Multispecies organizing: “de-anthropocentering” management practices in the city

By: Leticia Fantinel

Organizations are omnipresent in our lives. We are born in hospitals, we study in schools, we work for companies, and when we die, we go to cemeteries. Organizations represent one of the main instruments for mediating our relationships with other human beings, with our cities, or even with the environment and other animals. Organizations make possible animal exploitation in complex food systems and laboratory experimentation. Organizations coordinate human and non-human work in assisted therapies, as well as in aquariums and zoos. Furthermore, it is through organizations that public management intermediates our relationships with multiple non-human populations in our cities. The latter was the subject of a project we developed in Brazil.

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Sustainable futures for whom? Towards an education for interspecies sustainability

By: Maria Helena Saari (University of Oulu)

What does cow’s milk have to do with education and sustainable futures? To explore this question we might ask, as environmental education scholar David Orr has done, if education stems from the word “educe”, meaning “to draw forth” or “bring out”, what is being brought out by the connections between the dairy industry and schools?

Image: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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Health as a global public good – An essential reframing for poverty measurement and a more balanced view on sustainability

By: Jieling Liu and Franz Gatzweiler

1. The flawed and antiquated international poverty line

We have learnt from COVID-19 that the key is to ‘flatten the curve’ and many have thereby appreciated a slower pace of life. The same lesson is valuable for the sustainability discourse in the post-COVID era. We need to flatten the development curve and decelerate. The current pandemic, climate impacts, and resource scarcity are all entangled in the global development bottleneck. Similar to the inadequacy of GDP measurement, development economists have long argued that the current $1.90 international poverty line is flawed and antiquated. Understanding and measuring poverty is more about distribution and access to opportunities than reaching a monetary threshold. Despite the emergence of numerous improved wellbeing indicators in the last three decades, such as the Human Development Index (HDI) by Amartya Sen, the multidimensional approaches to poverty, the Gini coefficient, other alternative approaches such as the Happpiness index and the human rights-based approaches, the overly simplified international poverty line is still being used to compare the progress of nations. Behind this phenomenon is the view that money can create wealth and buy wellbeing. The $1.90 poverty line is too low, and most success in eliminating poverty globally is due to China’s contribution. A multidimensional system of indicators, including health, to improve poverty measurement, is needed.

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Clima e Energia: para uma Transição Enérgica e Justa

Por Luísa Schmidt

Em plena COP25 em Madrid, onde se irão definir novas metas para redução das emissões e novas metodologias para as atingir, convém reflectir sobre Portugal.

Alterações climáticas e transição energética são dois assuntos-chave que têm dado origem a políticas públicas e suscitado preocupações sociais, colocando novos desafios à sociedade portuguesa na sua diversidade.

Comecemos por analisar alguns factos para enquadramento dos problemas e dos caminhos para uma necessária transição. Os impactos das alterações climáticas interferem directamente na nossa relação com a energia. Basta pensar nas ondas de calor e de frio que produzem desconforto térmico e sobretudo riscos para a saúde pública, nos custos da energia implicados na climatização e nos transportes, ou ainda nas dinâmicas de percepção de risco e de ansiedade que tem afectado crescentemente vários sectores da população. Continuar a ler

Valerá a pena construir barragens em Cabo Verde?

Por António Sobrinho

O governo de Cabo Verde, confrontado com o fenómeno das alterações climáticas, aprovou um conjunto de medidas que visam o aproveitamento integrado dos seus recursos hídricos. Na sua estratégia de adaptação às alterações climáticas recuperou uma ideia antiga relativa ao aproveitamento das águas superficiais das suas ribeiras, decidindo construir, até 2017, “cerca de 17 barragens, 29 diques e mais de 70 furos, visando obter 75 milhões de m3/ano de água para rega e consumo doméstico”, conforme referem SHAHIDIAN et alia (2014). Continuar a ler

On moral action for the sake of humanness and humanity

By Tim O’Riordan

I do not believe what I am about to suggest will happen. Nevertheless I feel it is timely to express it. I am a Gaianist, in that I subscribe to the provable evidence of an almost miraculous self-organising and self-perpetuating planet. We appear to be in stage two of the Gaian journey. The beginning was the microbial age of single celled biota which still colonise the microbiomes of our internal life giving functions. The second age of the more sophisticated many celled biota led eventually to the emergence of humanity. We seem to be heading towards the end of this age. What looms is a third Gaian age of a planet which is essentially post human. This could emerge within the coming thousand years. By post human I posit a species which has essentially lost any moral concern for the viability of its offspring, nor has the capability of being able to create the conditions for meaningful survival of the remaining human race. In essence that third Gaian age heralds the emergence of a species that can only live for its own existence. The humanness of caring, sharing and reciprocating will have atrophied. The essence of sustainability, namely providing both the conditions and the capabilities for future generations to live sustainably, will have been lost.

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