[Notes on ‘political ecology’ submitted as an invited Contributing Author for the forthcoming Transformative Change assessment being developed by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).] The distinctive field of study that has become known as ‘Political Ecology’ seeks not only understand socio-ecological concerns, but also to conceptualise alternatives for transforming the … Continue reading Political ecology and transformation: ‘the point is to change it’
In a famous scene in George Orwell’s 1984, Inner Party member O’Brien tests protagonist Winston Smith’s allegiance to Party truth by demanding that Winston sees five fingers, instead of the four he is holding up. Winston’s refusal to see something other than what his eyes tell him is the cue for intense physical pain, courtesy … Continue reading How many fingers am I holding up?
The push and pull of climate ‘agreements’ For the 21st time, preparations are underway for a United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change (or ‘summit’), intended to produce A Universal Climate Agreement (or ‘deal’) for the management and prevention of global anthropogenic climate change. As with similar meetings since at least the mid-1990s, … Continue reading On climate change ontologies and the spirit(s) of oil
A film installation by film-maker Stephen Hurrel and social ecologist Ruth Brennan One evening in May 2015 I started to read Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs and European Renegadoes by Peter Lamborn Wilson, a writer perhaps better known for their provocative ruminations on ‘ontological anarchy’ and Temporary Autonomous Zones (under the pseudonym Hakim Bey). Pirate Utopias … Continue reading Reflections on Clyde Reflections
The conference Development for a Finite Planet: Grassroots Perspectives and Responses to Climate Change, Resource Extraction and Economic Development organised in Oslo by the Norwegian Association for Development Research collected together a diverse array of papers on local engagements with, and contestations of, environmental issues. Contexts as far apart as South Africa’s townships and the … Continue reading Chess or Go? Comments on a Conference Panel