A pumped hydro facility is just one of many proposed clean energy projects that threaten cultural property of the Yakama Nation. The post When Renewable Energy Threatens Irreplaceable Tribal Culture appeared first on The Revelator.
In Minneapolis, the housing shortage has fractured the green community.
In expanding pockets of the West, citizens across the political spectrum are finding common ground as they adjust to living beside wolves.
A COP28 proposal to eat less meat would come amid a right-wing backlash against alternatives.
“American collapse is 'hypercollapse,' made of bots and ‘fake news’ and hacked elections, not just demagogues and speeches, which are radicalizing people already left ignorant by failing education institutions and civic norms” (1)A group of concerned climate scientists said in a recent wide-ranging peer-reviewed article: “In our view, the evidence from tipping points alone suggests that we are in a state of planetary emergency: both the risk and urgency of the situation are acute” (2) . Despite this, the deep, decades-old, and frequently voiced concerns of the scientific community have been generally ignored (3-7). The warnings recently have been accompanied by the confusion and unnecessary deaths in the covid pandemic, the increases in authoritarian rule threatening democracy in the United States and other countries, and the refusal of world leaders to deal with escalating climate disruption or with the presence of vast nuclear arsenals. The latter is now highlighted by Putin’s possibly civilization-ending invasion of Ukraine for which he threatens to trigger a holocaust. All these events show something in common. They have jointly made crystal clear the utter failure of the educational system in the United States and most other rich countries to prepare people for the existential environmental threats that are consequences of the great acceleration – the recent surge in growth and technological capacity of the global human enterprise (8). As a single current example, how many “educated” people understand that the United States has been sinking vast amounts of money into “modernizing” its “nuclear triad” – its weaponry for fighting a nuclear war – thus increasing the odds of such a war, which would cause a terminal environmental collapse (9)?A half century ago, when Joan Diamond was studying education, one of the core questions in the graduate curriculum was whether educational institutions should be designed to reflect the current society or should be vehicles for social change. In the face of ecological overshoot, increasing inequity, threats to democracy and civil rights (as evidenced by the Supreme Court ending Roe v Wade) and signs, we believe, of having lost our moral compass, it seems clear that in too many leading universities the former looks to be what is prevalent now.It appears that most people don’t believe that a principal role of education should be to encourage social evolution to meet changing circumstances. To move schooling into that role there first needs to be discourse to determine what a healthy, sustainable society really needs, discourse that today is rare at best and that needs to be coupled with a clear vision of a compelling future, given the realities of the current human predicament.Culture gapOne main reason for the lack of that discourse may be that the culture gap – the chasm between what each individual knows and the collective information possessed by society as a whole (10-12) – has never been larger and never more dangerous. In the forager societies that were characteristic of the vast majority of human history, almost all adults understood how nearly everything “worked.” When PRE lived with the Inuit in 1952, every adult Inuit knew how komatiks (sleds) and igloos were constructed and seals were hunted, as well as the rest of their culture. Today in western culture none of us come remotely close to straddling the gap. Could you describe the electronics that make a cellphone work or how an automobile is constructed from raw materials? Could most educated people even briefly describe crucial elements whose knowledge might put them on the survival side of the gap? Could they at least have some grasp of ecosystem services, the second law of thermodynamics, exponential growth, how the Nazis took over Germany, nuclear weapons and nuclear winter, or (in the U.S.) how the South “won” the Civil War? Would they be familiar with the biology of race and gender or the debates between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists? Does any aspect of today’s educational system have the goal of seeing that everyone ends up learning about and pursuing throughout life the aspects of culture that would make them understand the foundations of sustainability?It’s important to remember that public education was originally established as an agent of change. It was part of the institutionalization of western societies along with population growth, industrialization, urbanization, and separation of home from workplace. Public education was designed to provide the wage laborers the capitalist system demanded, workers who would be punctual and who could read and calculate for the increasingly industrialized world. It still fills that need. “Schools too often are carefully designed to prepare people for adult work roles, by socializing people to function well (and without complaint) in the hierarchical structure of the modern corporation or public office” (13). Public schooling was not designed originally to produce “educated” people per se (14, 15) or as a way of somewhat reducing the already growing culture gap. It was a benefit for the rich rentier capitalists who employed wage earners, whose own children were educated privately, often in religious schools. That pattern of education-for-employment has changed too little today (16), as documented by even most of the wealthy. Flagship institutionsA major reason for that is that flagship educational institutions, colleges and universities pay relatively little attention to newly critical educational needs created by the acceleration. They don’t focus a major part of their efforts or influence on pre-college learning on what adults need to know to function positively in an increasingly complex endangered civilization. This failure is reflected down the school apparatus, which mostly does not begin to prepare children to deal even with those two changing systems in our society of prime personal interest: the legal and medical systems. Nor are most Americans given enough information to understand the nature and impacts of the hierarchical and inequitable structures of modern society and the current trend of steepening the hierarchy (17-20). It is difficult to learn in school how possibly to soften the impacts of inequity in the face of a storm of disinformation concerning those impacts, some both quite subtle and persistent such as the myth that different human groups possess importantly different genetic capabilities (21). The task is made more difficult in some American jurisdictions in 36 states where there are government-imposed legal barriers to passing on pertinent information about race and racism to children (https://bit.ly/3xyo8RN).The process of education itself has become a silo in western civilizations, within which curriculum design and implementation appear to be more important to specialists than content (22, 23). The content element in that silo generally reflects an Aristotelian approach to learning, which originally focused on the teaching of subjects that were thought to improve the intellectual and moral development of individuals (and, with industrialization, prepare them to be obedient wage slaves). It divides what is to be learned into separate “subjects” and at the college level into separate “departments” through which funds, faculty promotions and perks flow.Following AristotleStudents at all pre-college levels are generally expected to be educated, again following Aristotle, in age groups, apparently on the implicit assumption that all 10-year-olds have similar interests and capacities. That can be seen implicitly in education today, which lacking a clear involvement in the social dangers of the great acceleration, diverges from Aristotle and tends to view learning as something that ends with a certification at a certain age: high school diploma, bachelor’s or master’s degree, doctorate, or perhaps some post-doctoral training. A doctorate in biology earned in 1957 (as Paul Ehrlich's was) would be close to useless to society today unless continually updated with learning. Most of today’s biological knowledge would be incomprehensible to Aristotle, should he suddenly reappear. Formal retraining throughout a career does occur in some areas (for instance, aviation, partially in medicine) but currency in a rapidly evolving world depends largely on individual initiative, ability to depart from past topics, and well-developed bullshit detectors (24).The dramatic increase in the potential sources of education in the great acceleration – movies, radio, TV, the web, have been recognized by educators, as has been the need for passing on more kinds of “literacy” (25, 26). Leave it to the flexible Finns to recognize the serious consequences of the rigid “learn your subjects” approach to teaching. Finland is formalizing a new system of teaching: “In Phenomenon Based Learning" (PhenoBL) and teaching, holistic real-world phenomena provide the starting point for learning. The phenomena are studied as complete entities, in their real context, and the information and skills related to them are studied by crossing the boundaries between subjects” (27, 28). There have been forays into this style of curriculum in the United States, but, none, to our knowledge, that have been adopted by school districts and states as the formal curriculum. There is observational evidence that we have moved in the opposite direction—one designed for standardized testing.Learning falls behindStarting with the need for literacy and numeracy for industrialization, the environmental demand for specific kinds of education has paralleled the great acceleration. But despite heroic efforts in a few areas such as the development of textbooks by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (29, 30), and a long interest in education in mathematics and its history (31) learning has fallen far behind need. There are small colleges and departments that directly tackle these issues but they are not mainstream and are often marginalized. Just think, for instance, of the clear widespread ignorance of simple exponential growth illustrated by discussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and of demography in general.Basic questions like what is education, what should be its purpose, and how should it be supported, should be major topics of concern, in colleges and universities as well as elementary and high schools.But we can only touch on the basics here because of the immediate need for help from educational institutions both to close critical parts of the culture gap and to help mobilize civil society to deal with immediate existential threats to civilization. Educators need to provide leadership in explaining those threats in general, and right now because of Vladimir Putin, specifically to educate people to the world-ending possibilities of nuclear war. Indeed one of the most critical parts of the culture gap is the large number of people who, since 1945, remain ignorant of the potential impact of such a war and believe that wars fought with nuclear weapons are “winnable.” This ignorance is partly explicable because of a general failure of schools and public education to inform citizens of the risks leaders have taken, the near misses that civilization has lived through by pure luck, and the now increasing odds of total disaster. But can we attribute the absence today, in the face of much more serious consequences, of the protests and teach-ins that rocked universities during the Vietnam war to that failure of education, or purely to the lack of a draft?Able Archer 83It’s sometimes said that considering nuclear wars is thinking about the unthinkable, but many specialists have spent lots of time doing just that. For instance, military planning for a “protracted” nuclear war in which the U.S. “prevailed” and for which the American nuclear triad should be upgraded was much discussed during the Reagan administration (32, 33) and as a result of the “Able Archer 83” incident.Able Archer 83 was what some consider to have been a “near miss” in 1983 when Russians suspecting the regular NATO Able Archer maneuvers were a cover up for a sneak “first strike” nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. Soviet forces began readying for a nuclear response, but the issue never reached Leonid Brezhnev before the Russians determined there was no coming attack. He, like many in the American military hierarchy and unlike some of his subordinates, persisted in the view that a nuclear war would be insane – and impossible to win. If nothing else the Able Archer 83 incident underlines now how the fate of civilization rests precariously on personalities, ideologies, intelligence accuracy, misunderstandings, and many other features of human behavior and human cultures that make the very existence of weapons of mass destruction, nation states, and war itself increasingly problematic (11, 34, 35). But whether a “limited” nuclear war is possible is still discussed, even after the “Proud Prophet” war games long ago showed how unlikely it was to avoid escalation from use of “battlefield” weapons to complete strategic disaster (36-38).After a period of relative quiet on the issue, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine has rekindled the debate, with at least on the political side, apparent great ignorance of the issues. The latest Pentagon budget, in which huge amounts of money are transferred to corporate oligarchs for that modernization of the useless and dangerous U.S. triad (9) suggests that such attitudes are alive and well at the higher levels of government in the United States. Vladimir Putin’s statements make it clear they are thriving among some in the Russian leadership as well.Existential threatsEducation systems around the world should be pressing to get people to understand what’s at stake with the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, and not just because Putin threatens to use them. For example it seems certain that even today there are powerful people in the governments of India and Pakistan who believe nuclear weapon use is at least riskable and perhaps winnable (39), Should India and Pakistan have a nuclear exchange, it also seems likely civilization would perish (40). And behind the now immediate nuclear threat is an array of other existential threats (41), including other weapons of mass destruction, knowledge of which lies on the far side of the culture gap and are not explained even to everyone enrolled in research universities.One can learn important things from the state of those universities. Many of them, for instance, have business schools “places that teach people how to get money out of the pockets of ordinary people and keep it for themselves” (42). Money issues control virtually everything at universities as they do in most “modern” societies. Stanford University’s academic senate gave a great lesson in the need to change the financing of higher education by refusing to divest from the fossil fuel industry because some senators were getting research support from them. The best short summary of what’s wrong with universities we have seen is that they are “too busy oiling the wheels to worry about where the engine is going.” More or less the same is said here in a more amusing form.There are of course many efforts out there to transform education—especially the work of pioneering individual faculty who would like to change the world even if their institutions remain mired in the 19th century. Stanford led there by establishing its Human Biology Program in 1971 and the Center for Conservation Biology in the Biology Department in 1984. There have been established other well-meaning programs to foster “social transformation” (including efforts to develop “social innovation curricula” in business schools), and some initiatives designed to deal with the fundamentals of the existential threats. But a glance at the literature (e.g., (43-45) suggests changes in higher education even in rich countries are unlikely to be spearheaded by academics. Too many teachers themselves have little grasp of the nature or magnitude of the problems of growth mania, revealed by our species’ history (11). They don’t recognize how short is the time available to have a reasonable chance of solving the problems, or how early in school and public education dramatic changes to teach about them would be necessary. This is unsurprising since the teachers are, obviously, products of the broken system.Prominent buzzwordsMeanwhile mainstream higher education persists in making things worse. Stanford ironically recently created an example of how not to catch up with Finnish middle schools educationally. Recognizing that climate disruption was a major concern and that “sustainability” was becoming a prominent buzzword, a move developed, especially among engineers and geologists, to establish a new School of Sustainability –originally labelled the School of Sustainability and Climate. The idea was, of course, basically to raise money. Academically it was silly from the start, simply because it retained or added more departmental and other anti-intellectual organization to the university, rather than re-examining the institution’s entire structure, its role in a dissolving civilization, and the consequences of its means of support. It’s worth a glimpse at the new school’s current structure which shows both its siloing and the near absence of understanding of the basic issues of sustainability.For instance, the sine qua non of sustainability is humanely and equitably reducing the scale of the human enterprise, both the numbers of people and the average consumption per capita (46-48). As you can see there is not a hint of this in the new school’s structure and there are many hints of ignorance in its announcement. For instance the announcement says the school will “address the planet’s sustainability,” but Earth’s sustainability has never been thought to be even slightly in jeopardy (at least for the next few billion years). The social sciences division of the school will “discover the causes of sustainability challenges, innovate new solutions to these challenges.” Of course the causes are already extremely well known – maybe the school could “innovate an old solution” and get the business school closed down (or at least it could hire writers who know English.) We could go on about things like how much more important humanities (absent from the school) are to sustainability than geophysics, but we’ll spare you. The Doerr school is a monument to what’s wrong with universities as civilization circles the drain, and analyzing its structure would be a valuable learning experience for freshmen wishing to understand how close we are to going down that drain.Civil societyOn the other hand, obviously many non-pedants in civil society are deeply concerned and understand the need to shrink the scale of the human enterprise. Many couples globally are choosing to stop at one child or go childless, steps in rich countries that are are major personal contributions to sustainability (49). And there are many organizations in civil society that “get it” – from ZPG in the old days to Growthbusters, the Post-Carbon Institute, Population Media Center, Global Conservation, and the Global Footprint Network today. And of course there’s the MAHB that probably does more than those other fine NGOs to engage broad civil society. It doesn’t just serve those who already understand the existential threats, but also those who wish to understand them better and develop ways to counter them. The challenge is that scaling up these efforts, understanding the barriers, and converting their message into policy in the face of near boundless ignorance and organized denial, is not easy. But there is a lot of good stuff happening. Not at necessary scale. Too quiet. Sometimes too afraid. But sometimes not.Despite the manifest flaws in education that will need to be corrected if there ever is to be a Civilization 2.0, there are things universities could do now if they ever are awakened from their slumber. Where is the modern day equivalent of the teach-ins of the 70s —now needed on nuclear weapons history and potential impacts of other doomsday weapons, on climate disruption, on the scale of the human enterprise and population imperatives, on the genetic disinformation on race and gender, on the need to modernize the constitution, on extinction and and loss of ecosystem services, on the demographic and biodiversity elements of pandemics, on the financialization of value and the requirement for wealth redistribution, on the ethics of borders and sharing the burdens of refugees, on the roots of human dominance in the evolution of empathy, and on dozens of other topics about which most “educated” Americans are clueless? Where are the classes being canceled or suspended to make time for the development of new education attuned to the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced? Where are the university presidents to give intellectual leadership in the worst time of human history, a time when the potential ultimate war is being fought in Europe and for the first time a global civilization is teetering on the brink of collapse? Why are universities not loudly criticizing the media’s “news” focus on political maneuvering, crime, celebrity doings, sporting events, gasoline prices (without mentioning the need to get them higher), and keeping the economic cancer growing while virtually ignoring the existential threats? Where are the students demonstrating as their futures are being mortgaged further each day by unsustainable population growth and over-consumption (48)? How many economics students organize protests over departments not teaching the obvious – that economists who think that population growth can continue indefinitely along with escalating universal wealth and consumption are daydream believers? One answer according to famed anthropologist Marshall Sahlins is that the overall cultural background in which the universities are embedded is inimical to leadership actions (50). In 2009 Sahlins suggested a part of the problem was the popularity of business courses. Could part of today’s more desperate problem be the overwhelming popularity of computer science?Our current education system –right up to the university—is trapped in reflecting society and missing the imperative to change human culture. As such it drives rather than solves the problems facing us, especially as it is so largely financed by politicians, and worse yet corporations and rentier capitalists, and their own sadly mis-educated products (think again economics departments and business schools and add in law schools). And as you can see, this system of support is loaded with pitfalls and contradictions. But we think universities should still speak from the lens of progressive human values and ecological well-being—to try to create the educational base for a strong, sustainable society with more equity, laws that evolve with the acceleration and do not overweight originalism), and near-universal well-being as goals. It is clear to us that getting key parts of the culture gap closed is an essential task for civil society if it aspires to those goals, and thus for a modernized educational apparatus led by universities and perhaps a vastly scaled up MAHB-type civil society to nurture it..References1. Haque U (2018) (Why) American collapse is extraordinary: Or, why America’s melting down faster than anyone believed. Eudaimonia.2. Lenton TM, et al. (2019) Climate tipping points—too risky to bet against. (Nature Publishing Group).3. Union of Concerned Scientists (1993) World Scientists' Warning to Humanity (Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA).4. 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Stevenson B (2019) Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition): A Story of Justice and Redemption (One World).19. Eberhardt JL (2020) Biased: Uncovering the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think, and do (Penguin Books).20. Snyder T (2021) On Tyranny Graphic Edition: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Random House).21. Feldman M & Riskin J (2022) Why biology is not destiny. New York Review.22. Prideaux D (2003) Curriculum design. Bmj 326(7383):268-270.23. Jacobs HH (1989) Interdisciplinary curriculum: Design and implementation (ERIC).24. Kluger B (2020) The Medical Bullshit Detector Part I: Untrustworthy Products and Unbelievable Ideas.25. Anstey M & Bull G (2004) The Literacy Labyrinth second edition. Frenchs Forest. New South Wales: Pearson Education Australia.26. Kulju P, et al. (2018) A review of multiliteracies pedagogy in primary classrooms. Language and Literacy 20(2):80-101.27. Silander P (2015) Phenomenon based learning. Retrieved August 1:2018.28. Symeonidis V & Schwarz JF (2016) Phenomenon-based teaching and learning through the pedagogical lenses of phenomenology: The recent curriculum reform in Finland. Forum Oświatowe, (University of Lower Silesia), pp 31–47-31–47.29. Glass B (1962) Renascent biology: A report on the AIBS biological sciences curriculum study. The School Review 70(1):16-43.30. Grobman AB (1984) AIBS News. BioScience:551-557.31. Kilpatrick J (2020) History of research in mathematics education. Encyclopedia of mathematics education:349-354.32. Rogers CR (1982) A psychologist looks at nuclear war: Its threat, its possible prevention. Journal of Humanistic Psychology 22(4):9-20.33. Halloran R (2008) Protracted Nuclear War. Air Force Magazine 91(3):57.34. Mastny V (2009) How Able Was “Able Archer”?: Nuclear Trigger and Intelligence in Perspective. Journal of Cold War Studies 11(1):108-123.35. Scott L (2013) Intelligence and the risk of nuclear war: Able Archer-83 revisited. Intelligence in the Cold War: What Difference did it Make?, (Routledge), pp 15-33.36. Pauly RB (2018) Would US Leaders Push the Button? Wargames and the Sources of Nuclear Restraint. International Security 43(2):151-192.37. Bracken P (2012) The second nuclear age: Strategy, danger, and the new power politics (Macmillan).38. Davis PK & Bennett BW (2022) Nuclear-Use Cases For Contemplating Crisis And Conflict On The Korean Peninsula. Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament:1-26.39. Jayaprakash N (2002) Winnable Nuclear War? Rhetoric and Reality. Economic and Political Weekly:196-198.40. Toon OB, et al. (2019) Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe. Science Advances 5(10):eaay5478.41. Bradshaw CJ, et al. (2021) Underestimating the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future. Frontiers in Conservation Science 1:61549:9.42. Parker M (2018) Shut Down the Business School (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL).43. Kumari R, Kwon K-S, Lee B-H, & Choi K (2019) Co-creation for social innovation in the ecosystem context: The role of higher educational institutions. Sustainability 12(1):307.44. Solís-Espallargas C, Ruiz-Morales J, Limón-Domínguez D, & Valderrama-Hernández R (2019) Sustainability in the university: A study of its presence in curricula, teachers and students of education. Sustainability 11(23):6620.45. Galego D, Soto W, Carrasco G, Amorim M, & Ferreira Dias M (2018) Embedding Social Innovation in Latin America Academic Curriculum. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances, Valencia, Spain, pp 20-22.46. Ehrlich PR & Ehrlich AH (2013) Can a collapse of civilization be avoided? Proceeding of the Royal Society B.47. Rees W (2020) The fractal biology of plague and the future of civilization. The Journal of Population and Sustainability Online 9 December.48. Dasgupta P, Dasgupta A, & Barrett S (2021) Population, Ecological Footprint and the Sustainable Development Goals. Environmental and Resource Economics:1-17.49. Wynes S & Nicholas KA (2017) The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions. Environ Res Lett 12(7):074024.50. Sahlins M (2009) The Teach‐ins: Anti‐war protest in the Old Stoned Age. Anthropology Today 25(1):3-5.Paul Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.Joan Diamond is the Executive Director of Stanford University’s Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) and of the Crans Foresight Analysis Nexus (FAN).Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.
Exclusive: Head of government taskforce calls for evidence not anecdote in debate over the beaver, white-tailed eagle and othersCulture wars by ministers over the reintroduction of animals such as the beaver and the lynx must end if we are to restore nature in England, the head of the government’s taskforce on the issue has said.Dr Andy Clements, an ornithologist who helped establish the government regulator Natural England, runs the species reintroduction taskforce, and he’s well placed to do so. He was one of those behind the hugely successful reintroduction of red kites into England. Continue reading...
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The remarkable haenyeo on Geoje Island believed their traditions were dying out. But then came the new recruits – refugees from the cities’ exhausting rat raceShin Ho-jin had been freediving only a little over a year – gathering oysters, seashells and other marine life by hand – when she spotted the cluster of abalone. Eager to show the older, more experienced divers that she could keep up, the 37-year-old took a deep breath and was about to plunge toward her prize find when she heard a shout: “Ho-jin, don’t go there!”It was the 69-year-old Lee Bok-soon, Shin’s boss and the captain of the boat. The experienced freediver of more than 50 years, often called Omma (Korean for mother) by her recruits, had seen that Shin was about to swim right into an old fishing net. Continue reading...
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Canary Media’s Climate Meets Culture column explores the intersection of energy, climate and the culture at large. Are you a climatetech professional? If so, there’s a little ol’ website that needs your help. It’s called Wikipedia — with its billions of monthly pageviews, maybe you’ve heard of it. The problem…
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Canary Media’s Climate Meets Culture column explores the intersection of energy, climate and the culture at large. During a recent Instagram Live Q&A session with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–New York), a viewer asked about her thoughts on climate doom. AOC replied that she doesn’t ascribe to…
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Coming Soon | 75 minutes , 4K , 2023 Language versions available: English, German, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia The last indigenous people of Mentawai, a small archipelago south-west of Sumatra, are fighting with creative resistance to preserve their ancient culture and rainforest. A culture on the verge of extinction - with the latest geopolitical developments, the destruction of their habitat reaches the point of no return. Smashing the hopes of thirty years of democratization in Indonesia, Jakarta in relapse to authoritarian rule is enforcing deforestation in Mentawai. In collaboration with investigative journalist Febrianti and indigenous foundations, our film portrays indigenous culture, history and resistance up to the most recent developments in geopolitical of Indonesia's growing environmental degradation. Connect with all your heart and senses: see, feel, touch, smell life in the jungle. The cinematic and compassionate camera conveys an intimate and sensual experience of the indigenous life on Mentawai with its beauty and vulnerability. Three shamans are the main characters in the film, hunter-gatherers in a culture predating even traditions of weaving or pottery, archaic traditions with their own complexity. The film portrays daily life of the indigenous tribe, their spiritual cosmos and their commitment to preserving their own culture and natural habitat. Logging companies threaten the fragile eco-system of the islands. Rare historic footage and archive materials tell the story of decades of oppression of the indigenous culture – but also of the resilience of our main characters and the last tribes living in the jungle. The main character, Father Laulau had been a leader in this struggle for decades, meeting the governor on Sumatra in a key point of history. The latter part of the film explores the geopolitical context and shows a new generation joining our main characters in the fight for the preservation of both their environment and culture – as part of a larger movement in Indonesia. The project started by indigenous initiative: Martison Siritoitet from Indigenous foundation Suku Mentawai (http:/sukumentawai.org) invited director Joo Peter to Mentawai and a long-term collaboration started including also Mentawai Indigenous Education Program (http://IEFprograms.org) The film is one of a planned series of films celebrating the diversity and richness of the Indonesian indigenous culture.
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Now Playing | When we talk about Sustainability, we tend to focus on the sustainable solutions based on physical resources. However, very frequently we overlook a key part for creating a successful sustainable society: Cultural Sustainability.
Rice-animal co-culture farming, an ancient Southeast Asian practice, could help meet global food demands and generate an additional $150 billion annually for producers while improving...
Past Presentation | The olive tree has been and is, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable hallmarks of Mediterranean culture throughout its history. However, it is not so clear that this will continue to be the case in the near future, at least in Mallorca, where the landscape itself has begun to show signs of exhaustion. The documentary is an immersion in the world of the Serra de Tramuntana olive tree, in its history and the culture that surrounds it, especially the musical part looking for the work songs that the locals sang in the past.
Amanda Uhle is the publisher of McSweeney's. She writes about culture, politics and civil rights and is at work on Long Island, a reported history of her family.
Now Playing | Bag It examines our society’s use and abuse of plastic. The theme of the film focuses on plastic as it relates to our society’s throw away mentality, our culture of convenience, and our over consumption of throwaway products and packaging—things that we use one time and then, without another thought, we throw them away. Bag It offers a candid view of the disturbing realities of our culture. And, it suggests concrete solutions to our plastic addiction. The film will raise public awareness on the many issues related to plastic and inspire change, both on the individual level and on the public policy level.
Past Presentation | El Río is a feature-length documentary where the daily life and stories of Amazonian peoples become cautionary tales in our Anthropocene era. El Río contributes to intersecting fields of anthropology and environmental humanities for our understanding of the perspectives of indigenous cultures and the life of water ecosystems under threat. It gives credence to the importance of ecological knowledge and belief systems for the entangled natural and human histories of Amazonia.
An idea from the past could provide a way to cope with extreme heat.
Since its debut in 1971, the anti-pollution ad showing a man in Native American attire shedding a single tear has become an indelible piece of TV pop culture.
Coming Soon | Emerald Sanctuary is a documentary investigating the impacts of seagrasses on the environment and culture of Florida as well as the their necessity to maintaining a healthy biodiversity.
With the selection of 16 inaugural postdocs, the program seeks to develop the next generation of faculty leaders and help guide the school toward a more diverse and inclusive culture.
An idea from the past could provide a way to cope with extreme heat.
Edmo, Shoshone-Bannock, grew up listening to his father’s stories. “At the time, I didn’t realize it wasn’t just stories,” he says. “It was my dad giving me my culture night by night.”
Rio de Janeiro’s Salgueiro samba school has paid tribute to Brazil’s largest Indigenous group, the Yanomami, crafting its giant floats, costumes and songs based on the group’s ancient culture and traditions
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara peoples are learning more about the missiles siloed on their lands, and that knowledge has put the preservation of their culture and heritage in even starker relief.
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's parliament on Thursday gave final approval to a law introducing tougher penalties on those who damage monuments and...
Now Playing | Michael Bauch, a Long Beach resident and independent filmmaker, noticed that many of his local errands involved short rides which were less than three miles. In the summer of 2007 he and his family went to Amsterdam, to document the biking and walking culture that is so natural to the Dutch people. The film suggests that we in the U.S. re-examine our view of bicycles.
Richard Nixon and his Madison Avenue handlers invented the modern political culture war. Running for office in 1968, Nixon drew on his grudges against the East Coast elites and the liberal media, finding that such resentment resonated with many Americans. He exploited racism and fueled white fears about crime and chaos, a playbook that defines Republican politics to this day. As president, he exploited mainstream America’s suspicion of hippies, calling drug legalization crusader Timothy Leary “the most dangerous man in America.” Three days before National Guard protesters killed student protesters at Kent State University, Nixon described anti-war demonstrators as “bums blowing up the campuses.” He fueled rumors about homosexuality in the press corps. He created and fanned a panic about drug use to vilify black people and anti-war protesters, leaving a legacy of punitive and ineffective drug policy that is also, tragically, still with us. His administration helped coordinate construction workers’ violent riots against those protesting the Vietnam War, and invited the rioters to the White House, promulgating the now-discredited idea that the Vietnam War represented a cultural divide between “hard hats” and “hippies.”Why didn’t he do the same with the environmental movement? You’d think it would have been a goldmine for him: Imagine the potentially polarizing imagery of the long-haired tree huggers coming for the Silent Majority’s two-car garage way of life.But although these days climate policy has joined Drag Queen Story Hour as a hot trigger for right wing obsession, Nixon didn’t give environmentalism the culture war treatment. In fact, he was the most environmentalist U.S. president ever.Nixon declared the first-ever Earth Day, on April 22, 1972. That year he also created the Environmental Protection Agency and signed the Clean Water Act. In 1973, he signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), legislation which he had requested from Congress and of which he was the major champion. “Nothing is more precious and worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed,” he said, announcing the bill.Perhaps even more jarring to our modern political expectations, Nixon’s support for Earth Day and for the planet was not iconoclastic among Republicans. While the original Congressional resolution to create Earth Day came from New Jersey Democrat Gaylord Nelson, the resolution was co-sponsored by California Republican Pete McCloskey. The 1968 Republican Party platform called for an expansion of urban green spaces and of our natural parks, declaring that “Our nation must pursue its activities in harmony with the environment…we must be mindful of our priceless heritage of natural beauty.”That’s not to say that Nixon personally embraced the environmental movement. He did not campaign on environmental issues, and privately, to Henry Ford II, he worried, vividly, that the movement wanted humans to go back to living like “a bunch of damned animals.” But despite his ideological differences with aspects of environmentalism—and unease ease with it—he presided over the biggest expansion of federal environmental protections ever.One way to explain this is that Nixon’s presidency coincided with a groundswell of environmentalist fervor, with membership in the Sierra Club tripling between 1965 and 1970, and the share of the American electorate believing that pollution was a serious problem going from one-third to 70 percent during that same period. So, while the tension between businessmen and “tree huggers” existed during Nixon’s time, there was nothing to be gained politically from exploiting it: Environmentalism was popular, and Nixon responded to the moment.The environment became a more partisan economic issue in the eighties and nineties, with business vociferously opposing regulation. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that subsequent Republican presidents with perhaps stronger personal environmental sympathies never reached Nixon’s level of environmental policymaking, although they did support limited environmental initiatives. Both President Bushes arguably fall into this category: George H.W. Bush solved the acid rain problem, and George W. Bush, while he disgracefully killed the Kyoto Protocol treaty, he protected wetlands and maintained that his administration took “the issue of global climate seriously,” a far cry from Trump’s war on even the smallest efforts at decarbonization, including LED light bulbs and low-flow showerheads.It’s been mostly in this century that the fossil fuel industry, a longtime supporter of Republicans, has promoted climate as a culture war issue, with conservative politicians eager to play along. The current effort to stigmatize all environmentally conscious investing as “woke,” for example, comes from fossil fuel-supported organizations like the Texas Public Policy Foundation as well as from right-wing leaders eager for attention.It’s worth considering how we wrest climate from the divisive brain-suck of the culture wars.This approach has spread like wildfire: Last month, Senator Josh Hawley even incoherently blamed the Silicon Valley Bank failure on “wokeness”—rather than its numerous, more pedestrian red flags. Conservatives now consider climate a rich source of cultural skirmish, stoking panic that the government is coming for our gas stoves and hamburgers. (These culture war narratives, too, it’s worth noting, are backed by powerful corporate interests in the form of the gas lobby and meat industry.)There’s an alarming intensity to such misperceptions: an urban planner who has advanced the idea that we should be able to walk or bike to our daily destinations in fifteen minutes is now receiving death threats from people who see a conspiracy to impose “climate change lockdowns” and turn our cities into prison camps.We can’t go undo the recent right-wing propagandizing and disinformation and go back to Nixon’s time. But it’s worth considering how we wrest climate from the divisive brain-suck of the culture wars. In the late 60s and 70s, appeals to the universality of our love for nature, and to Americans’ patriotic desire to conserve what’s beautiful and best about America, were effective. These narratives are still powerful.We also now have a storyline that wasn’t so prominent in Nixon’s time: environmentalism as economic self-interest. Nixon saw jobs and the environment as conflicting obligations to balance; he privately told adviser that he thought “jobs” were more important than the environment but wanted to “keep…out of trouble” with the environmental movement. The contemporary environmental movement has tried to move past that tension. To Biden’s credit, his most successful climate legislation, the IRA and the infrastructure bill, reflect a positive vision of what decarbonization could do for workers and the economy—that’s one reason both policy moves have been so popular. These rhetorical and practical evolutions can help. But the biggest lesson of Nixon’s time is that a huge political movement can shape the political culture, allowing even the most hardened right-wing culture warrior to find their inner tree hugger.There are signs that this could happen again. Republicans in our current Congress appear deeply committed to their nonsense, but this crazy moment may pass. Public opinion polling shows many Republican voters concerned about climate, willing to support environmental legislation and buying electric cars. And now that the funding for the IRA is starting to come through, it’s benefitting the districts represented by the same Republicans who resisted it so hard (even more than Democratic districts). In a comical twist, those Congresspeople are now boasting about the IRA money to their constituents, just as many Republicans who didn’t vote for the 2021“bipartisan” infrastructure bill did. They’re doing that not because they’ve had a change of heart on climate change after watching an Inconvenient Truth or reading this magazine, but because the policies are popular. Just like Nixon, they still hate the hippies—but they see which way the wind is blowing.
Now Playing | Eco Arts is a creative practice that recognises that we are all part of the Living World. This film provides an overview of the practice of Eco Arts in community. Perspectives of First Nations Elders and artists are interwoven with examples of intercultural and environmental events. Musicians and creative thought leaders discuss the role of arts and culture in strengthening communities against the backdrop of ecological degradation and the climate crisis.
The Environmental Protection Agency will pair artists with federal officials overseeing treasured bodies of water in the United States as part of a new initiative to use arts and culture to support water restoration and climate resiliency
Now Playing | From erosion to overgrazing to enduring poverty, the people of Lesotho—a highland country surrounded by South Africa—face a variety of difficult challenges. Yet grassroots communities in the country also exhibit tremendous resourcefulness and creativity. In particular, a wealth of artists have mastered a talent for resurrection, developing the skill to creatively turn negatives into positives: Designers who turn discarded trash into beautiful jewelry, clothes, rugs. Filmmakers who turn tragedy into artistic expressions of resilience and compassion. Musicians who write songs to save the environment. In this short, Cultures of Resistance Films profiles a variety of these inventive creators, introducing viewers to a fascinating cast of local residents who are using art as a means of communicating a communal desire for positive change.
Now Playing | Cultivating the Wild focuses on six Southerners committed to reclaiming the nature of the South through art, science, and culture. Their inspiration is William Bartram, 18th century naturalist and America’s first environmentalist. From 1773 to 1777, a plant-collecting trip took Bartram from the Carolina coast west to the Mississippi. Far more than a botanical catalog, Bartram’s 1791 book Travels provides a captivating window into the past and continues to fire the imagination of readers over 200 years later. Despite the passage of time, Bartram’s words speak to current issues of critical importance. The film responds to an America hungry to re-connect with the natural world around us, an America increasingly focused on sustaining this planet we call home. Often called “the South’s Thoreau,” Bartram’s reverence for all aspects of nature lies at the heart of these modern environmental movements and in the people we meet in Cultivating the Wild.
Parkrose High teacher Moé Yonamine hopes to equip students with a more inclusive understanding of history and help them advocate for themselves and their communities.
Archaeologists fear dangerous precedent if court approves new beach facilities at site of Phaselis on the Mediterranean coastThe construction of tourist facilities on two beaches that were part of the ancient city of Phaselis – a tentative nominee for Unesco world heritage status – has caused outrage at what is claimed to be the latest example of the Turkish culture ministry sacrificing heritage for tourism.The Alacasu and Bostanlık beaches, on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast in the province of Antalya, were part of Phaselis, a Greek and Roman settlement thought to be the birthplace of Plato’s student Theodectes. Despite having ruins dating back to the second century BC, the beaches have never been subject to an archaeological dig. Continue reading...
Some of the world’s major tourist destinations attract millions of visitors from around the world each year. The world is becoming a smaller place, with even more people able to visit many of the world’s most popular tourist hotspots. IMPACT OF MASS TOURISM This has both positive and negative impacts on the communities, the local economies, […] The post PHOTOS – Five stunning lesser-known tourist destinations appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.
By Arno Kopecky More than two years after the province promised to implement recommendations set out in the old-growth strategic review, big trees continue to fall. Review author Garry Merkel says changing B.C.'s forestry culture isn't easy
The actions of a ranger for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation in northwestern Nevada are under review after he pointed a weapon Sunday at climate activists blocking the road to the annual Burning Man counter-culture festival in the desert
After the ranch manager, Chris Bechtold, killed and bled out one of the estimated 700 bison in the herd, the students approached the carcass to participate in the traditional process of breaking down the animal. It was bitter cold out, but the organizer stoked a big bonfire to keep everyone warm. Dugan Coburn, the director […] The post Indigenous Foodways Are the Focus in a Growing Number of Classrooms appeared first on Civil Eats.
Past Presentation | Created in an anti-drug PSA format, Maui students address our modern addiction to plastic.
Past Presentation | An archaeologist stumbles upon a remote Florida spring. Is it truly magic or a delusion?
Past Presentation | Yann Arthus Bertrand brings us film footage of over fifty countries, as seen from the air, to inspire wonder and concern for our home, this planet.
Past Presentation | The Shimuras, mother Fukumi and daughter Yoko, devote their daily lives in a lifelong pursuit to understanding and preserving Japanese textiles that are a national treasure.
Past Presentation | Local water activists explore Gainesville’s fresh waterways and how they have been integrated into the city – even crawling beneath behemoth stores to follow the waters.