With very best wishes for a happy 2022–may our wiser selves emerge from whatever might obscure them.
Every December 5 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recognizes World Soil Day. Through this celebration, the FAO acknowledges the importance of soil as a resource – in other words critical infrastructure – and sets a theme of soil science education for the subsequent year. This year the said theme is “Halt Soil Salinization, Boost Soil Productivity.”Continue reading
Academics are a leading source of knowledge about ecosystems and about societies. They are also highly unified advocates for societal change to confront ecological crisis. However, academics rarely turn to their own practices with the same transformational demands. Why shouldn’t biologists, sociologists, or, to take up my own case, art historians fundamentally alter how they work to do better with respect to what their own inquiries tell them about humanity and the planet?
In honor of Earth Day 2021, we are posting the video of a webinar Lynn Soreghan and I organized at OU two weeks ago as part of an international initiative led by Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College. At over 100 universities around the US and across the world local experts presented steps individuals can take to address the climate crisis.
Our own Oklahoma Climate Dialog was moderated by Lynn, and featured four speakers talking about what each of us can do to make a difference when it comes to climate.
- Edith Wilson, a Tulsa-based consultant on renewable energy and climate mitigation, spoke about the energy transition generally, but then focused on the carbon implications of our dietary choices.
- Dirk Spiers, owner of Spiers New Technology, a leader in recycling batteries for electric vehicles, spoke about the benefits of electric vehicles–for climate and other aspects of life.
- Sharina Perry, founder of Utopia Plastix, and inventor of the plant-based plastic it manufactures and distributes, spoke about being an intentional consumer.
- Lindsey Pever, an attorney specializing in renewable energy clients, spoke about how to be an effective participant in the political process.
(For more information about the speakers, see the event website. The webinar was sponsored by OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, and the Environmental Studies Program in OU’s College of Arts and Sciences.)
An aspiration for the Solve Climate By 2030 project is that educators will devote class time to discussing climate change–under the rubric #MakeClimateAClass. To help with this effort the organizers at Bard have assembled a rich set of educational resources, including discussion templates for classes in a wide range of subjects. Other videos from this year’s series are being added to the Solve Climate By 2030 YouTube channel (you can also view videos from 2020’s dialogs). If you teach, our or another video might help get a discussion going in your class–and you might find one from your own state or country.
Our dialog did a great job of bringing into focus the question of how individual action bears on collective problems like climate change. Lynn and I will be back next week with some thoughts on that issue.
[This post completes a set of three on pesticides, part of our current series on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The others, by Jennifer Ross, include an overview of insecticides, and a talk on the impacts of insecticides in south Texas.] Continue reading
People have a long and complicated relationship with pesticides. It starts with us defining what a pest is, and then seeking Continue reading
[We welcome Traci Brynne Voyles to the blog, to kick off a series this spring on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health. The video of her talk in the associated speaker series is available here.]
For the past decade and a half, I’ve been immersed in studying environmental disasters. I’ve focused on the ways they are shaped by various intersecting power structures: Continue reading
I ended my post last week with a question—why is it so hard to listen to advice? This is a key question these days, with so many people ignoring Continue reading
Where to start
Science shapes our lives, especially in the Anthropocene. Everybody loves modern science … that is, until we don’t, because scientists say something we don’t like. Continue reading