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Nathalie Blanc and Agnès Sander

Speculative fiction as a literary genre is a test of the renewed relation to nature presented as possible reality. The vision of nature presented by some science fiction and fantasy authors varies along these lines. The hypothesis underlying the present article is that these "speculative fiction–proposed natures" force us to rethink the rapport between time and space. Therefore, we need to examine to what extent science fiction and fantasy, focused on the preparation of an uncertain future, play on the links between time and nature and reconfigure both the agencies and the aesthetic situations that serve as experiments.

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Steve Yearley

Despite significant increases in social scientific studies of the environment, there has recently been a narrowing of focus. Increasingly, sociologists have looked at claims and counterclaims about specific environmental problems while missing the broader question of the cultural and social character of environmental concern itself. Only social anthropologists and some social theorists have continued to investigate this issue. In this paper it is argued that McKibben's work offers a useful starting point for examining the meaning of environmental worries since his writings offer a form of "phenomenology" of our concerns for nature. In this paper, this "phenomenology" is subject to a critical review and assessment.

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Sandra S. Butler and Adrienne L. Cohen

This article presents two independent studies examining the experiences of older adults aging in rural environments in the United States. In face-to-face interviews, study participants (n = 66 in study 1 and n = 8 in study 2) were asked what they like about aging in a rural area and what they found challenging. Interview transcripts were analyzed for recurring themes in each study and striking similarities were found with regard to the importance of nature or “aesthetic capital” to the well-being of the study participants. Primary themes emerging from study 1 data included peace, safety, beauty, space, and interacting with nature. The themes emerging from the second study included the world outside the window, traveling around by car, and longing for natural beauty. A negative theme that emerged from both studies related to the dearth of health and social services in rural areas. Implications of the studies' findings with regard to the value of nature in the lives of elders are discussed in relation to practice, policy, and planning.

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Daniel O'Shiel

By introducing 'drives' into a Sartrean framework, 'being-in-itself' is interpreted as 'Nature as such', wherein instincts dominate. Being-for-itself, on the contrary, has an ontological nature diametrically opposed to this former - indeed, in the latter realm, through a fundamental process of 'nihilation' (Sartre's 'freedom') consciousness perpetually flees itself by transcending towards the world. However, a kernel of (our) nihilated Nature is left at the heart of this process, in the form of 'original facticity' that we here name drives. Drives are the original feelings and urges of a freed Nature that simply are there; they are the fundamental forces that consciousness qua freedom always has to deal with. Drives, in addition, can be nihilated in their own turn, onto a reflective, irreal plane, whereby they take the form of value. This means Sartre's notion of ontological desire is always made up of two necessary components: drives and value.

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Natures of Naturalism

Reaching Bedrock in Climate Science

Martin Skrydstrup

How are nature(s) connected with and/or separated from culture(s)? What are the analytical implications and political stakes involved in holding them apart or combining them? And what remains of the great nature-culture divide in the Anthropocene

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Raymond Murphy

This article assesses the cornucopian theory of the mastery of plastic nature. Serious deficiencies are found, especially the theory's complacent faith in economic rationality and its underestimation of nature's capacity for unexpected emergent disturbances. Conclusions about the real state of the world and realistic expectations for the future must take into account not only present trends, but also the findings of research into disasters and societies that have collapsed. Learning from the analysis of such discontinuities and breaking points will help to avoid simplistic presumptions of safety based on extrapolating time-series trends of present well-being in wealthy societies into the distant future. It is precisely disaster research and studies of collapsed societies that can teach us about failures of foresight concerning nature's dynamics, about the material consequences of such errors, about the uncertainties involved in foreseeing nature's emergent dynamics, and about social barriers to learning from the prompts of nature. Although apologetics for business-as-usual, full-steam-ahead practices that masquerade as realism should be rejected, a deeper realism that has learned to expect the unexpected from nature is necessary. Such a critical realist perspective for investigating prompts from nature has been elaborated in this article.

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Making Sense of the Human-Nature Relationship

A Reception Study of the “Nature Is Speaking” Campaign on YouTube

Ulrika Olausson

Gaining knowledge about laypeople's representations of nature is crucial to meeting the sustainability challenges that lie ahead. As argued by Phil Macnaghten and John Urry (1998: 3), “an appropriate politics of nature would be one which stems

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Sanne van der Hout and Martin Drenthen

Over the past few decades, biological knowledge has grown rapidly. We have discovered that the mechanisms and processes of nature are much more complex, intricate, and interwoven than we ever imagined. As “we can see, more clearly than ever before

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Nature’s Market?

A Review of Organic Certification

Shaila Seshia Galvin

As organic food becomes more widely available, great faith is placed on the seal or logo that certifies organic status. This article treats the mark of certification as a starting rather than an end point, critically reviewing literature from diverse national and regional contexts. Exploring questions concerning the extent to which organic certification assists or undermines the goal of ecological sustainability, abets the advance of large-scale agricultural capital, and supports the livelihood of smallholder farmers, the article considers the theoretical foundations, methodologies and modes of inquiry that have guided studies of organic agriculture and certification. It brings this research into conversation with literatures on audit cultures, quality, and with ongoing nature-culture debates. Through critical review of the literature and the author's extensive fieldwork with organic smallholders in northern India, the article suggests possible directions in which the literature may be expanded and advanced.

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Contact with Nature as Essential to the Human Experience

Reflections on Pandemic Confinement

Alan E. Kazdin and Pablo Vidal-González

Human contact with nature now is a luxury or pastime for many, which of course is odd given our evolutionary origins. We evolved completely in nature in virtually every possible way for food, clothing, living quarters, but also walking