Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Author: Rob Nixon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674049307
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Law

“Slow violence” from climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Rob Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today.

Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Author: Rob Nixon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674061194
Release Date: 2011-06-01
Genre: Nature

“Slow violence” from climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Rob Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 9780143122012
Release Date: 2012-09
Genre: Psychology

Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

Flammable Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown

Author: Austin Javier Auyero Lozano Long Professor of Latin American Sociology University of Texas
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199706686
Release Date: 2009-03-11
Genre: Social Science

Surrounded by one of the largest petrochemical compounds in Argentina, a highly polluted river that brings the toxic waste of tanneries and other industries, a hazardous and largely unsupervised waste incinerator, and an unmonitored landfill, Flammable's soil, air, and water are contaminated with lead, chromium, benzene, and other chemicals. So are its nearly five thousand sickened and frail inhabitants. How do poor people make sense of and cope with toxic pollution? Why do they fail to understand what is objectively a clear and present danger? How are perceptions and misperceptions shared within a community? Based on archival research and two and a half years of collaborative ethnographic fieldwork in Flammable, this book examines the lived experiences of environmental suffering. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, residents allow themselves to doubt or even deny the hard facts of industrial pollution. This happens, the authors argue, through a "labor of confusion" enabled by state officials who frequently raise the issue of relocation and just as frequently suspend it; by the companies who fund local health care but assert that the area is unfit for human residence; by doctors who say the illnesses are no different from anywhere else but tell mothers they must leave the neighborhood if their families are to be cured; by journalists who randomly appear and focus on the most extreme aspects of life there; and by lawyers who encourage residents to hold out for a settlement. These contradictory actions, advice, and information work together to shape the confused experience of living in danger and ultimately translates into a long, ineffective, and uncertain waiting time, a time dictated by powerful interests and shared by all marginalized groups. With luminous and vivid descriptions of everyday life in the neighborhood, Auyero and Swistun depict this on-going slow motion human and environmental disaster and dissect the manifold ways in which it is experienced by Flammable residents.

Varieties of Environmentalism

Author: Ramachandra Guha
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134173419
Release Date: 2013-10-11
Genre: Nature

Until very recently, studies of the environmental movement have been heavily biased towards the North Atlantic worlds. There was a common assumption amongst historians and sociologists that concerns over such issues as conservation or biodiversity were the exclusive preserve of the affluent westerner: the ultimate luxury of the consumer society. Citizens of the world's poorest countries, ran the conventional wisdom, had nothing to gain from environmental concerns; they were 'too poor to be green', and were attending to the more urgent business of survival. Yet strong environmental movements have sprung up over recent decades in some of the poorest countries in Asia and Latin America, albeit with origins and forms of expression quite distinct from their western counterparts. In Varieties of Environmentalism, Guha and Matinez-Alier seek to articulate the values and orientation of the environmentalism of the poor, and to explore the conflicting priorities of South and North that were so dramatically highlighted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Essays on the 'ecology of affluence' are also included, placing ion context such uniquely western phenomena as the 'cult of wilderness' and the environmental justice movement. Using a combination of archival and field data,. The book presents analyses of environmental conflicts and ideologies in four continents: North and South America, Asia and Europe. The authors present the nature and history of environmental movements in quite a new light, one which clarifies the issues and the processes behind them. They also provide reappraisals for three seminal figures, Gandhi, Georgescu-Roegen and Mumford, whose legacy may yet contribute to a greater cross-cultural understanding within the environmental movements.

Keywords for Environmental Studies

Author: Joni Adamson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814724446
Release Date: 2016-02-26
Genre: Literary Criticism

Understandings of “nature” have expanded and changed, but the word has not lost importance at any level of discourse: it continues to hold a key place in conversations surrounding thought, ethics, and aesthetics. Nowhere is this more evident than in the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies. Keywords for Environmental Studies analyzes the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature. Sixty essays from humanists, social scientists, and scientists, each written about a single term, reveal the broad range of quantitative and qualitative approaches critical to the state of the field today. From “ecotourism” to “ecoterrorism,” from “genome” to “species,” this accessible volume illustrates the ways in which scholars are collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to reach shared understandings of key issues—such as extreme weather events or increasing global environmental inequities— in order to facilitate the pursuit of broad collective goals and actions. This book underscores the crucial realization that every discipline has a stake in the central environmental questions of our time, and that interdisciplinary conversations not only enhance, but are requisite to environmental studies today.

Mining Capitalism

Author: Stuart Kirsch
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520281707
Release Date: 2014-06-07
Genre: Business & Economics

Corporations are among the most powerful institutions of our time, but they are also responsible for a wide range of harmful social and environmental impacts. Consequently, political movements and nongovernmental organizations increasingly contest the risks that corporations pose to people and nature. Mining Capitalism examines the strategies through which corporations manage their relationships with these critics and adversaries. By focusing on the conflict over the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Stuart Kirsch tells the story of a slow-moving environmental disaster and the international network of indigenous peoples, advocacy groups, and lawyers that sought to protect local rivers and rain forests. Along the way, he analyzes how corporations promote their interests by manipulating science and invoking the discourses of sustainability and social responsibility. Based on two decades of anthropological research, this book is comparative in scope, showing readers how similar dynamics operate in other industries around the world.

Globalization and the Environment

Author: Peter Newell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780745664712
Release Date: 2013-04-24
Genre: Political Science

Globalization and the Environment critically explores the actors, politics and processes that govern the relationship between globalization and the environment. Taking key aspects of globalisation in turn - trade, production and finance - the book highlights the relations of power at work that determine whether globalization is managed in a sustainable way and on whose behalf. Each chapter looks in turn at the political ecology of these central pillars of the global economy, reviewing evidence of its impact on diverse ecologies and societies, its governance - the political structures, institutions and policy making processes in place to manage this relationship - and finally efforts to contest and challenge these prevailing approaches. The book makes sense of the relationship between globalisation and the environment using a range of theoretical tools from different disciplines. This helps to place the debate about the compatibility between globalisation and sustainability in an explicitly political and historical context in which it is possible to appreciate the ‘nature’ of interests and power relations that privilege some ways of responding to environmental problems over others in a context of globalisation.

Environmentalism in Popular Culture

Author: No‘l Sturgeon
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816525811
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Philosophy

In this thoughtful and highly readable book, Noël Sturgeon illustrates the myriad and insidious ways in which American popular culture depicts social inequities as “natural” and how our images of “nature” interfere with creating solutions to environmental problems that are just and fair for all. Why is it, she wonders, that environmentalist messages in popular culture so often “naturalize” themes of heroic male violence, suburban nuclear family structures, and U.S. dominance in the world? And what do these patterns of thought mean for how we envision environmental solutions, like “green” businesses, recycling programs, and the protection of threatened species? Although there are other books that examine questions of culture and environment, this is the first book to employ a global feminist environmental justice analysis to focus on how racial inequality, gendered patterns of work, and heteronormative ideas about the family relate to environmental questions. Beginning in the late 1980s and moving to the present day, Sturgeon unpacks a variety of cultural tropes, including ideas about Mother Nature, the purity of the natural, and the allegedly close relationships of indigenous people with the natural world. She investigates the persistence of the “myth of the frontier” and its extension to the frontier of space exploration. She ponders the popularity (and occasional controversy) of penguins (and penguin family values) and questions assumptions about human warfare as “natural.” The book is intended to provoke debates—among college students and graduate students, among their professors, among environmental activists, and among all citizens who are concerned with issues of environmental quality and social equality.

Environmental Justice in Contemporary US Narratives

Author: Yanoula Athanassakis
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781317494966
Release Date: 2017-02-03
Genre: Business & Economics

Environmental Justice in Contemporary US Narratives examines post-1929 US artistic interrogations of environmental disruption. Tracing themes of pollution, marine life, and agricultural production in the work of a number of historically significant writers including John Steinbeck, Ruth Ozeki, and Cherríe Moraga, this book outlines a series of incisive dialogues on transnational flows of capital and environmental justice. Texts ranging from The Grapes of Wrath (1939) to Body Toxic (2001) represent the body as vulnerable to a host of environmental risks. They identify "natural disasters" not just as environmental hazards and catastrophes, but also as events intertwined with socioeconomic issues. With careful textual analysis, Athanassakis shows how twentieth- and twenty-first-century US writers have sought to rethink traditional understandings of how the human being relates to ecological phenomena. Their work, and this study, offer new modes of creative engagement with environmental degradation – engagement that is proactive, ambivalent, and even playful. This book contributes to vital discussions about the importance of literature for social justice movements, food studies, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities. The core argument of the book is that artistically imaginative narratives of environmental disturbance can help humans contend with ostensibly uncontrollable, drastic planetary changes.

Violent Environments

Author: Nancy Lee Peluso
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801487110
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Business & Economics

Do environmental problems and processes produce violence? Current U.S. policy about environmental conflict and scholarly work on environmental security assume direct causal links between population growth, resource scarcity, and violence. This belief, a staple of governmental decision-making during both Clinton administrations and widely held in the environmental security field, depends on particular assumptions about the nature of the state, the role of population growth, and the causes of environmental degradation.The conventional understanding of environmental security, and its assumptions about the relation between violence and the environment, are challenged and refuted in Violent Environments. Chapters by geographers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists include accounts of ethnic war in Indonesia, petro-violence in Nigeria and Ecuador, wildlife conservation in Tanzania, and "friendly fire" at Russia's nuclear weapons sites. Violent Environments portrays violence as a site-specific phenomenon rooted in local histories and societies, yet connected to larger processes of material transformation and power relations. The authors argue that specific resource environments, including tropical forests and oil reserves, and environmental processes (such as deforestation, conservation, or resource abundance) are constituted by and in part constitute the political economy of access to and control over resources. Violent Environments demands new approaches to an international set of complex problems, powerfully arguing for deeper, more ethnographically informed analyses of the circumstances and processes that cause violence.

Dreambirds

Author: Rob Nixon
Publisher:
ISBN: 0312270127
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Explores the societies that have pinned hopes for wealth on the feathers and meat of the ostrich, from South Africa's Karoo Desert to the modern American west, and discusses the passions and politics surrounding the bird.

The Environmental Humanities

Author: Robert S. Emmett
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262534208
Release Date: 2017-09-29
Genre: Nature

The emergence of the environmental humanities as an academic discipline early in the twenty-first century reflects the growing conviction that environmental problems cannot be solved by science and technology alone. This book offers a concise overview of this new multidisciplinary field, presenting concepts, issues, current research, concrete examples, and case studies. Robert Emmett and David Nye show how humanists, by offering constructive knowledge as well as negative critique, can improve our understanding of such environmental problems as global warming, species extinction, and over-consumption of the earth's resources. They trace the genealogy of environmental humanities from European, Australian, and American initiatives, also showing its cross-pollination by postcolonial and feminist theories. Emmett and Nye consider a concept of place not synonymous with localism, the risks of ecotourism, and the cultivation of wild areas. They discuss the decoupling of energy use and progress, and point to OECD countries for examples of sustainable development. They explain the potential for science to do both good and harm, examine dark visions of planetary collapse, and describe more positive possibilities -- alternative practices, including localization and degrowth. Finally, they examine the theoretical impact of new materialism, feminism, postcolonial criticism, animal studies, and queer ecology on the environmental humanities.

Everyday Environmentalism

Author: Alex Loftus
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816665716
Release Date: 2012-01
Genre: Science

A bold rethinking of urban political ecology