangers of the science denialism permeating a very significant minority in the U.S., he mentions the importance of the upcoming November election in the U.S., with potential fallouts including defunding WHO and defecting from the Paris Accord. However, he also sees that environmental justice is growing in importance within environmentalism. More people are realizing the overlap between public health concerns and environmentalism, such as the unequal climate impact that we are already seeing affect poor parts of the world, and new energy is coming to the movement as a result.Rob also talks about cultural values, and the idea that over generations people develop a culture and relationship with the environment. Culture and symbolism play a large role in making public statements of cultural values. On the digital front, we've seen the power of social media with George Floyd and the swell of the Black Lives Matter movement. Rob raises the question of how we can translate moments of digital massing into structural change. Slow violence is a concept to help retain attention in situations in which the damage is continuing but the event has ceased, such as the aftermath of war with toxic chemicals from depleted uranium land mines. This concept also applies with climate change and distributive justice across generations.If we are to tackle something like COVID or even bigger, climate breakdown, we face some large challenges. We need collaboration and government to invest in precautionary institutions. Daily life lived at the nanosecond with constant interruptions, but we're also needing to think in vast geological sense.Rob Nixon is the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment. He is affiliated with the Princeton Environmental Institute’s initiative in the environmental humanities. Before joining Princeton in 2015, Nixon held the Rachel Carson Professorship in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was active in the Center for Culture, History and Environment. He is the author of four books: London Calling: V.S. Naipaul, Postcolonial Mandarin (Oxford); Homelands, Harlem and Hollywood: South African Culture and the World Beyond (Routledge); Dreambirds: The Natural History of a Fantasy (Picador); and Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard). He has published extensively in the fields of environmental studies, postcolonial studies, nonfiction and contemporary literature and has delivered lectures on six continents. Throughout his career, he has sought to engage in both scholarly and public writing on environmental concerns and social movements, particularly as they pertain to the global South. His areas of particular interest include environmental justice, climate change and the interface between the environmental humanities and the public humanities.
43 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 101: Interview with Eric Holthaus, meteorologist, writer and ecosocialist
In this episode, we talk with Eric Holthaus about his outlook for the future with climate change. Although our circumstances are certainly dire and much damage has already been done, Eric maintains hope that with collective and focussed radical action to overcome our systemic problems, we can move forward and enact transformative change to stop temperature rise exceeding 1.5 degrees.Three ideas that bring him hope are in a Citizens’ Assembly model, where citizens are called together to problem solve, regenerative energy, and anti-racist thought, action and movement.Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist, writer, and ecosocialist, who seeks to change the narrative of the climate emergency away from dystopia toward courageous, imaginative possibility. In his recent book, The Future Earth, he describes a vision of what’s still possible, and what our future can look like if we make the necessary, radical changes to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change and address these crises head on. I’m a climate journalist for The Correspondent, and a fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. He is a former columnist for Grist, Slate, and the Wall Street Journal.
58 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 100: Interview with Dr. Anne Poelina, Indigenous Australian and Nyikina Traditional Custodian
In this, the 100th episode of the Sustainability Agenda, we speak to Dr. Anne Poelina an indigenous Australian academic and human and earth rights activist. Dr. Poelina explains her role as a “Yimardoowarra marnin,” which, translated from the Nyikina language, means “a woman who belongs to the Martuwarra River,” in Western Australia. Dr. Poelina discusses what she calls “first law,” the Aboriginal peoples’ customary law covering the rules for living in coexistence with nature, the rules of conduct that hold together and bond a civil society, the principles of an ethics of care. She talks about the indigenous cultural approach to collaborative water governance underlying the legal work that she is spearheading to make sure that the development of the Fitzroy River does not lead to the mistakes made in the development of the Murray-Darling river.Please see the Matuwarra Fitzroy River Council website to learn more about the Council and its work.Dr. Anne Poelina is a Nyikina Warrwa (Indigenous Australian) woman who belongs to the Mardoowarra, the lower Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is an active Indigenous community leader, human and earth rights advocate, filmmaker and a respected academic researcher. Anne is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Notre Dame University and a Research Fellow with Northern Australia Institute Charles Darwin University. She is also Managing Director of Madjulla Incorporated, an indigenous not-for-profit non-government community development organisation working with remote Aboriginal communities.The post Episode 100: Interview with Anne Poelina, Indigenous Australian and Nyikina Traditional Custodian appeared first on The Sustainability Agenda.
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