Surviving the Anthropocene: Big Brains and Big Money at the Smithsonian

We welcome Lisa Sideris, of Indiana University, as a guest on the blog . . . click for her bio, or go to the “Who we are” tab. This is the first installment of a two-part post; please come back again Friday for the conclusion.


In late May this year, two related attractions drew me to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in D.C.  One was an ambitious-sounding Continue reading

The real inconvenient truth?

This will not be a very scientific post, but it is also not a rant. I am trying to understand something: why is there so little large scale planning and discussion about the inevitable and grave consequences of climate change?

There is a surprising amount of Continue reading

The fundamental ethical adaptation: anthroponomy

We welcome to the blog Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, of Case Western Reserve University, for the next in our series on Environmental Political Theory.


I’m one of those people who doesn’t like the term “environmentalism.” I think every human should take care of her home, want to be mindful of other forms of life on Earth, and should Continue reading

Hypothesized Hope

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES OF POSTS ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

In preparation for Erle Ellis’ visit to OU’s campus in April, I’ve spent some time considering topics I hope we can address during his visit. Continue reading

“The Global Carbon Cycle: A Test of Our Knowledge of Earth as a System”

CITATION:
P. Falkowski et al. 2000. Science, vol. 290, pp. 291-296.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Motivated by the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities since the Industrial Revolution, several international scientific research programs have analyzed the role of Continue reading

“Early warning of climate tipping points”

CITATION:
Timothy M. Lenton. 2011. Nature Climate Change 1, pp. 201-209.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A climate ‘tipping point’ occurs when a small change in forcing triggers a strongly nonlinear response in the internal dynamics of part of the climate system, qualitatively changing its future state. Human-induced climate change could Continue reading

“Species-specific responses of Late Quartenary megafauna to climate and humans”

CITATION:
E.D. Lorenzen, et al. 2011. Nature 479, pp. 359–364.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Despite decades of research, the roles of climate and humans in driving the dramatic extinctions of large-bodied mammals during the Late Quaternary period remain contentious. Here we use ancient DNA, species distribution models and the human fossil record to Continue reading

“Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought”

CITATION:
Colin P. Kelly et al. 2015. PNAS, Vol. 112, No. 11, pp. 3241-326.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies, the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to Continue reading

“Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home”

CITATION:
Pope Francis. 2015. Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home [Encyclical].
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The Encyclical takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis, “Praise be to you, my Lord”, in his Canticle of the Creatures. It reminds us that Continue reading

“Loess: The Yellow Earth”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Smalley, I., and Rogers, C. 1996. Geology Today, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 186-193.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A wind-deposited silt forming large deposits in China and middle America, loess is the basis of much grade-one agricultural land, and has sourced the building materials for civilizations. Produced largely as a result of Continue reading

“Building ‘Equitable’ Urban Resilience: The Challenge for Cities.”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.

CITATION:

Steele, Wendy, and Nidhi Mittal. 2012. In Resilient Cities 2, edited by Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, 187–95. Local Sustainability 2. Springer Netherlands.

ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:

Cities and their institutions are key players in building urban resilience to the risks posed by climate change. However, neoliberal policies further the transition from the state as the ultimate Continue reading

“Fingerprint, bellwether, model event: Climate change as speculative anthropology”

CITATION:
Whitington, Jerome. 2013. Anthropological Theory, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 308-328.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:

The climate change fingerprint, bellwether and model event are three epistemic figures through which it may be possible to know the future through attention to specific material relations. They offer Continue reading

“The Collapse of Western Civilization”

CITATION:
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. 2014. The Collapse of Western Civilization (New York: Columbia University Press).
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
In this work of science-based fiction, the authors imagine a future world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts Continue reading

Water crisis in California: the earth responds

When I recently returned from a trip to California I took something with me that is very precious to that state, something that is causing all kinds of problems for California, but is absolutely essential to everyone and everything in California. I Continue reading

Are we the walrus?

This post was supposed to be about the People’s Climate March.  As I sat down to draft it, however, a headline about a different climate-related gathering caught my eye: tens of thousands of Pacific walruses have again Continue reading

“Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change”

CITATION:
Dipesh Chakrabarty. 2012. New Literary History, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 1-18.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This article begins by describing how the figure of the human has been thought in anticolonial and postcolonial writing—as that of the Continue reading