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Automobility and Oil Vulnerability

Unfairness as Critical to Energy Transitions

Ana Horta

Climate policies in the European Union require a substantial reduction in carbon emissions from road transport. However, in the last decades the system of automobility has expanded considerably, establishing a process of path dependence that is very difficult to reverse. Changes in current patterns of automobility may increase oil vulnerability of citizens dependent on the use of the car, aggravating forms of social inequity. Based on an analysis of how television news framed a period of oil price rises in a country highly dependent on car use, the article shows that oil vulnerability may resonate with socially shared sociocultural meanings such as lack of trust in political leaders, which may aggravate the social perception of unfairness and compromise public support for energy transitions toward sustainability.

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“Litigation Is Our Last Resort”

Addressing Uncertainty, Undone Science, and Bias in Court to Assert Indigenous Rights

Bindu Panikkar

The permitting of large-scale industrial mines is often controversial and litigious. This article examines three legal battles over the exploratory permitting of the Pebble mine in southwestern Alaska to examine the logics and rationalities used to legitimize the permitting, the alternate epistemic arguments made by the resistance movements to redraw state-constructed boundaries, and differing definitions of land-based resources, pollution, and bias. It asks how conflicting knowledge claims and epistemic injustice are debated and settled in court. All three legal cases observed demonstrate conditions of scientific uncertainty, undone science, and bias, failing to hold space for diverse representations within legal claims. Citizen science is partially successful in addressing epistemic injustice, but to effectively mediate justice, law must distinctively question both knowledge construction and phronetic risks, including values, intent, bias, privilege, and agency, and take into consideration the ontological multiplicities and civic epistemologies of the parties within legal claims.

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Overconsumption as Ideology

Implications for Addressing Global Climate Change

Diana Stuart, Ryan Gunderson and Brian Petersen

In response to climate change projections, scientists and concerned citizens are increasingly calling for changes in personal consumption. However, these calls ignore the true relationship between production and consumption and the ongoing propagation of the ideology of overconsumption. In this article, we draw from Western Marxist theorists to explain the ideology of overconsumption and its implications for addressing global climate change. Drawing from Herbert Marcuse and Guy Debord, we illustrate how production drives consumption, how advertising promotes false needs and excess, how these power relations are concealed, and how they undermine social and ecological well-being. Specific to climate change, continued widespread support for increasing levels of production and economic growth will undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Given the relationships between production and carbon emissions, effective mitigation efforts will require significant systemic changes in work, production, consumption, advertising, and social norms.

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Park Spaces and the User Experience

Reconsidering the Body in Park Analysis Tools

Eric A. Stone and Jennifer D. Roberts

As a strategy for combating physical inactivity, obesity, and other health conditions, the apperception of greenspace and importance of human-nature relationships have increased in recent decades. With this raised awareness in greenspace, the development of park auditing tools has been positioned primarily in the material conditions (e.g., physical environmental conditions) of parks. An examination of existing park auditing tools has shown that by focusing on particular material conditions, built environment and active living scholars have set aside other characteristics, namely, those that consider the user (e.g., the active human), as a separate concern from the focus of these tools. We have sought to engage with these tools to examine how they can be more effective in analyzing both the physical and human elements of parks and other natural environments.

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Plastic Packaging, Food Supply, and Everyday Life

Adopting a Social Practice Perspective in Social-Ecological Research

Lukas Sattlegger, Immanuel Stieß, Luca Raschewski and Katharina Reindl

This article presents practice-theoretical conceptions of societal relations to nature as a fruitful alternative to common system approaches in social-ecological research. Via the example of plastic food packaging, two different practice-theoretical approaches to food supply are discussed regarding their suitability for relating the material properties of packaging to their everyday use by producers, retailers, and consumers: (1) the network approach (portraying food supply as a network of practices; these practices include material elements that interrelate with other elements like competence or meaning) and (2) the nexus approach (investigating the interrelation between social practices and material arrangements in which they take place). Depending on the given research interest, both perspectives have their pros and cons: the network approach is stronger in understanding the everyday use of technologies, while the nexus approach encourages the integration of infrastructures and environmental contexts that are not directly observable within the practice.

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M. Guadalupe Torres-Jiménez, Rene Murrieta-Galindo, Beatriz Bolívar-Cimé, Astrid Wojtarowski-Leal and M. Angeles Piñar-Álvarez

English abstract: The abuse of inorganic fertilizers in coffee agroecosystems is a worldwide problem. In central Mexico, organic fertilizers are being introduced as an alternative way to restore soil fertility. The aim of this study was to investigate coffee farmers from central Veracruz’s perceptions of bat guano as organic fertilizer. Surveys were conducted with closed and open questions followed by quantitative and qualitative analysis. Eighty-eight percent of the farmers surveyed negatively perceived bat guano. Factors influencing this perception were bats’ physical appearance, their role as disease transmitters, and the difficulties in procuring guano, including the resources needed to extract it, handle it, and transport it safely to their workplaces.

Spanish abstract: El abuso de fertilizantes inorgánicos en los agroecosistemas del café es un problema mundial. En el centro de México se comienzan a emplear fertilizantes orgánicos como alternativa para restaurar los suelos. El objetivo de este estudio fue investigar la percepción de los caficultores sobre el empleo del guano de murciélago como fertilizante. Se realizaron encuestas con preguntas abiertas y cerradas que se analizaron cuantitativa y cualtitativamente. El ochenta y ocho por ciento de los cafeticultores encuestados percibieron negativamente al guano de murciélago. Los factores que influyeron en esta percepción fueron: la apariencia física de los murciélagos, su rol como transmisores de enfermedades y las dificultades para adquirir el guano, incluyendo los recursos necesarios para extraerlo, manipularlo y transportarlo de manera segura a sus fincas cafetaleras.

French abstract: L’abus d’engrais inorganiques dans les agroécosystèmes de café est un problème mondial. Dans le centre du Mexique, les engrais biologiques commencent à être utilisés pour restaurer les sols. Notre recherche se proposait d’étudier la perception de l’utilisation du guano de chauve-souris comme engrais organique par les caféiculteurs. Des enquêtes semi-structurées (comprenant des questions ouvertes et fermées) ont été menées à partir de méthodes quantitatives et qualitatives. Quatrevingt-huit pour cent des agriculteurs interrogés perçoivent ce guano de manière négative. Parmi les facteurs qui influencent cette perception se trouvent l’apparence physique des chauves-souris, la transmission de maladies et les difficultés pour acquérir le guano, y compris les ressources nécessaires pour l’extraire, le manipuler et le transporter en toute sécurité vers leurs exploitations.

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Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Regional integration has significantly impacted sustainable development processes at the sub-national, supranational and interregional levels. Regions & Cohesion here has highlighted the complexity of interactions between policy arenas and actors/stakeholders at different levels of governance. Past articles have examined how regions can build bridges between policy arenas and levels of governance in different world regions with the objective of promoting sustainability.

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Conceptualizing sub-national regional cooperation

Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia case study

Diana Morales

English abstract: Regional cooperation is a context-dependent process that is better understood using a geographical approach; this is, accounting for the region as part of the explanation for and not only as the container in which cooperative agreements operate. The case of the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia, a bottom-up regional cooperation process that resulted in a regional trademark, illustrates what roles are played by a diversity of local actors and how local socio-economic conditions influence cooperation agreements. The case highlights the inadequacy of inflexible jurisdictional boundaries and the limitations of preexisting categories (such as inter-municipal cooperation or metropolitan areas). The empirical evidence includes the analysis of 19 semi-structured interviews.

Spanish abstract: La cooperación regional es un proceso que depende del contexto local y regional; y una perspectiva geográfica apoya a considerar la región donde ocurre como parte de la explicación, y no como un contenedor dentro del cual operan los acuerdos. Este artículo aborda el caso del Paisaje Cultural Cafetero Colombiano, un proceso de cooperación regional de abajo hacia arriba que resultó en una marca registrada regional. El caso ilustra participantes y roles en el proceso y cómo las condiciones socioeconómicas locales influyen en los acuerdos de cooperación. Los resultados destacan la inflexibilidad de las divisiones jurisdiccionales y las limitaciones de las categorías preexistentes (como la cooperación intermunicipal o las áreas metropolitanas). La metodología incluyó el análisis de 19 entrevistas semi-estructuradas.

French abstract: Les processus de coopération régionale dépendent de leur contexte et sont mieux appréhendés à travers une approche géographique. En d’autres termes, il est nécessaire de prendre en compte la région comme partie intégrante de l’analyse, et non uniquement en tant que simple structure où les accords de coopérations se déroulent. Le cas du Paysage culturel du café de Colombie, un processus de coopération régionale du bas vers le haut qui a abouti à la création d’une marque, illustre les rôles joués par une diversité d’acteurs locaux et comment les conditions socio-économiques influencent les accords de coopération. Il met en évidence l’inadéquation des frontières juridictionnelles inflexibles et les limites des catégories préexistantes (comme la coopération inter-municipale et les aires métropolitaines). La méthodologie repose sur une étude de cas et dix-neuf entretiens semi-directifs.

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Desarrollo vs. satisfacción de necesidades básicas

Recepción de remesas en Morelos, México

Ana Melisa Pardo Montaño and Claudio Alberto Dávila Cervantes

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: This article responds to the following questions: Which sociodemographic characteristics of households influence the reception of remittances in Morelos? What are the differences in household expenditure in basic needs if a household receives internal or international remittances, or if it receives none? Using the National Income and Expenditure Survey of 2016, we employed a logistic regression to examine the factors associated with the reception of remittances, and we analyzed different areas of expenditure by type of household. We present some reflection on a sending community in Morelos (Axochiapan) where we conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with people who receive remittances, who explained the main uses of these resources. We observed household characteristics that favor the reception of remittances, mainly used to satisfy basic needs.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo buscó responder: ¿qué características socio-demográficas en hogares influyen en la recepción de remesas en Morelos? y ¿cuáles son las diferencias en el gasto de los hogares respecto a sus necesidades básicas recibiendo o no remesas internas o internacionales? Utilizando la Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares 2016, estimamos una regresión logística para examinar los factores asociados a la recepción de remesas y analizamos los rubros del gasto por tipo de hogar. Presentamos opiniones de una comunidad de origen en Morelos (Axochiapan), donde realizamos 23 entrevistas semiestructuradas a personas receptoras de remesas, quienes explicaron los principales usos de estos recursos. Observamos características de los hogares que favorecen la recepción de remesas, mayormente ocupadas en la satisfacción de necesidades básicas.

French abstract: Cet article pose la question suivante: quelles caractéristiques sociodémographiques des ménages influencent les transferts de fonds au Morelos? Quelles sont les différences de dépenses des ménages quant à leurs besoins fondamentaux, en fonction des transferts de fonds internes ou internationaux? A partir de l’Enquête nationale sur les revenus et dépenses de 2016, nous avons réalisé une régression logistique afin d’analyser les facteurs associés à la réception de fonds et les types de dépenses selon les ménages. Nous présentons ici les résultats concernant une communauté originaire du Morelos (Axochiapan), où nous avons effectué vingt-trois entretiens semi-structurés avec des destinataires de fonds qui ont expliqué les principales utilisations qu’ils faisaient de ces revenus. Nous en concluons les caractéristiques des ménages qui favorisent la réception des transferts de fonds, destinés principalement à satisfaire des besoins fondamentaux.

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Explicating Ecoculture

Tracing a Transdisciplinary Focal Concept

Melissa M. Parks

Ecoculture is an emerging focal concept reflecting the inextricability of nature and culture. It is applicable to and employed in many disciplines, yet it is rarely defined, cited, or interrogated, causing potential inconsistencies in scholarly operationalization. In the present analysis, I use Steven H. Chaffee’s method of explication to develop an analytical review of ecoculture. I explore the primitive terms—ecology and culture—before assessing the scholarly use of the derived, compound term. I trace ecoculture across multiple disciplines, synthesizing operationalizations into one transdisciplinary theoretical framework. I find that ecoculture connotes interconnectedness and place relations, and has been critically operationalized in ways that problematize dominant human-centered ideologies, making it a productive scholarly frame that emphasizes the relationships between humans, their cultures, and their ecologies.