278 episodes

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books

New Books in Environmental Studies New Books Network

    • Natural Sciences
    • 4.7, 9 Ratings

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books

    Richard Breitman, "The Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies"(Oxford Academic/USHMM)

    Richard Breitman, "The Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies"(Oxford Academic/USHMM)

    The Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies is turning twenty-five. One of the first academic journals focused on the study of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, it has been one of a few journals that led the field in new directions.
    So it seemed appropriate to mark the moment by talking with Richard Breitman, its long-time editor. Breitman is professor emeritus at American University and the author of several books on German history and the Holocaust. We talk in the interview about the origins of the Journal, about what it means to be the editor of an academic journal, and about how the field of Holocaust studies has evolved over the years.
    Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.
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    • 45 min
    J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

    J. Browning and T. Silver, "An Environmental History of the Civil War" (UNC Press, 2020)

    This sweeping new history recognizes that the Civil War was not just a military conflict but also a moment of profound transformation in Americans' relationship to the natural world.
    To be sure, environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war could not have been fought without the horses, cattle, and other animals that were essential to both armies. But in An Environmental History of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver weave a far richer story, combining military and environmental history to forge a comprehensive new narrative of the war's significance and impact.
    As they reveal, the conflict created a new disease environment by fostering the spread of microbes among vulnerable soldiers, civilians, and animals; led to large-scale modifications of the landscape across several states; sparked new thinking about the human relationship to the natural world; and demanded a reckoning with disability and death on an ecological scale.
    And as the guns fell silent, the change continued; Browning and Silver show how the war influenced the future of weather forecasting, veterinary medicine, the birth of the conservation movement, and the establishment of the first national parks.
    In considering human efforts to find military and political advantage by reshaping the natural world, Browning and Silver show not only that the environment influenced the Civil War's outcome but also that the war was a watershed event in the history of the environment itself.
    Judkin Browning is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History at Appalachian State University and has written two military histories of the Civil War: Shifting Loyalties: The Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina (2011) and The Seven Days’ Battle: The War Begins Anew (2012).
    Timothy Silver is Professor of History at Appalachian State University and the author of Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains: An Environmental History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America and A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800, a foundational work in the field of environmental history.
    Brian Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is researching African American environmental history. He lives in Western Massachusetts and teaches at Deerfield Academy. Twitter. Website.
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    • 59 min
    Daniel P. Aldrich, "Black Wave: How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

    Daniel P. Aldrich, "Black Wave: How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

    Despite the devastation caused by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 60-foot tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, some 96% of those living and working in the most disaster-stricken region of Tōhoku made it through. Smaller earthquakes and tsunamis have killed far more people in nearby China and India. What accounts for the exceptionally high survival rate? And why is it that some towns and cities in the Tōhoku region have built back more quickly than others?
    Black Wave: How Networks and Governance Shaped Japan’s 3/11 Disasters (University of Chicago Press) illuminates two critical factors that had a direct influence on why survival rates varied so much across the Tōhoku region following the 3/11 disasters and why the rebuilding process has also not moved in lockstep across the region. Individuals and communities with stronger networks and better governance, Daniel P. Aldrich shows, had higher survival rates and accelerated recoveries. Less-connected communities with fewer such ties faced harder recovery processes and lower survival rates.
    Beyond the individual and neighborhood levels of survival and recovery, the rebuilding process has varied greatly, as some towns and cities have sought to work independently on rebuilding plans, ignoring recommendations from the national government and moving quickly to institute their own visions, while others have followed the guidelines offered by Tokyo-based bureaucrats for economic development and rebuilding.
    The datasets Daniel mentions in the podcast are available here.
    Daniel P. Aldrich is director of the Security and Resilience Studies Program and professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University. You can find him on twitter @DanielPAldrich
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 47 min
    Solomon Goldstein-Rose, "The 100% Solution: A Plan for Solving Climate Change" (Melville House, 2020)

    Solomon Goldstein-Rose, "The 100% Solution: A Plan for Solving Climate Change" (Melville House, 2020)

    At age 26, Solomon Goldstein-Rose has already spent more time thinking about climate change than most of us will in our lifetimes. He’s been a climate activist since age 11, studied engineering and public policy to understand what physically has to happen to solve climate change, and served in the Massachusetts state legislature on a climate-focused platform.
    In 2018 he canceled his campaign for re-election so he could work full-time on climate change at the national and global levels. The 100% Solution framework is a product of his political experiences, numerous meetings with technical experts and activists, and intensive research and analysis.
    The 100% Solution: A Plan for Solving Climate Change (Melville House) is a highly visual book, with informative and whimsical illustrations drawn by Violet Kitchen, a visual artist, illustrator, and writer based in western Massachusetts. She currently splits her time between being a full-time art student and a part-time hermit, and is available for commissions and freelance work. Violet also got her start at a young age: her instructional manual Drawing Comics Is Easy, Except When It’s Hard, written and drawn at age seven, earned her the title of youngest ever Eisner Award nominee.
    In this New Books Network interview, we speak about the political, industrial, and scientific changes that need to occur by 2050 to solve climate change, as well as the importance of focusing on real solutions rather than wallowing in fear.
    Solomon Goldstein-Rose was elected to the Massachusetts legislature on a climate change-focused platform at age 22. He previously interned in the Obama White House and in Congress, and ran a statewide carbon pricing campaign. He lives in Amherst, MA. For more see: SolomonGR.com
    Matthew Jordan is an instructor at McMaster University, where he teaches courses on AI and the history of science. You can follow him on Twitter @mattyj612 or his website matthewleejordan.com.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    JoAnna Poblete, "Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa" (U Hawai’i Press, 2020)

    JoAnna Poblete, "Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa" (U Hawai’i Press, 2020)

    In Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Samoa (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020), JoAnna Poblete demonstrates how western-style economics, policy-making, and knowledge building imposed by the U.S. federal government have been infused into the daily lives of American Samoans. American colonial efforts to protect natural resources based on western approaches intersect with indigenous insistence on adhering to customary principles of respect, reciprocity, and native rights in complicated ways. Experiences and lessons learned from these case studies provide insight into other tensions between colonial governments and indigenous peoples engaging in environmental and marine-based policy-making across the Pacific and the globe. This study connects the U.S.-American Samoa colonial relationship to global overfishing, world consumption patterns, the for-profit fishing industry, international environmental movements and studies, as well as native experiences and indigenous rights.
    The book is available open access here.
    JoAnna Poblete is an Associate Professor of History at Claremont Graduate University.
    Holger Droessler is an Assistant Professor of History at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on the intersection of empire and labor in the Pacific.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Sandra Postel, "Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity" (Island Press, 2020)

    Sandra Postel, "Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity" (Island Press, 2020)

    In Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity (Island Press), Sandra Postel acknowledges society’s past mishaps with managing water and emphasizes our future is contingent upon rehabilitating our science, tech, and political solutions. 
    To understand our past and provide hope for our future Sandra takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms. Sandra discusses her journey to learning about these projects. 
    What’s more, Sandra recognizes the complex nature of issues and addresses all aspects of water issues and solutions. In our conversation, Postel discusses water as a gift and leaves the audience to think about how they will use this great gift. 
     
    Chris Gambino is an Assistant Professor in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Science at Delaware Valley University. 
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    • 50 min

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