Rachel Carson’s celebrated Silent Spring (1962) ignited a national conversation in the United States during the 1960s about environmental contamination. Laws and agencies were constructed in relatively rapid response, including the national Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, both established and enacted in 1970. Environmental pollution and contamination issues crested in public discourse during the early 1970s after a series of visible contamination problems, including the ignition of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River and the visible smog choking the city of Los Angeles. But nearly 60 years — or roughly two human generations — later, environmental contamination as a…
Today’s agri-food system is arguably in a “state of crisis” (Bellamy and Ioris, 2017, p. 1). As the authors of Big World, Small Planet (2015) argue, food production “consumes the most land and freshwater, emits the most greenhouse gases, represents the biggest threat to biodiversity, and is a key source of nutrient loading” (Rockström and Klum, 2015, p. 100 eBook). Conventional methods of food production have been known to cause “[s]oil degradation, water contamination, groundwater depletion, deforestation and land cover change, [and] health effects of exposure to pesticides” in their quest to ‘feed the world’ (Bellamy and Ioris, 2017…
An Ecofeminist Examination of Women’s Roles in Conservation-Based Sustainable Development
updated 4/2/2018 at 3:59 p.m.
Our Earth’s finite resources are increasingly exploited as commodities for globalized networks at a time when around-the-world travel has blossomed into a feverish passion among many in the middle class. Emerging trends in what’s now referred to as ‘ecotourism’ excite both conservationists and sustainable development practitioners: A tourism (economic) model that’s attending to nature (conservation) and providing livelihoods for thousands of impoverished peoples (development)? Seems like a solution too good to be true. In some ways, ecotourism is just that: too good to be true…
Trump Administration climate policy analysis — the first 100 days, and beyond.
The existential crisis that has become global climate change has impacted nearly every facet of modern human civilization — or soon will. From energy consumption, to air quality, freshwater resources and coastal community development, climate change threatens the relative stability of the Holocene era into this new and unprecedented ‘Anthropocene’ epoch. At the same time, American leadership on global climate change initiatives is more important now than ever before. The United States is a top emitter of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to China; and yet, arguably…
Analysis, Critiques & Implementation
The Paris Agreement, now a legally-binding international climate treaty, was forged at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) convened by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Paris, France, from November 30 to December 11, 2015 (Williams and COP21, n.d.) (The Guardian, 2016). “It represents the first time since the Framework Convention on Climate Change was opened for signature in 1992 that all 196 parties have agreed to take actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions” (Dernbach, 2015). …
A Gendered Perspective of the Livestock Reduction Program on the Navajo Reservation
To the patriarchal-rooted, capitalist democracy of America today, money matters most. To the Diné on the Navajo Indian Reservation, sheep and livestock matter in much the same way. According to Black Mesa ceremonial singer Buck Austin, “Since time immemorial, our grandfathers and our grandmothers have lived … from their herds of sheep, horses and cattle, for those things originated with the world itself … With our sheep we were created.” …
How Women Shaped the American Environmental Movement (1950s-1970s)
The earliest American experience in connection with the natural world — the environment in which he now found himself living — was one of exploitation. “Americans are geographically located in an area where there is an abundance of renewable and nonrenewable resources…The earliest interest in the land was purely in the amount and speed with which it could be harvested” (Kuzmiak, 1991, p. 268). In the late 1800s, man’s relationship with his environment underwent a paradigm shift, one of uncontrollable spoils to controlling wilderness landscapes for recreational leisure and the pursuit of…
A poem by Bethany N. Bella | LOTUS
My bones crunch
like fallen logs and underbrush.
My lungs and ribs
burn like a thousand-acre fire I cannot quench,
As the wind brushes
through my hair, like waves,
Along my skin, which flows
and breathes like water.
I am made –
I am born of the same stars
as the galaxy.
Highlighting Change-Agents in the Face of Climate Doom
It was mid-October, and we were all perspiring. Walking through the downtown flea market in Cincinnati, Ohio, I was sorely overdressed for the occasion — a heavy jacket and jeans and a sweaty smile to match. Stopping for hot coffee in the mid-afternoon heat (79º Fahrenheit was the recorded high-temperature) didn’t improve my odds of cooling down, either. Panting slightly, wishing I could now wrap my jacket around my waist, I murmured to my three companions: “Global warming … I guess it is real.” Nothing. Not a single pause or comment or…
Leukemia. A dirty word, a word shrouded in death. Leukemia. It’s the only explanation I receive, as I stare down at the grassy tombstone of my grandmother — a woman I never knew. Leukemia. A dirty word, a word of internal violence and silent suffering, bodies raging quietly. Leukemia. The only word that still lingers in my bloodstream, in the recesses of my mind, dormant for now. Born in 1933 and dead at age 49, my grandmother is now a mere medical statistic. I can’t help but wonder, “Why?” Why was she, the youngest girl of 14 children, cursed with…