Archive for the ‘ News stories ’ Category

Can we decouple sociological from ecological resilience?

During Prof. Willis’ Q&A session, it was called into question whether sociological and ecological resilience are necessarily in harmony, and a picture was painted of a society so technologically advanced that it didn’t need to draw on natural resources in order to maintain itself. Indeed such a state of being is so desirable, it’s almost hard to imagine what it could look like. And while it’s certainly worth aspiring to, the current state of affairs is such that even the most affluent countries are far from achieving it.

Meanwhile, less technologically-integrated communities, which often depend more directly on the environment for their well-being, are demonstrating considerable resourcefulness in furthering the resilience of their localities. In An Environmentalism of the Poor, Liz Fouksman of The Oxonian Review  explores the fascinating case of Beliqo, a pastoralist community in Kenya that is tapping into human knowledge networks and legal structures in order to enable eco-cultural preservation of their community and habitat:


More on the creation of a ‘sense of place’

Both in his lecture and the Q&A, Prof. Chapin discussed the influence of a ‘sense of place’ in leveraging stewardship.

For those interested in how to go about establishing such a sentiment, here is a talk by Prof. Nabeel Hamdi, author of The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community and founder of the¬†Masters in Development Practice at Oxford Brookes University. Hamdi emphasises, amongst other things, the importance of participatory planning in effectively creating a sense of belonging. Although his focus is on the urban environment, the principles outlined herein can similarly be adopted for fostering a sense of connection to nature, particularly in those who live apart from it.

And a case study in what happens when it all goes wrong: this TEDTalk by James H. Kunstler amusingly showcases the lack of civic design American suburbia. Thanks to John Zablocki for sharing this with me!

On the subject of resilience …

Part Aussi, part common: all black-tip.

The discovery of hybrid sharks off the coast of Australia may suggest that different species are interbreeding with one another in order to ensure their survival through climate change-driven sea temperature rise. Genetic testing showed certain sharks to be one species when physically they looked to be another. If this is indeed the case, then it would be nothing short of evolution in action.


World-first hybrid shark found off Australia