How do you solve a problem like the Salton Sea?

[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

A moral cartography for the Anthropocene

We welcome Manuel Arias Maldonado, of the University of Malága, as a guest on the blog . . . click for his bio, or go to the “Who we are” tab. This post summarizes an argument in his recent book Environment & Society: Socionatural Relations in the Anthropocene (Springer, 2015).

If the Anthropocene were just a scientific category dealing with natural phenomena, we would not feel so concerned about it. But, as Mike Ellis and Zev Trachtenberg have rightly argued, the Anthropocene is not Continue reading

“From Biophilia to Cosmophilia: The Role of Biological and Physical Sciences in Promoting Sustainability”

Lucas F. Johnston. 2010. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 7-23.
DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v4il.7
Ideas from the life sciences and the physical sciences, particularly the ideas that Continue reading

Earth, Life, and Time: What is Natural?

Life on Earth has always altered its environment.1 “Deep” time records major shifts in atmospheric composition, for example, as life evolved photosynthesis, leading to a massive transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Given this, is the large-scale injection into the atmosphere of anthropogenically released carbon a completely natural consequence of biotic activity?

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have always changed, attributable in part to life — and well before the influence of humans. On geologic time scales such fluctuation results from Continue reading

“The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis”

Lynn White, Jr. 1967. Science, Vol. 155, No. 3767, pp. 1203-7.

This article claims that the modern ecological crisis arose out of an ethic derived from Continue reading