Anthropocene 2050
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Anthropocene 2050

THE MONTHLY GLOBAL CHANGE REVIEW #11

February 2022

In the Anthropocene, can we keep teaching as if we were still living in the Holocene? More than 40 researchers and teacher-researchers from different backgrounds (from the natural sciences to the humanities and social sciences, including law, economics, management, agronomy and medicine) have combined their knowledge to help us understand the mechanisms and consequences of global warming and the erosion of biodiversity, as well as their relationship to our lifestyles and consumption patterns. Enjeux de la transition écologique. Enseigner la transition écologique aux étudiants de licence à l’université [The stakes of the ecological transition. Teaching the ecological transition to university undergraduates] is available for free on HAL (what else?). Meanwhile in the city, the circular economy invites to deconstruct and build in an uninterrupted flow of materials and waste, with a vibrant motto: REUSE!

A monthly publication by Lyon Urban School (Université de Lyon), dedicated to a better understanding of global change and the Anthropocene urban world: a selection of news in many fields of study to grasp the world we live in and the world to come.

“For what it’s worth — Copper — Palabora Mine — 4.1 million tonnes of copper” © Dillon Marsh. The photographer materializes by a sphere the mass of ore (here copper) extracted from a mine in South Africa.

📢 Enjoy reading or listening to original Anthropocene podcasts: Net Zero, Algorithms , Drink or Drive.

Check out the selection of Anthropocene Good Reads #2020: 60 books in many fields of knowledge to help understand what is happening and what is coming.

If you have any comments or suggestions to enhance this daily monitoring, feel free to share: berenice.gagne@universite-lyon.fr

Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram for a daily selection.

URBAN

- “Deconstructing in architecture: Rotor, a Belgian multidisciplinary collective of architects and researchers, has placed the flow of construction materials at the center of its work. Their approach, attentive to resources, waste and reuse, exposes the issues of material deconstruction in the recent history of architecture. As reuse returns to the heart of practice, it also carries alternative narratives insofar as it incites local, circular, and small-scale actions and enables new alliances” (AOC, 27/01/2022).

- “Should we draw the transition? Transition is in everyone’s mind, but how can we move from wishful thinking and often theoretical to new design practices? Landscape architect and illustrator Hélène Copin provides a critical reading of the collective work Dessiner la transition. Dispositifs pour une métropole écologique [Drawing the transition. Devices for an ecological metropolis]” (métropolitiques, 20/01/2022).

- Matières à faire. Le kit de l’économie circulaire [Materials to do. The circular economy kit]: a practical guide from the Société du Grand Paris to limit the consumption of natural resources and improve the management of waste from the construction of the Grand Paris Express and the 2024 Olympic Games.

”Bodies in urban spaces” © Willi Dorner — Photo: Lisa Rastl

ACADEMIC

- Enjeux de la transition écologique. Enseigner la transition écologique aux étudiants de licence à l’université [The stakes of the ecological transition. Teaching the ecological transition to university undergraduates], a book resulting from the collaboration of more than 40 researchers and teacher-researchers from all disciplines in free access (HAL,29/01/2022).

AGRICULTURE & FOOD

- “Biosecurity jeopardizes free-range farming: anthropologists Charles Stépanoff and Frédéric Keck and sociologist Jocelyne Porcher are concerned about the measures taken to fight the H5N1 virus in France, which affects poultry farms. A slaughter plan has been adopted, whereas it is the industrial production mode that should be questioned” (Le Monde, 11/02/2022).

- Reading of Capital Terre, une histoire longue du monde d’après (XIIe-XXIe siècle) [Land Capital, a long history of the world after (12th — 21st century)] (Payot, 2021) by Alessandro STANZIANI: “The long history of agriculture that has become productivist and capitalist, from the transformation of seeds and species to the exploitation of producers, through the expropriation of peasants and the chemistry of fertilizers and pesticides” (la vie des idées, 02/02/2022).

- “Rapid global phaseout of animal agriculture has the potential to stabilize greenhouse gas levels for 30 years and offset 68 percent of CO2 emissions this century” (PLOS Climate, 01/02/2022).

ARTS & CULTURES

- “Lucile Viaud is a designer and “geoglass” artist. Working from salvaged materials, she crafts objects that carry within them the history of the territories from where the materials originate. Its snail or abalone shells, forgotten sands, and powdered seaweed are slices of fleeting time and result in objects that cannot be replicated. “The glass items I make vary depending on the nature of these materials. They are based on the landscapes they originate from, their geologies, their traditional productions (some of which are now perceived to lack value and characterized as debris), and the know-how that have generated them.”” (PCA-Stream, 11/02/2022).

- Collective exhibition Ubuntu, a lucid dream: “Ubuntu and its dual question “making humanity together and together inhabiting the earth”, to quote philosopher Souleyman Bachir Diagne, emerges once again at the heart of social, political, economic, cultural and ecological demands and debates.” (Palais de Tokyo à Paris, jusqu’au 20 février 2022).

BIODIVERSITY

- A study that assesses the loss of adaptation of plants to climate change due to the disappearance of animals that participated in the dispersal of their seeds: these animals ensured the movement of seeds to territories more favorable to the development of the plant in case of climate change (Science, 13/01/2022).

- “Cargo, With a Side of Hornets, Flies and Crabs. Global shipping is moving invasive species around the world. Can world governments agree on necessary preventative measures?” (The Revelator, 10/01/2022).

- A global atlas of artificial light at night under the sea to study its impact on marine ecosystems. Areas experiencing intensive offshore development and coastal urbanization are most at risk. Artificial light from coastal urban environments can have a significant impact on marine organisms that have evolved over millions of years to be extremely sensitive to natural light, such as moonlight. The blue tones of LED lights particularly penetrate underwater, disturbing underwater organisms (Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, décembre 2021).

“Heart of Nature” © Dimitri Tsykalov

CLIMATE

- “Heat waves hit the poor hardest — a new study calculates the rising impact on those least able to adapt to the warming climate” (The Conversation, 10/02/2022).

- Anthropocene: “Stop blaming the climate for disasters!” Researchers insist on human responsibility for disasters such as floods, droughts and heat waves. “Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability. For example, in urban areas, natural hazards become disasters due to poor urban planning processes that are not risk-informed. The results are inadequate infrastructure, a lack of social support systems that could reduce impacts or help with recovery from past disasters, and processes that push the most vulnerable groups of people to live in hazardous areas.” (Nature, Communications earth & environment, 10/01/2022).

DECOLONIALISM & POSTCOLONIALISM

- “Amitav Ghosh: European colonialism helped create a planet in crisis”. “For two centuries, European colonists tore across the world, viewing nature and land as something inert to be conquered and consumed without limits and the indigenous people as savages whose knowledge of nature was worthless and who needed to be erased. It was this settler colonial worldview — of just accumulate, accumulate, accumulate, consume, consume, consume — that has got us where we are now.” (The Guardian, 14/01/2022).

EXTRACTIVISM & ENERGY

- “Deep Sea Mining”: the quest for a new El Dorado at the bottom of the oceans. “A scientific, ecological, geopolitical and ontological controversy is unfolding about these little-explored environments, whose ecosystems are still poorly known and which have become the coveted territories of deep sea mining, after two centuries spent digging on land to extract fossil fuels and precious minerals” (AOC, 10/02/2022).

- “Shifting Mining From the Global South Misses the Point of Climate Justice”. An analysis of the stakes, in terms of social and climate justice, of the relocation of mining operations in Northern countries for metals essential to the manufacture of electric batteries (Foreign Policy, 07/02/2022).

- “A 21st-century reinvention of the electric grid is crucial for solving the climate change crisis” (The Conversation, 12/01/2022).

HEALTH

- “Care and the processes of attention and disattention as analytical and operational referents for collective health: politicization of care and collective health”. Care is not “a passive contemplation but an active exercise of the will, necessarily preceded by moments of attention: it is necessary to act to make life more liveable” (Anthropocene2050, 11/01/2022).

“Dreams” © Daiki Nishimura 西村大樹

MOBILITY

- A study of the environmental impact of shared micromobility vehicles: trips by shared e-scooters or e-bikes often replace trips that would have been made by non-electric bikes, public transit, or walking. In contrast, private e-scooters and e-bikes more often replace trips by car. This study could help city planners integrate different mobility options in a city, for example by encouraging the positioning of shared micromobility services in outlying areas to facilitate access to mass transit rather than clustering these vehicles in the city center where there is already a plethora of low-carbon mobility options (Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Janvier 2022).

PHILOSOPHY, SOCIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY & OPINION

- “Wild, natural, living, freely evolving… what words to depredate the land?” “People from the worlds of peasantry, activism and research question the advantages and disadvantages of a series of formulas to designate, within broader collectives of struggles, lands that would be removed from any productive relationship and largely withdrawn from human control.” (Terrestres, 10/02/222).

- “The Fossil Crescent”: the historical and geographical origins of the Anthropocene. The Fossil Crescent of the Industrial Revolution becomes the equivalent of the Fertile Crescent of the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (Le Grand Continent, 08/02/2022).

- “Democracy, Demography and the East-West Divide in Europe”: “Ecological imagination is a cosmopolitan one; it works with the assumption that humanity could be saved only if we act together. Demographic imagination is a nativist one; it acts under the assumption that others want to replace us and we should stop them” (Groupe d’études politiques, 17/01/2022).

POLITICS & GEOPOLITICS

- “Democratic Environments: How does concern for the environment affect modes of democratic participation? Comparing a deliberative process in Poitou (France) and a citizen mobilization in Ardèche (France), an ethnographic survey sheds light on the relationship of citizens to politics and conflict” (la vie des idées, 24/01/2022).

- Illinois, the US’ 4th largest coal-producing state, “passed the country’s only comprehensive climate legislation designed to advance racial equity and economic justice. A model for other states to build coalitions to help communities and the planet.” (The Revelator, 14/01/2022).

SCIENCE

- A study finds that chemical pollution has crossed a planetary boundary, the point at which human modification takes the Earth out of the stable environment of the past 10,000 years. This chemical pollution of plastics and 350,000 synthetic chemicals (including pesticides, industrial compounds and antibiotics) threatens the stability of the global ecosystems on which we depend (Environmental Science & Technology, 18/01/2022).

WASTE

- “Mapping global inputs and impacts from of human sewage in coastal ecosystems. Out of 135,000 watersheds in the world, 25 are responsible for nearly half of the nitrogen pollution from human waste. They are located in both developing and developed countries.” (Plos One, 10/11/2021).

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