We are living today in a world that has warmed by just one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when records began on a global scale. We are adding planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a rate faster than at any point in human history since the beginning of industrialization.
In October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released what has become known as its “Doomsday” report — “a deafening, piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen,” as one United Nations official described it — detailing climate effects at 1.5 and two degrees Celsius of warming (2.7 and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). At the opening of a major United Nations conference two months later, David Attenborough, the mellifluous voice of the BBC’s “Planet Earth” and now an environmental conscience for the English-speaking world, put it even more bleakly: “If we don’t take action,” he said, “the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Scientists have felt this way for a while. But they have not often talked like it. For decades, there were few things with a worse reputation than “alarmism” among those studying climate change.
In this first book to study Portuguese texts about Africa, Moorings brings an important but little-known body of European writings to bear on contemporary colonial thought. Images of Africa as monstrous, dangerous, and lush were created in early Portuguese imperial writings and dominated its representation in European literature.
Moorings establishes these key works in their proper place: foundational to Western imperial discourse. Attentive to history as well as the nuances of language, Josiah Blackmore leads readers from the formation of the “Moor” in medieval Iberia to the construction of a full colonial imaginary, as found in the works of two writers: the royal chronicler Gomes Eanes de Zurara and the epic poet Lu s de CamAes. Blackmore’s original work helps to explain how concepts and mythsOCosuch as the “otherness” of Africa and Africans Cooriginated, functioned, and were perpetuated. Delving into the Portuguese imperial experience, Moorings enriches our understanding of historical and literary imagination during a significant period of Western expansion.
How close are we to wrecking the planet and have we reached the point of no return? Could civilization end soon? The reports Thom highlights, seem to think so. Global climate change is blamed for rising temperatures. Could it destroy all life on earth? There is a group that wants to give corporate personhood to nature, but is this the right way to save the planet?
In 2017, reports of hate crimes in the United States increased for the third consecutive year, according to the FBI. In addition to physical acts, such actions and other messages of racism, intolerance and extremism potentially impact large numbers of people online. In this Forum, experts tackled the painful and distressing spread of hate and racism. What social, political and psychological forces drive prejudice? How do modern media and the Internet enable and amplify hateful and racist messages? What are the impacts on the health and cohesion of society — and what can be done? This Forum event was presented jointly with PRI’s The World & WGBH on February 13, 2019. Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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