Against Ecological Sovereignty is a passionate defense of radical ecology that speaks directly to current debates concerning the nature, and dangers, of sovereign power. Engaging the work of Bataille, Arendt, Levinas, Nancy, and Agamben, among others, Mick Smith reconnects the political critique of sovereign power with ecological considerations, arguing that ethical and political responsibilities for the consequences of our actions do not end with those defined as human.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is the first book to turn Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty and biopolitics toward an investigation of ecological concerns. In doing so it exposes limits to that thought, maintaining that the increasingly widespread biopolitical management of human populations has an unrecognized ecological analogue—reducing nature to a “resource” for human projects. Smith contends that a radical ecological politics must resist both the depoliticizing exercise of sovereign power and the pervasive spread of biopolitics in order to reveal new possibilities for creating healthy human and nonhuman communities.
Presenting a stinging critique of human claims to sovereignty over the natural world, Smith proposes an alternative way to conceive of posthumanist ecological communities—one that recognizes the utter singularity of the beings in them.
Traces the development of Alabama's environmental movement from its beginnings with the establishment of The Alabama Conservancy in the late 1960s and early '70s to the preservation efforts of present-day activist groups
The grassroots effort to preserve Alabama's Wilderness Areas spanned thirty years, from 1967 to 1997. The first battle, to establish the Sipsey Wilderness in the Bankhead National Forest, was the catalyst for reform of national policy regarding public land preserves in the eastern United States. It, and the later campaigns—to establish the Cheaha Wilderness, to enlarge the Sipsey, and to create the Dugger Mountain Wilderness—are classic tales of citizen activists overcoming the quagmire of federal bureaucracy and the intransigence of hostile politicians. Early political opposition to proposed designation or expansion of wilderness areas in Alabama was based on the belief that limiting development of these lands would negatively impact the state's powerful timber industry. In response to such opposition, serious environmental activism was born in Alabama.
Using newspaper reports, Congressional testimony, interviews, and his own recollections, John Randolph traces the development of Alabama's environmental movement from its beginnings with the establishment of The Alabama Conservancy in the late 1960s and early '70s to the preservation efforts of present-day activist groups, such as the Alabama Environmental Council, the Cahaba River Society, and the Alabama Wilderness Alliance.
The Battle for Alabama's Wilderness permits all of the players—pro and con—to speak for themselves, but the heroes—people like Mary Burks, Blanche Dean, Joab Thomas, and Pete Conroy—embody the vision, hope, and persistence required of those who succeed in their preservation efforts. Randolph's account is a testament to the power of grassroots citizen groups who are committed to a common cause and inspired by a shared ideal.
Regional Planning for a Sustainable America is the first book to represent the great variety of today’s effective regional planning programs, analyzing dozens of regional initiatives across North America.
The American landscape is being transformed by poorly designed, sprawling development. This sprawl—and its wasteful resource use, traffic, and pollution—does not respect arbitrary political boundaries like city limits and state borders. Yet for most of the nation, the patterns of development and conservation are shaped by fragmented, parochial local governments and property developers focused on short-term economic gain. Regional planning provides a solution, a means to manage human impacts on a large geographic scale that better matches the natural and economic forces at work. By bringing together the expertise of forty-two practitioners and academics, this book provides a practical guide to the key strategies that regional planners are using to achieve truly sustainable growth.
The opposing forces of conservation and development have shaped and will continue to shape the natural environment and scenic beauty of the American West. Perhaps nowhere are their opposite effects more visible than in the neighboring states of Colorado and Utah, so alike in their spectacular mountain environments, yet so different in their approaches to land conservation. This study explores why Colorado has over twenty-five land trusts, while Utah has only one.
John Wright traces the success of voluntary land conservation in Colorado to the state’s history as a region of secular commerce. As environmental consciousness has grown in Colorado, people there have embraced the businesslike approach of land trusts as simply a new, more responsible way of conducting the real estate business.
In Utah, by contrast, Wright finds that Mormon millennialism and the belief that growth equals success have created a public climate opposed to the formation of land trusts. As Wright puts it, "environmentalism seems to thrive in the Centennial state within the spiritual vacuum which is filled by Mormonism in Utah." These findings remind conservationists of the power of underlying cultural values that affect their efforts to preserve private lands.
The research paper "Extinction Risk from Climate Change" published in the journal Nature in January 2004 created front-page headlines around the world. The notion that climate change could drive more than a million species to extinction captured both the popular imagination and the attention of policy-makers, and provoked an unprecedented round of scientific critique.
Saving a Million Species reconsiders the central question of that paper: How many species may perish as a result of climate change and associated threats? Leaders from a range of disciplines synthesize the literature, refine the original estimates, and elaborate the conservation and policy implications.
Saving a Million Species offers a clear explanation of the science behind the headline-grabbing estimates for conservationists, researchers, teachers, students, and policy-makers. It is a critical resource for helping those working to conserve biodiversity take on the rapidly advancing and evolving global stressor of climate change-the most important issue in conservation biology today, and the one for which we are least prepared.
Crispin Wright's Truth and Objectivity brought about a far-reaching reorientation of the metaphysical debates concerning realism and truth. The essays in this companion volume prefigure, elaborate, or defend the proposals put forward in that landmark work.The collection includes the Gareth Evans memorial lecture in which the program of Truth and Objectivity was first announced, as well as all of Wright's published reactions to the extensive commentary his study provoked; it presents substantial new developments and applications of the pluralistic outlook on the realism debates proposed in Truth and Objectivity, and further pursues its distinctive minimalist conceptions of truth and of truth-aptitude. Among the papers are important discussions of coherence conceptions of truth, of Hilary Putnam's most recent views on truth, and of the classical debate between correspondence, coherence, pragmatism, and deflationary conceptions of the notion. Others are concerned with Kripke's famous argument against physicalist conceptions of sensation; the distinction between minimal truth-aptitude and cognitive command; a novel prospectus for a philosophy of vagueness; and a new proposal about the most resilient interpretation of relativism.
The media are in crisis. Confronted by growing competition and sagging advertising revenue, news operations in print, on radio and TV, and even online are struggling to reinvent themselves. Many have gone under. For too many others, the answer has been to lay off reporters, join conglomerates, and lean more heavily on generic content. The result: in a world awash with information, news organizations provide citizens with less and less in-depth reporting and a narrowing range of viewpoints. If democracy requires an informed citizenry, this trend spells trouble.Julia Cagé explains the economics and history of the media crisis in Europe and America, and she presents a bold solution. The answer, she says, is a new business model: a nonprofit media organization, midway between a foundation and a joint stock company. Cagé shows how this model would enable the media to operate independent of outside shareholders, advertisers, and government, relying instead on readers, employees, and innovative methods of financing, including crowdfunding.Cagé’s prototype is designed to offer new ways to share and transmit power. It meets the challenges of the digital revolution and the realities of the twenty-first century, inspired by a central idea: that news, like education, is a public good. Saving the Media will be a key document in a debate whose stakes are nothing less crucial than the vitality of democracy.
Economic modernity is so closely associated with nationhood that it is impossible to imagine a modern state without an equally modern economy. Even so, most people would have difficulty defining a modern economy and its connection to nationhood. In Saving the Nation, Margherita Zanasi explores this connection by examining the first nation-building attempt in China after the fall of the empire in 1911.
Challenging the assumption that nations are products of technological and socioeconomic forces, Zanasi argues that it was notions of what constituted a modern nation that led the Nationalist nation-builders to shape China’s institutions and economy. In their reform effort, they confronted several questions: What characterized a modern economy? What role would a modern economy play in the overall nation-building effort? And how could China pursue economic modernization while maintaining its distinctive identity? Zanasi expertly shows how these questions were negotiated and contested within the Nationalist Party. Silenced in the Mao years, these dilemmas are reemerging today as a new leadership once again redefines the economic foundation of the nation.
Saving the Neighborhood tells the charged, still controversial story of the rise and fall of racially restrictive covenants in America, and offers rare insight into the ways legal and social norms reinforce one another, acting with pernicious efficacy to codify and perpetuate intolerance.The early 1900s saw an unprecedented migration of African Americans leaving the rural South in search of better work and equal citizenship. In reaction, many white communities instituted property agreements—covenants—designed to limit ownership and residency according to race. Restrictive covenants quickly became a powerful legal guarantor of segregation, their authority facing serious challenge only in 1948, when the Supreme Court declared them legally unenforceable in Shelley v. Kraemer. Although the ruling was a shock to courts that had upheld covenants for decades, it failed to end their influence. In this incisive study, Richard Brooks and Carol Rose unpack why.At root, covenants were social signals. Their greatest use lay in reassuring the white residents that they shared the same goal, while sending a warning to would-be minority entrants: keep out. The authors uncover how loosely knit urban and suburban communities, fearing ethnic mixing or even “tipping,” were fair game to a new class of entrepreneurs who catered to their fears while exacerbating the message encoded in covenants: that black residents threatened white property values. Legal racial covenants expressed and bestowed an aura of legitimacy upon the wish of many white neighborhoods to exclude minorities. Sadly for American race relations, their legacy still lingers.
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