540 episodes

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books
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New Books in Environmental Studies Marshall Poe

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 12 Ratings

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

    Richard Seymour, "The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism and Barbarism" (Indigo Press, 2022)

    Richard Seymour, "The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism and Barbarism" (Indigo Press, 2022)

    In The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism & Barbarism (Indigo Press, 2022), Richard Seymour, one of the UK's leading left-wing writers, gives an account of his 'ecological awakening'. 
    A search for transcendence, beyond the illusory eternal present. These essays chronicle the kindling of ecological consciousness in a confessed ignoramus. They track the first enchantment of the author, his striving to comprehend the coming catastrophe, and his attempt to formulate a new global sensibility in which we value anew what unconditionally matters.
    Nicholas Pritchard is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge interested in time and the sea.
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    • 45 min
    Paul Morland, "Tomorrow's People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers" (Picador, 2022)

    Paul Morland, "Tomorrow's People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers" (Picador, 2022)

    The great forces of population change – the balance of births, deaths and migrations – have made the world what it is today. They have determined which countries are superpowers and which languish in relative obscurity, which economies top the international league tables and which are at best also-rans.
    The same forces that have shaped our past and present are shaping our future. Illustrating this through ten illuminating indicators, from the fertility rate in Singapore (one) to the median age in Catalonia (forty-three), Paul Morland shows how demography is both a powerful and an under-appreciated lens through which to view the global transformations that are currently underway.
    Tomorrow's People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers (Picador, 2022) ranges from the countries of West Africa where the tendency towards large families is combining with falling infant mortality to create the greatest population explosion ever witnessed, to the countries of East Asia and Southern Europe where generations of low birth-rate and rising life expectancy are creating the oldest populations in history. Morland explores the geographical movements of peoples that are already under way – portents for still larger migrations ahead – which are radically changing the cultural, ethnic and religious composition of many societies across the globe, and in their turn creating political reaction that can be observed from Brexit to the rise of Donald Trump. Finally, he looks at the two underlying motors of change – remarkable rises in levels of education and burgeoning food production – which have made all these epochal developments possible.
    Tomorrow’s People provides a fascinating, illuminating and thought-provoking tour of an emerging new world. Nobody who wants to understand that world should be without it.
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    • 1 hr
    Kate Luce Mulry, "An Empire Transformed: Remolding Bodies and Landscapes in the Restoration Atlantic" (NYU Press, 2021)

    Kate Luce Mulry, "An Empire Transformed: Remolding Bodies and Landscapes in the Restoration Atlantic" (NYU Press, 2021)

    When Charles II ascended the English throne in 1660 after two decades of civil war, he was confronted with domestic disarray and a sprawling empire in chaos. His government sought to assert control and affirm the King’s sovereignty by touting his stewardship of both England’s land and the improvement of his subjects’ health. In An Empire Transformed: Remolding Bodies and Landscapes in the Restoration Atlantic (NYU Press, 2021), Dr. Kate Mulry examines ambitious projects of environmental engineering, including fen and marshland drainage, forest rehabilitation, urban reconstruction, and garden transplantation schemes, showing how agents of the English Restoration government aimed to transform both places and people in service of establishing order. Merchants, colonial officials, and members of the Royal Society encouraged royal intervention in places deemed unhealthy, unproductive, or poorly managed. Their multiple schemes reflected an enduring belief in the complex relationships between the health of individual bodies, personal and communal character, and the landscapes they inhabited.
    In this deeply researched work, Kate Mulry highlights a period of innovation during which officials reassessed the purpose of colonies, weighed their benefits and drawbacks, and engineered and instituted a range of activities in relation to subjects’ bodies and material environments. This book investigates how Restoration officials endeavoured to recover control and counteract any lingering questions about the king’s rightful authority after this long exile by reforming and cultivating environments on both sides of the Atlantic.
    An Empire Transformed is an interdisciplinary work addressing a series of interlocking issues concerning ideas about the environment, governance, and public health in the early modern English Atlantic empire.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Chris Begley, "The Next Apocalypse: The Art and Science of Survival" (Basic Books, 2021)

    Chris Begley, "The Next Apocalypse: The Art and Science of Survival" (Basic Books, 2021)

    Pandemic, climate change, or war: our era is ripe with the odor of doomsday. In movies, books, and more, our imaginations run wild with visions of dreadful, abandoned cities and returning to the land in a desperate attempt at survival.
    In The Next Apocalypse: The Art and Science of Survival (Basic Books, 2021), archaeologist Chris Begley argues that we completely misunderstand how disaster works. Examining past collapses of civilizations, such as the Maya and Rome, he argues that these breakdowns are actually less about cataclysmic destruction than they are about long processes of change. In short: it's what happens after the initial uproar that matters. Some people abandon their homes and neighbors; others band together to start anew. As we anticipate our own fate, Begley tells us that it was communities, not lone heroes, who survived past apocalypses--and who will survive the next.
    Fusing archaeology, survivalism, and social criticism, The Next Apocalypse is an essential read for anxious times.
    Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    John Markoff, "Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand" (Penguin, 2022)

    John Markoff, "Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand" (Penguin, 2022)

    Stewart Brand has long been famous if you know who he is, but for many people outside the counterculture, early computing, or the environmental movement, he is perhaps best known for his famous mantra "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." Steve Jobs's endorsement of these words as his code to live by is fitting; Brand has played many roles, but one of the most important is as a model for how to live.
    In Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand (Penguin, 2022), the contradictions are striking: A blond-haired WASP with a modest family inheritance, Brand went to Exeter and Stanford and was an army veteran, but in California in the 1960s he became an artist and a photographer in the thick of the LSD revolution. While tripping on acid on the roof of his building, he envisioned how valuable it would be for humans to see a photograph of the planet they shared from space, an image that in the end landed on the cover of his Whole Earth Catalog, the defining publication of the counterculture. He married a Native American woman and was committed to protecting indigenous culture, which connected to a broader environmentalist mission that has been a throughline of his life. At the same time, he has outraged purists because of his pragmatic embrace of useful technologies, including nuclear power, in the fight against climate change. The famous tagline promise of his catalog was "Access to Tools"; with rare exceptions, he rejected politics for a focus on direct power. It was no wonder, then, that he was early to the promise of the computer revolution and helped define it for the wider world.
    John Markoff was one of a team of New York Times reporters who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He has covered Silicon Valley since 1977, wrote the first account of the World Wide Web in 1993, and broke the story of Google's self-driving car in 2010.
    Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin).
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    • 51 min
    Mayfair Yang, "Chinese Environmental Ethics: Religions, Ontologies, and Practices" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021)

    Mayfair Yang, "Chinese Environmental Ethics: Religions, Ontologies, and Practices" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021)

    An interdisciplinary collection in the new field of environmental humanities, Chinese Environmental Ethics: Religions, Ontologies, and Practices (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) brings together Chinese environmental ethics, religious ontology, and religious practice to explore how traditional Chinese religio-environmental ethics are actually put into social practice both in China’s past and present. It also examines how Chinese religious teachings offer a wealth of resources to the environmental project of forging new ontologies for humans co-existing with other living beings. Different chapters examine how: Buddhist ontology avoids anthropocentrism, fengshui (Chinese geomancy) can help protect the landscape from economic development, popular religion organizes tree-planting, ancient dream interpretation practices avoided constructing the possessive individual subjectivity of modern consumerism, Buddhist rituals and ethics promoted compassion for animals and modern recycling, Confucian ancestor rituals and tombs have deterred industrial expansion, and also how Daoism’s potential role to deter desertification in northern China was stymied by state operations in contemporary China.
    A significant advance in the field of Chinese environmental anthropology, the outstanding scholars in this volume provide a unique and much needed contribution to the scholarship on China and the environment.

    Mayfair Yang is professor of religious and East Asian studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has authored two monographs: Gifts, Favors, and Banquets: the Art of Social Relationships in China (American Ethnological Society Prize) and Re-enchanting Modernity in China: Ritual Economy and Religious Civil Society in Wenzhou) and has edited two books: Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation and Spaces of Their Own: Women’s Public Sphere in Transnational China.

    Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is PhD candidate in Social Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez.
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    • 1 hr 25 min

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