Researchers are warning that rising global temperatures could see a shift in the world’s traditional staples and who grows them. They predict that maize, wheat and rice will decrease in many developing countries – forcing farmers to replace them with crops more resistant to heat, drought and flooding.
Over the past two decades , a unique class of journalist and public intellectual has gained prominence . Rather than straight reporting , these “knowledge journalists” specialize in the translation of complex subjects , often championing specific policy positions or causes . As public intellectuals, they tend to view the world deductively, immersing themselves in the synthesis of complex areas of research, offering an alysis across cases and events. T h rough their best – selling books and commentary, they influence how we think and ta l k , infusing the abstract with meaning, and turning the complex into a common vocabulary . Yet , they are also criticized for their characterization of uncertainty, for imposing their point – of – view, for lacking specialized credentials, for reducing explanations to a single idea, theory, or field ; and often , for blurring the lines between journalism an d activism.
Over the past two decades, the role of planetary changes—the human impact on climate, biodiversity, and natural resources, from water to fish to forests—have exacerbated the perils of the human condition even as technological advances have created whole new worlds.
By Caitlin E. Werrell, Francesco Femia, and Anne-Marie Slaughter | February 28, 2013
Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF version of the report.
Crime-show devotees will be familiar with the idea of a “stressor”—a sudden change in circumstances or environment that interacts with a complicated psychological profile in a way that leads a previously quiescent person to become violent. The stressor is by no means the only cause of the crimes that ensue, but it is an important factor in a complex set of variables that ultimately lead to disaster.
“The Arab Spring and Climate Change” does not argue that climate change caused the revolutions that have shaken the Arab world over the past two years. But the essays collected in this slim volume make a compelling case that the consequences of climate change are stressors that can ignite a volatile mix of underlying causes that erupt into revolution.
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist and ecologist who is active in biodiversity conservation and protection of farmers’ and women’s rights. In this interview, Shiva reflects on the current economic and ecological crises, their roots and the way forward for a democratic, sustainable future
It’s a utopian fantasy- discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your ideals-, but in Spain where there are nearly 3000 abandoned villages (most dating back to the Middle Ages), some big dreamers have spent the past 3 decades doing just that.
There are now a few dozen “ecoaldeas” – ecovillages – in Spain, most build from the ashes of former Medieval towns. One of the first towns to be rediscovered was a tiny hamlet in the mountains of northern Navarra.
Lakabe was rediscovered in 1980 by a group of people living nearby who had lost their goats and “when they found their goats, they found Lakabe”, explains Mauge Cañada, one of the early pioneers in the repopulation of the town.
The new inhabitants were all urbanites with no knowledge of country life so no one expected them to stay long. When they first began to rebuild, there was no road up to the town so horses were used to carry construction materials up the mountain. There was no electricity either so they lived with candles and oil lamps.
In the early years, they generated income by selling some of their harvest and working odd jobs like using their newfound construction experience to rebuild roofs outside town. Later they rebuilt the village bakery and sold bread to the outside world.
Their organic sourdough breads now sell so well that today they can get by without looking for work outside town, but it helps that they keep their costs at a minimum as a way of life. “There’s an austerity that’s part of the desire of people who come here,” explains Mauge. “There’s not a desire for consumption to consume. We try to live with what there is.”
Today, the town generates all its own energy with the windmill, solar panels and a water turbine. It also has a wait list of people who’d like to move in, but Mauge says the answer is not for people to join what they have created, but to try to emulate them somewhere else.
“If you set your mind to it and there’s a group of people who want to do it, physically they can do it, economically they can do it. What right now is more difficult is being willing to suffer hardship or difficulties or… these days people have a lot of trouble living in situations of shortage or what is seen as shortage but it isn’t.”
HARDtalk speaks to the original tree hugger. The phrase was coined back in the seventies when she, along with a group of women in India, hugged trees to stop them from being chopped down. In the decades since, Vandana Shiva has become known throughout the world for her environmental campaigns. She says a billion people go hungry in the world because of the way greedy international companies go about their business. So is it a naïve world view or could we really end poverty and improve everyone’s life by returning to old fashioned ways of farming?
Interviewed Guest – Vandana Shiva
Presenter – Sarah Montague
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.
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