Video of “Coupled Urban Metabolism” panel discussion

On April 19, 2018, Stephanie Pincetl, of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, presented her ideas on coupled urban metabolism at a panel discussion on the OU campus. The event was the culmination of a series of posts on the blog about papers Dr. Pincetl had suggested to us as “inputs” to the urban metabolism concept. The panel included Bryce Lowery, of the OU Department of Regional and City Planning, Katy Marshall, of the OU Department of Biology, and Peter Soppelsa of the OU Department of the History of Science, each of whom contributed posts to the series. We thank the Gibbs College of Architecture, the OU Department of Geology, the Oklahoma Biological Survey, the OU Department of Biology, and OU’s Headington College for supporting Dr. Pincetl’s visit to OU, and making this video possible.

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Video of “Cities and Our Future” panel discussion

Earlier this spring, Cindy Simon Rosenthal offered a series of three posts on the topic of “Cities and Our Future: Governance in the Anthropocene.” On March 6, 2018 (rescheduled due to an ice storm), she presented her ideas
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“Environmental Crises and the Metabolic Rift in World-Historical Perspective”

CITATION:
Moore, Jason W. 2000.  Organization & Environment, vol. 13: pp. 123-157.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This article proposes a new theoretical framework to study the dialectic of capital and nature over the longue duree of world capitalism. The author proposes that today’s global ecological crisis has its roots in the transition to capitalism during the long sixteenth century. The emergence of capitalism marked not only a decisive shift in the arenas of politics, economy, and society, but a fundamental reorganization of world ecology, characterized by a “metabolic rift,” Continue reading

Urban Metabolism

Following our series on “Cities and Our Future,” I’m pleased to introduce the second of our special programs on the theme of the Urban Anthropocene. Starting today, and running through April, we will have a series of posts that take up the idea of “urban metabolism:” the analogy between cities and organisms that focuses attention on the systems by which cities obtain resources, and generate and dispose of wastes.

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“The Politics”

CITATION:
Aristotle. 1981. Tr. T.A. Sinclair, rev. T.J. Saunders. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
Internet Classics Archive version (tr. Jowett) at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.html
ABSTRACT:

In The Politics Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how Continue reading

Prospection and the Anthropocene

I’d like to share two recent items from the news that make a sobering pairing.

The first is an opinion piece in the New York Times by psychologist Martin Seligman and Times science writer John Tierny summarizing a new theory about human beings that emphasizes our orientation toward the future. Continue reading

“Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda”

CITATION:
Jeremy J. Schmidt, Peter G. Brown and Christopher J. Orr. 2016. The Anthropocene Review, Vol. 3(3) pp. 188–200.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The quantitative evidence of human impacts on the Earth System has produced new calls for planetary stewardship. At the same time, numerous scholars reject modern social sciences by claiming that Continue reading

New Year’s Greetings for 2017

 

baby-2017

 

In this season of the solstice, the natural world reminds us that at the darkest moment light can return. But our own nature is such that brighter days in the human sense are not inevitable–they must be strived for and accomplished.  Here’s to the joy of imagining, and working toward, a truly habitable future.

Article published on Anthropocene Biosphere Project

I’m delighted to announce that Trends in Ecology and Evolution (TREE) is publishing “The Anthropocene Biosphere: Supporting ‘Open Interdisciplinarity’ through Blogging,” an article about the Anthropocene Biosphere Project that appeared on the blog earlier this year. Continue reading

CRISPR as Niche Construction: an Aristotelian View

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is part of a system, noticed in certain bacteria, by which a cell can make changes in strands of DNA. This mechanism appears to be a proto-immune system: it enables a bacterium to recognize Continue reading

Interdisciplinarity as conversation

This blog is premised on the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the Anthropocene—indeed, to the general question of human beings’ relationship with their environment. And it aspires to embody a certain conception of interdisciplinarity—one which uses conversation as a model for the interaction among people from diverse intellectual backgrounds. Continue reading

“The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis: A Biography of an Ingenious Species”

CITATION:
R. DeFries. 2014. New York: Basic Books.
BOOK WEBSITE:
ABSTRACT:

The human species has long lived on the edge of starvation. Now we produce enough food so that all 7 billion of us could eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This is such an astonishing transformation as to Continue reading

Seeing the Anthropocene in something good

Lake Whitney Water Purification Facility, Hamden, CT. Google Earth. Imagery date 9/19/2013. URL: http://goo.gl/maps/ZfQWL

Lake Whitney Water Purification Facility, Hamden, CT. Google Earth. Imagery date 9/19/2013. URL: http://goo.gl/maps/ZfQWL

Recently someone asked me to point to something good in the Anthropocene. That can be a hard one. The Anthropocene narrative, to the extent that there is a single story there, is typically Continue reading

The Ecological Circumstances of the Circumstances of Politics

This is the first in a series of posts on Environmental Political Theory.


With his famous phrase “the circumstances of politics” the philosopher Jeremy Waldron offers an abstract characterization of what politics are at the most basic level. Waldron holds that Continue reading