Contemplative Ecologies 12

This week, I was caretaking, hosting family, and recovering from shingles, so I made very few posts. Still, I managed 5 posts about eco-Marxism, biopunk, contemplative ecology, eco-democracy, and mindfulness for sustainability. Hope you enjoy!

1. The Ecologist published a short history of ecological Marxism:

“…in the closing decades of the twentieth century an ecological Marx was unearthed, thanks to the work of David Harvey and many others. Then, at the turn of the millennium, Paul Burkett – in Marx and Nature – and John Bellamy Foster – Marx’s Ecology – presented Marx as a thinker whose core concerns were ecological… These authors, together with the recently departed scholar-activists Joel Kovel and Elmar Altvater, as well as Jason Moore – Capitalism in the Web of Life – and Andreas Malm – Fossil Capital – have ‘brought capitalism back in’ to discussion on nature-society relations, sparking a sustained regeneration of ecological Marxist thought. Moore – alongside Marxist feminists such as Carolyn Merchant – have helped the renascent ecological Marxism converse creatively with feminist and social reproduction theory. The upshot has been a radical rethinking of Marx’s project. No longer can ‘nature’ be seen as playing a bit part. His anthropology, after all, is premised on the understanding that human creatures fashion their relationship with the rest of nature through the production of their means of subsistence.”

2. Neon Dystopia published a review of the sci-fi short, Biopunk:

3. Emergence magazine published a contemplative practice for befriending a tree:

“Sit against the trunk or lay beneath the leaves. Know that the tree’s branches above you welcome the changing sky; the roots below you are faithful and patient anchors to this place. Simply be. See what emerges.”

4. Green Agenda published a two-part (part 1 and part 2) blog post on ecological democracy:

“The new common sense of Green politics, this essay argues, is the concept of ecology – hence the framing of ‘ecological democracy.’ It’s a common sense grounded in the four pillars and the Global Greens Charter, going back half a century to the work of Gro Harlem Brundtland, Rachel Carson and Elinor Ostrom, drawing on the writings of Karl Marx and Henry David Thoreau, and spinning back through history and beyond in the wisdom of Indigenous peoples and the practices of the Commons. In summary, it is that everything is connected – and we are our best selves and our best communities – our politics, societies and economics work best – when we embrace the beauty, joy and resilience that come from interconnected diversity.”

5. Christine Wamsler published an article on mindfulness and sustainable climate adaptation:

“Growing globalisation and climate change are challenging the sustainability of our societies. It is now clear that climate change and its devastating impacts cannot be resolved by new technology or governance alone. They require a broader, cultural shift. As a result, the role of human beings’ ‘inner dimensions’ and related transformations is attracting increased attention from researchers. Recent advances in neuroscience suggest for instance that mindfulness can open new pathways towards sustainability. However, the role of mindfulness in climate adaptation has been largely ignored. This paper is the first exploratory empirical investigation into linking individuals’ intrinsic mindfulness (as opposed to outside mindfulness interventions) to pro- and reactive climate adaptation. Based on a survey of citizens at risk from severe climate events, we explore if, and how individual mindfulness is correlated with climate adaptation at different scales. The results show that individual mindfulness coincides with higher motivation to take climate adaptation actions or to support them, especially actions that are ‘other-focused’ or support pro-environmental behaviour. Mindfulness may also corroborate the acknowledgement of climate change and associated risk perception, and it may steer people away from fatalistic attitudes. We conclude with a call for more research into the relationship between human beings’ inner dimensions and climate adaptation in the wider public domain.”

Questions, comments, or recommendations for future content? Please email <walsh_zack@yahoo.com>. Like what you see? Check out my personal Facebook page or scholarly publications. See you next Friday!

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