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Micah Leinbach

Is the US Army "situating?" - 1 views

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    Sure, its a word that can mean a lot of things, but it sure looks like the US Army is taking a more situated approach to their tactics in the coming years. They're combining many means of approaching an area or situation (special ops, disaster relief, conventional combat, etc...) and combining teams to focus on regional areas (they'll receive language training, cultural training, and even equipment specific for regions where they can develop expertise).

    Even their training has the "mixed up" look of situated studies: "The training will focus on what the military calls 'hybrid' scenarios, in which a single battle space may require the entire continuum of military activity from support to civil authorities to training local security forces to counterinsurgency to counterterrorism raids to heavy combat."

    It isn't exactly academia, but I see some similarities...
isabel Kuniholm

Global Growth Prospects for Uranium stirs Concern - 0 views

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    I thought that this was an interesting article because it discusses uranium mining and the possible environmental contamination concerns that increased production are causing. Specifically, inappropriate clean-up processes are leading to contamination of aquifers and drinking water in areas where mining and production are occuring. This article relates to many of the energy debates and concerns that are brought up in many current environmental books--specifically in many of the books that were reviewed in ENVS 400. -Isabel Kuniholm
Jeffrey Morales

Amazon.com: A Great Aridness : Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest ... - 0 views

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    deBuys, William. 2011. A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest. New York: Oxford University Press

    deBuys goes into the political, ecological, ecological and climactic science behind what drives the current and future problems in the American Southwest. He summarizes the science behind climate change, Hadley cells and the problems behind urban planning in big cities like Phoenix. Aside from giving a stirring overview of the natural beauty the region boasts, deBuys says more than once that the book is a thorough history of a region that will drastically be affected by climate change within our grasp that we should not ignore. The problems, while numerous and quite difficult to sort through, should be easier to solve with our resources in the region. I agree with the need for cooperation to swash through the web of problems, but despite the issues of drought and water quality mutual to regions around the world, they are simply not the same. I fear it would be much harder to transpose a solution from the Southwest to the Mediterranean or Western China.
Melanie Frank

Water: The epic struggle for wealth, power, and civilization by Steven Solomon - 0 views

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    Solomon, Steven. 2010. Water: the epic struggle for wealth, power, and civilization. New York: Harper.

    Steven Solomon's book Water: the epic struggle for wealth, power and civilization takes a look at how the control and efficient use of water has shaped human society from the ancient past to the present. With a look at water's influence in history from ancient civilizations to modern day, in his book, Solomon stresses that beyond the high value of precious resources such as oil, the control of water is far more important to the development of powerful societies. Weather through oceanic knowledge/skills or freshwater resource control/manipulation, throughout history water, Solomon argues has been the essential key to the rise and fall of great powers. Looking at different turning points in history, such as the rise of the Egyptian Kingdoms and Europe's establishment of the world trade system, Solomon shows how the control and advancements made in relation to fresh water control and/or seafaring highlights how water was the catalyst in each society's ability to gain and elicit control for a time being. With the support of his historical background in how water has played a keys role in the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms and nations, Solomon believes that water issues have the ability to impact political, economic, and environmental realities across the globe. Although lengthy, the book had a detailed amount of historical points that brought strength to his argument. I found his books to be very convincing in the fact that water played a pivotal role in explaining who in history were and were not able to rise to great power and take control impacting the direction of human civilization's growth. Throughout the past, water has shaped that way humans have developed. I agree with Solomon that it is by no means that this reality should change in the outcome of the future human history. For water related research or personal water related interest this book
Micah Leinbach

Carbon Emissions Are Good - 1 views

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    From everybody's favorite National Review, a case for global warming - not only existing, but being really, really awesome. And this claim is even claimed to be based on science.

    Pretty interesting way of thinking. Especially once you accept that change is going to happen, there is something to be said for the logic of we-should-strive-to-maximize-primary-productivity-in-ecosystems (arguably).

    Really curious what people think, particularly the more ecologically and biologically minded among us.
Thomas Wilson

Amazon.com: Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possib... - 0 views

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    Shellenberger and Nordhaus' first big essay The Death of Environmentalism stated that in order for us to take more productive action on the ecological issues of today and tomorrow we must move past environmentalism to post-environmentalism. In their book The Breakthrough: from the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility they argue that the environmentalism that got us this far, is now failing to address the major ecological issues of our time including climate change, and that we must move past this "politics of limits" (what they claim traditional environmentalism is) and move forward to the what they call the "politics of possibility." This is the idea of harnessing all of our human innovation, technology, creative ideas, and passion and pushing for a new modernization, one in which there is more prosperity for all. This they claim will allow us to properly address and take action on the major ecological issues of our time, like climate change. It's a compelling argument but one that seems to have some holes in it. If we are to push for a new modernization, and increase everyone's prosperity, how exactly do we go about doing that? Modernization had terrible effects on the people who didn't have the resources to fight it, would this be round two of that history? How do we make that transition in a more manageable and civil way? Regardless, this book is a must read for environmental studies/science/policy students and teachers, as well as people who consider themselves environmentalists and those who do not. Shellenberger and Nordhaus are clearly trying to reach across the divide, meeting the political left, center and right, and have already influenced some politicians and big names in our society. Could this be the direction we head in? The Politics of possibility?

Micah Leinbach

Maps, values, information sharing (and Wisconsin) - 3 views

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    Wisconsin is one of two states to have a "State Cartographer," and man does he have some interesting stuff to say. The interview here speaks to GIS software and technology, but also the broader perspectives on exactly what it is a map does, and how it does it. Particularly interesting when he speaks about values - every map has them, he says, they are not neutral parties. Is this true for other tools we have for conveying information?
Jim Proctor

Ugandan Rebel, Kony, Soars to Topic No. 1 in Online Video - 0 views

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    You've probably all heard about, and/or seen, KONY 2012; here's an NYT article about it, and see http://audelhi.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/kony2012/ for a critical commentary suggesting that, well, viewers should get situated, both in the context of Uganda and as Americans.
Megan Coggeshall

Living Through the end of Nature: the Future of American Environmentalism - 1 views

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    Living Through the End of Nature by Paul Wapner presents a new way forward for environmentalism after the end of nature. Wapner argues that humans have altered the physical environment to such an extent that it can no longer be viewed separately from humans. Additionally, many argue that nature is just a social construction and never existed in the first place. Since popular environmentalism focuses on how humans can reduce their impact on nature, the end of nature presents a problem for the movement. However, Wapner argues that the end of nature will actually make the environmental movement stronger and more politically effective by making political debate less contentious and by focusing on the connections between people, landscapes, species, and narratives. Moving beyond nature will also soften the boundaries that currently exist, and protect the well-being of humans and the nonhuman world by focusing on opportunities that involve both, such as urban sustainability, social justice, poverty alleviation, and the rights of indigenous people. Overall Wapner's book is well argued and well supported by concrete examples. However, he continually presents wildness and wilderness in terms of otherness which leads the reader to question if he actually believes his own argument about the end of nature. Wapner provides good historical background of the environmental movement which makes this book useful for readers that are beginning to be interested in environmentalism, or potentially beginning students who would like to learn about different perspectives on the topic. I would recommend this book to almost anyone, though the academic style to Wapner's writing makes this book more appropriate for a classroom setting than for a popular audience.
Nathaniel Stoll

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World - 1 views

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    Rambunctious Garden by Emma Marris is about a new conservation ethic. Marris argues that pristine nature as glorified and portrayed by the "wilderness cult" of the 19th century does not exist in modern day, and that it is futile for conservationists to try and attempt to rewind the clock of ecosystems back to some arbitrary baseline like "before humans arrived." In place of classic conservation, Marris argues for radical rewilding, assisted migration, novel ecosystems, and designer ecosystems. The book is geared towards a popular audience, and as such, it might be a bit elementary for environmental studies majors. That said, for the most part the argument Marris makes is still compelling, although perhaps not novel.
isabel Kuniholm

Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wet... - 0 views

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    This is a book by ecologist and environmentalist Stewart Brand who is previously known for helping create and write the Whole Earth Catalogue. In this book Brand discusses the current state of our environment and specifically focuses on climate change. He then spends the rest of the book discussing radical modern approaches that he believes will help combat climate change. Some of these methods include using nuclear power as our main source of energy and genetically modifying all of our crops to be more resilient to climate change. He also argues that densely populated cities are more efficient and that new technology must be used to help fix the environmental problems that have been caused by previous technologies. This book is well written and offers a perspective on environmental issues that most other current environmental books do not agree with. I would recommend this book to all environmental studies majors.
Jim Proctor

Gas prices aside, Oregon seems to be changing its driving habits. But why? - 0 views

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    So, for those of us who would like to find ways for people to have ready alternatives to car transportation, the good news is that Oregonians, and to some extent Americans are driving less. What's interesting, as this article points out, is we don't really know why, and it doesn't seem to relate to gas prices. It may just be an aging demography. Do you think it's a sign that people are going green(er)?
Jim Proctor

Portland 'Sustainability Center' hits a wall at the Oregon Legislature | OregonLive.com - 0 views

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    What do you think of this decision by the OR legislature not to fund the Oregon Sustainability Center? Though certain key figures downplay the decision, this could be the end of that dream -- which some say was not a worthwhile dream anyway.
Micah Leinbach

Asian Carp: Invasives, economies, ecologies, etc... - 0 views

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    I plug this one a lot, and the Monitor has great coverage on it, but I'll put it out there again. First, because the news that the Supreme Court is not hearing a case on the issue is pertinent both to this issue, and to the chance to have established some sense of precedent for similar environmental cases in the future, as that becomes a bigger and bulkier part of society (and therefore the law). Second, because it really highlights the destructive capabilities of things causing environmental change, even in real time.

    I think one of the most interesting parts comes in here:

    "If the Asian carp does take hold in the Great Lakes, the ecosystem will no doubt do what ecosystems do best: adapt. After all the term "invasive species" is, by definition, relative, often marking a transitional phase as a species establishes itself in a new ecosystem. ...Whether the economy adapts to the Asian carp, however, remains to be seen."

    That highlights the real reason there is so much concern. These lakes are damned important to the well-being of the states around them. And its not just the Great Lakes, once in place Asian Carp readily move into wetlands, river ways, and even other lakes. Minnesota calls itself the land of 10,000 lakes, Wisconsin has more in its "Lakes District", and Michigan follows suit. The economies built around them have covered most of my summer pay over the past few years, so this is a very personal issue as well.
Jim Proctor

Forty years of Limits to Growth - 0 views

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    Here's an important 40th anniversary in the history of US environmentalism; would you agree with the author of this post, now that we know what we know 40 years later?
Taylor Riso

Nature Unbound: Conservation, Capitalism and the Future of Protected Areas - 0 views

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    In this book, the authors discuss the use of protected areas for conservation and their ties to capitalism. The authors discuss the dualism in which many environmentalists view conservation and the preservation of protected areas as a means to halt the impacts of capitalism; however, they argue that capitalism permeates conservation practices. The authors argue that the forces of capitalism and conservation both "re-categoriz[e]" the environment. The boundaries between conservation and capitalism are not easily defined.

    I would recommend this book to someone who is familiar with the conservation and environmental movements. In addition, I would also recommend it to those who are familiar with the conservation movement and oppose it. I think they would gain some helpful insights about conservation that they may have not considered before.
Micah Leinbach

Mount Everest becoming unclimbable due to climate change - 0 views

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    Could Mt. Everest be the Panda of movements attempting to address issues of global warming? It isn't exactly charismatic megafauna, but maybe for climactic problems a bit of "charismatic geology" could do the trick?
Micah Leinbach

The Wages of Eco-Angst - 0 views

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    From the NYT opinions blog. It may be old news now, but its always good to remember that the way we think about things - cognitively or not - does impact the things we do about them. Here we see how fear influences environmental policy and our own health in potentially deleterious ways. Strikingly similar to much of Barry Glassner's research as well, I believe.
Dick Fink

EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want - 0 views

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    The environmental movement have been hampered by a series of "though traps": we live in a world a limits, people are self-centered and hate following rules, we've lost our connection to nature, and even if we wanted to change it's just too late. Lappe argues that if we look at the world with a more ecological mind, a mind that recognizes that everything is connected and we can change the world if we change how we see it. As Anais Nin said, "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are". So we just need to see the world not in terms of quantities but qualities, not limits but alignments, and so on.

    I would recommend this book for someone who doesn't believe that we can see our way out of this crisis, that needs a glimmer of hope on the horizon. I wouldn't recommend it for an environmental studies student, but perhaps for their disgruntled uncle.
Jim Proctor

Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset - 0 views

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    Check out this interesting debate, with lots of money already invested!, over the possibility of a high-tech fix to global warming by scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere, once rejected out of hand but now seriously considered given our failure to enact policies to limit GHG emissions...amazing how the discussion changes in a matter of a few short years!...
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