Why Say “Weed” in the Anthropocene?


White clover growing in the lawn outside the New York Hall of Science, where the author and Environmental Performance Agency collaborators held the workshop “Plant Talk, Human Talk: An EPA Training for the Beginning of the World” (image by the Environmental Performance Agency)

In my post last week, I used a recent study on the urban evolution of white clover and its coverage in the popular press to start thinking about how traits described as “weedy” relate to Continue reading

There Goes the Neighborhood: Urban Coyotes in Pennsylvania and California

Coyote in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

This post was co-authored by Christian Hunold, Drexel University
and Teresa Lloro-Bidart, Cal Poly Pomona

Coyotes have incorporated themselves into nearly every major city in North America. Coyotes’ ability to thrive in cities testifies not only to the Anthropocene’s blurring of human-wildlife boundaries; it also undermines the idea that Continue reading

Stewarding the planet? The Anthropocene and nondualist ontologies

We welcome to the blog Luigi Pellizzoni, of the University of Trieste, for the next in our series on Environmental Political Theory.

The ontological claims embroiled in the notion of the Anthropocene have so far attracted less attention than other issues. However, as I will try to show, it is important to engage in a thorough reflection on them—which I hope to kick start with the following contribution. Continue reading

Environmental Under-determinism, Part 2

In my post last week I voiced the concern that rejecting the dualist separation between nature and society might lead to an implausible environmental determinism. To put it reductively, if nature and society are not two separate things, but only one thing with two separate names, it seems as if Continue reading

Environmental Under-determinism, Part 1

A few weeks ago I mentioned my interest in what I think of as “environmental under-determinism;” in this post I’ll explore the idea a bit further. It is an attempt to frame a broad understanding of the relationship between human societies and their environmental settings. In this post I will suggest a motivation for this understanding: Continue reading

“Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis”

Umeek E. Richard Atleo. 2011. Principles of Tsawalk: An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis. University of British Columbia Press.
In Nuu-chah-nulth, the word tsawalk means “one.” It expresses the view that all living things — humans, plants, and animals — form part of an integrated whole brought into harmony through constant Continue reading

A creation myth for the Anthropocene

Stephen’s post on Lynn White helped me focus on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while: the need for a new creation myth suited to the Anthropocene.

White’s argument reminds us that creation myths derive their power from their status as fundamental texts within the religious tradition that underlies a society’s moral life; a key strategy for justifying a course of action is Continue reading