miércoles, 18 de junio de 2014

recivilization: possitive ecology in disaster areas

Christchurch, Chernobyl (nuclearculture vs. wildest culture, Detroit (http://www.publico.es/internacional/207519/el-declive-terminal-de-la-ciudad-de-detroit) are but some concrete examples of the disaster society we are living today, the global society of this century is the global disaster society, learning through the practice of living a disaster here, a disaster there...

The pandemia of disasters we are going to live with, is a learning process in the urgency, of accomodating and reaccomodating seven thousands human bodies across 13.4 miles de millones de hectáreas or 

Global hectare (the biocapacity of the planet)

 What we have in front is a global theatre of survival, that possitive sciences translate as "SUPERVIVAL", AS SUPERVIVENCIA versus sobrevivencia)

The central idea of next times in these areas is reconstruction and renovation.

If hard capitalism is going to increase definitely their power for destroing, and not thie rpower for regenerating a lost civilization, we need to be prepared for living in a tablero de ajedrez where each square is "safe" today but tomorrow may be not safe...

The recent discoveries (how many years after "el nombre de la rosa?) of laugh science, maybe is going to close the obscurity times previous to day.

Possitive ecology os taking smile-and-lagh-sciences to re imprinting "hard sciences" with this good humour and hope 

Originally "positive ecology," now "the ecology of happiness," has been what I've been trying to work on and towards for over a decade now... (It's found a recent home at http://www.beyond-eco.org). And yes, there is still a need for that, and not just in positive sentiments/visions but also, maybe even more so, in positive practices. First of all, I'd say, because we need to appeal to the love of people lest environmentalism remains mired in this position where it's too easily presented as being pro-planet/against-people.
One of the biggest problems, however, remains the search for single and clear solutions and singular approaches to convince everyone. When positive messages become nothing much more than feel-good, they will serve equally as little as when there's nothing but a call for revolution that may attract some, but portray 'green' issues as nothing but oppositional and sacrificial.

Especially informed by eco-anthro, though, I'd really like to see much more work on how we can (and can only, and have so far) live in ways that can go on (are sustainable), create rather than destroy a lot of ecological functioning and biodiversity (Europe without agriculture through Roman and Medieval times would be less ecologically diverse...) - and can be happy, fulfilling.

Lots of work to do, warning (though there's been a lot of that), speaking truth to power (of which there hasn't been quite that much or quite that influential), and also positively visionary and radically better.

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 5:55 AM, Bradley Walters <bwalters@mta.ca> wrote:

Monbiot’s work as a public communicator has established him as one of the world’s most influential environmentalist, so it seems oddly misplaced for him to be so self-critical of his past messaging. Monbiot is a master at speaking truth-to-power and most admire and respect him for all the fear-and-loathing he has served-up over the years. I really hope he doesn’t stop doing that. Rewilding some choice spots of England sounds great, but it is not going to keep the fracking rigs from despoiling most of the rest of his fair countryside.

The last couple years I have participated in many conversations and public presentations about the risks of shale gas development. There has in fact been much debate within the activist circles here about the need to present a positive, alternative vision for the region based on renewable energy, etc., rather than just focusing on the negatives of fracking. Certainly, some folks respond well to the positive vision stuff, but most people respond and get motivated to take action when they learn and become fearful about the risks to their water and health. That said, this defensive reaction is for most folks born out of a mix of fear AND genuinely positive emotions reflecting a caring for their families and love of their homes and places they live.

More generally, fear seems to work particularly well as a motivator where there is a clear and present danger: oil drilling trucks planning next year to sink wells in the neighborhood and the prospects that this might poison the water that comes out of ones’ tap (thank-you Josh Fox for that terrifying image of the tap-water on fire!). But fear seems less effective for most people when it entails a less clear, more existential threat, as is the case with climate change. Then again, fear motivates most of the climate activists I know pretty well, so there are not any clear and firm laws here.

Yes, we need to appeal more to positive sentiments like love of place and the natural world. That is certainly something many of us have forgotten how to do or have become ashamed to admit (because it makes one vulnerable) as we make our appeals to care for the state of the world. Experience and greater confidence has led me to often include such positive-personal sentiments when I give public presentations. Clearly, many people respond well to this, viewing it as “speaking from the heart”, etc. The world is also in need of (and may be increasingly ready to embrace) a genuinely positive, progressive vision based on a radical re-think of how we generate energy, etc. But let’s not get too feel-good about all this stuff. The brutal truth can often be the most powerful motivator and those on the front lines do not always have the luxury of indulging in positive visions.  

Cheers, Brad

From: Piers Locke [/webmail/src/compose.phppiers.locke@CANTERBURY.AC.NZ]
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 8:39 PM
Subject: Hope and Despair in Environmentalism

Hi- EANTHers may be interested to read this latest article from The Guardian Newspaper by George Monbiot which I think raises several issues relevant to the research and teaching practices of list members.

Monbiot argues for a stance that is not tirelessly critical, but which includes positive vision. For me, this relates to the idea of teaching for hope. This was the subject of a very helpful Anthropology News article last year-http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2013/01/10/teaching-for-hope/. Latour's article critiquing critique recently mentioned by Eddie Schmitt is also relevant here. Anyway, one of the problems I have encountered teaching my course Environment, Development, and Disaster, a course influenced by recent experiences relating to the earthquakes in Christchurch, is the problem of overwhelming my students with global (as well as local) environmental problems that make them feel doomed and powerless. It seems the challenge is to ensure students believe they can exercise meaningful agency, and that one way to do this is to include case studies of environmental activist success, ecologically responsible policies and initiatives, and perhaps also practices that demonstrate sustainable use of natural resources and attitudes toward nonhumans. I appreciate too, that another useful strategy is community based projects that involve students in environmental initiatives, something we have discussed on EANTH. I would welcome further suggestions from list members.

Another issue that Monbiot raises, one I'm sure will prove contentious, is his claim that pricing nature through notions such as ecosystem services not only replicates the assumptions and practices of an economic system that has tended to ignore ecological impacts, but also that such approaches do not work. I know there is a great deal of expertise in these issues among EANTH members, and again I would welcome responses to Monbiot's dismissal of what we might consider environmental initiatives that operate within the dominant economic paradigm. I guess this raises age-old political questions regarding evolution or revolution, albeit in the context of a global environmental crisis that may be pushing us toward a tipping point that will result in radical, and potentially chaotic change.

Anyway, perhaps you will find these environmental opinions appearing in a major national newspaper of interest.

all the best, Piers

Piers Locke PhD
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Co-Director New Zealand South Asia Centre
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Canterbury
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