This month, the selected papers explore themes including cities and their role in climatic change, the importance of urban governance, and number of articles from special issues discussing climate change and marine fishing (in Climatic Change) and sustainable local food networks (in Local Environment). Follow the links to access background and further reading from these special issues.
Antipode (Vol. 45, issue 3)
Symbolic violence and the politics of environmental pollution science: the case of coal ash pollution in Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Environmental justice movements often contest environmental knowledge by engaging in scientific debates, which implies accepting the predominance of scientific discourses over alternative forms of knowledge. Using Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence, this paper warns that the engagement with hegemonic forms of knowledge production may reproduce, rather than challenge, existing social and environmental inequalities. The argument is developed with reference to a case study of coal ash pollution in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The case study shows that the construction of knowledge in a scientific project led to the exclusion of local definitions of the situation and the dismissal of their observations of environmental pollution. The case suggests that the capacity of different actors to put forward their interpretation of an environmental issue depends on the forms of symbolic violence that emerge within hegemonic discourses of the environment.”
Capitalism Nature Socialism (Vol. 24, issue 2)
The echoing greens: the Neo-Romanticism of Earth First! and Reclaim The Streets in the UK
“When Reclaim the Streets revelers smuggled a maypole into Parliament Square on Mayday 2000 with an accompanying banner bearing the legend ‘‘Let London Sprout,’’ participants were reviving and continuing a long legacy of green Romanticism in the symbolic epicenter of the British state at the new millennium’s outset. The guerrilla gardeners were not only cultivating, dancing upon, and occupying a contested physical space, but undertaking a semiotic squatting of the Houses of Parliament’s iconic skyline. From the early 1990s into the 21st century, one of the most prominent manifestations of environmental resistance in the activist sphere was the emergence of loose networks coordinated under the banners of Earth First! (EF!) and Reclaim the Streets (RTS). Now that EF! (U.K.) and RTS have been around for 20 years, it is possible to draft first surveys from an historical perspective. Throughout their media output is an environmental discourse inflected with, and which evolves out of, a worldview dating back to the Romantic period.”
Climatic Change (Vol. 119, issue 1)
A brief introduction to the issue of climate and marine fisheries
“Climatic variability has profound effects on the distribution, abundance and catch of oceanic fish species around the world. The major modes of this climate variability include the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) also referred to as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Other modes of climate variability include the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO). ENSO events are the principle source of interannual global climate variability, centred in the ocean–atmosphere circulations of the tropical Pacific Ocean and operating on seasonal to interannual time scales. ENSO and the strength of its climate teleconnections are modulated on decadal timescales by the IPO. The time scale of the IOD is seasonal to interannual. The SAM in the mid to high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere operates in the range of 50–60 days. A prominent teleconnection pattern throughout the year in the Northern Hemisphere is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which modulates the strength of the westerlies across the North Atlantic in winter, has an impact on the catches of marine fisheries. ENSO events affect the distribution of tuna species in the equatorial Pacific, especially skipjack tuna as well as the abundance and distribution of fish along the western coasts of the Americas. The IOD modulates the distribution of tuna populations and catches in the Indian Ocean, whilst the NAO affects cod stocks heavily exploited in the Atlantic Ocean. The SAM, and its effects on sea surface temperatures influence krill biomass and fisheries catches in the Southern Ocean. The response of oceanic fish stocks to these sources of climatic variability can be used as a guide to the likely effects of climate change on these valuable resources.”
Cities (Vol. 33, issue 1)
Creative cities after the fall of finance
Inder gaard, M.; Pratt, A.C.; Hutton, T.
“ This special issue1 considers questions about the nature, prospects and needs of the creative economy of cities. The creative economy (or cultural and creative industries) has emerged as a key feature of economies among both ‘advanced’ and ‘transitional’ cities, and accordingly has merited a more prominent position within the urban studies discourse and agenda. While the lineage of influential work on the cultural economy of cities dates back at least as far as Allen Scott’s essay in IJURR (1997), the contemporary policy discourse has its origins in Richard Florida’s publication of The Creative Class (2002), a polarizing book. A decade into this debate, critics of Florida’s shorthand notion of the ‘three T’s (‘talent, technology and tolerance’) as foundations of creative class attraction and retention have had success in reasserting the more fundamental and enduring saliency of capital, labor markets and deep-lying cultural assets and practices.2 Now it is time to push beyond localized conditions to consider broader developmental forces and circumstances.”
Environmental Politics (Vol. 22, issue 3)
Rethinking sustainability in Anthropocene
“Climate change is provoking a pragmatic turn in our approach to sustainability, resulting in a more pluralistic debate about both the desirable sustainable society and the means by which it is to be achieved. The traditional green approach, founded on a moral view of the socio-natural relationship and inclined to a radical transformation of the current social system, now seems misguided. In this regard, sustainability should be considered as an inherently open principle for guiding social action that also serves as a framework for discussing the kind of society we wish to have. The distinction between an open and a closed account of sustainability aims to reflect this. But, at the same time, sustainability should go beyond the common distinctions between strong and weak versions of the principle, turning substitutability into a much more flexible criterion that puts cultivated (rather than natural and human-made) capital at its centre. Sustainability is thus to be freed from nature. Adopting a post-natural stance with regard to sustainability is a key part of the much-needed renewal of environmentalism itself.”
Environment and Planning B (Vol. 40, issue 3)
Urban form and the environmental impact of commuting in a segregated city, Santiago de Chile
Gainza, X.; Livert, F.
“ The literature on the relationship between the built environment and travel has identified population density and the mix of land uses as key characteristics of the urban form that affect travel patterns. However, in cities with strong sociospatial disparities it is not clear if these characteristics apply in the same way. In this paper we use regression analysis to estimate the influence of the spatial growth pattern of Santiago, Chile, on the environmental impact of commuting. Our findings can be summarized in three points: the travel impact increases as the city spreads out because of the monocentric nature of Santiago; the environmental impact of commuting could be reduced by containing commuters within the area where they live; and the use of public transport reduces the impact, but the modal choice depends not only on the effectiveness of the transport system but also on the characteristics of the urban form and other socioeconomic determinants. Consequently, we propose to reorient the growth pattern in three ways: redirecting land-use policy to promote development within the already built area, developing compact areas where residential and economic activities are mixed, and facing sociospatial disparities as a way to encourage the use of public transport. This would reduce the environmental impact of commuting while, at the same time, tackling sociospatial segregation. ”
Environment and Planning C (Vol. 31, issue 2)
What kind of leadership do we need for climate adaptation? A framework for analysing leadership objectives, functions, and tasks in climate change adaptation
Meijerink, S.; Stiller, S.
“ This paper explores the relevance of various leadership concepts for climate change adaptation. After defining four main leadership challenges which are derived from the key characteristics of climate adaptation issues, a review of modern leadership theories addressing these challenges is presented. On the basis of this review we develop an integrative framework for analyzing leadership for climate change adaptation. It distinguishes between various leadership functions which together contribute to climate change adaptation: the political–administrative, adaptive, enabling, connective, and dissemination functions. Each function requires the execution of specific leadership tasks which can be performed by different types of leaders, such as positional leaders, ideational leaders, sponsors, boundary workers, policy entrepreneurs, or champions. The framework can be used to analyze or monitor the emergence and realization of specific leadership functions and to specify the need for strengthening particular functions in practices of climate adaptation.”
Global Environmental Change (Vol. 23, Issue 4)
Could working less reduce pressures on the environment? A cross-national panel analysis of OECD countries, 1970-2007
Knight, K.W.; Rosa, E.A.; Schor, J.B.
“Many scholars and activists are now advocating a program of economic degrowth for developed countries in order to mitigate demands on the global environment. An increasingly prominent idea is that developed countries could achieve slower or zero economic growth in a socially sustainable way by reducing working hours. Research suggests that reduced working hours could contribute to sustainability by decreasing the scale of economic output and the environmental intensity of consumption patterns. Here, we investigate the effect of working hours on three environmental indicators: ecological footprint, carbon footprint, and carbon dioxide emissions. Using data for 1970–2007, our panel analysis of 29 high-income OECD countries indicates that working hours are significantly associated with greater environmental pressures and thus may be an attractive target for policies promoting environmental sustainability.”
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (Vol. 17, Issue 1)
Current challenges in membrane separation of CO2 from natural gas: a review
Adewole, J.K.; Ahman, A.L.; Ismail, S.; Leo, C.P.
“In recent years, the need for more energy efficient and environmental friendly gas purification techniques has lead to massive research efforts into membrane based gas separation technology. Today, this technology is widely used in removal of CO2 from raw natural gas components. Penetrant-induced plasticization, physical aging, conditioning and poor balance between permeability and selectivity are some of the major challenges facing the expansion of membrane market in industrial application. A comprehensive review of research efforts in alleviating these problems is required to capture details of the progresses that have already been achieved in developing membrane materials with better CO2 separation performance.This paper presents details of recent research progresses that have been recorded in the context of breakthrough and challenges in development of membrane materials. Descriptions of membrane preparation methods that have been investigated to develop membranes with better gas separation performance are discussed.”
Journal of Environmental Psychology (Vol. 35, Sept 2013)
The role of passion in mainstream and radical behaviors: A look at environmental activism
Anne-Sophie Gousse-Lessard, Robert J. Vallerand, Noémie Carbonneau, Marc-André K. Lafrenière
“The dualistic model of passion proposes that individuals can have two distinct types of passion toward an activity, a harmonious passion (HP) or an obsessive passion (OP), that lead to more or less adaptive outcomes, respectively. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the differential role of passion toward the environmental cause in mainstream and radical activist behaviors. Three studies were conducted with participants actively engaged in the environmental cause. In Study 1 (n = 106), path analysis results revealed that both HP and OP were associated with the endorsement of mainstream behaviors whereas only OP was related to the endorsement of radical behaviors. Study 2 (n = 123) replicated this pattern of results by looking at the extent to which participants were willing to engage in mainstream and radical behaviors in a hypothetical scenario depicting a real-life situation. Finally, path analysis results in Study 3 (n = 169) underscored the mediating role of emotions in the relationship between passion and activist behaviors. Overall, the present findings highlight the importance of distinguishing HP from OP for an important cause such as that of the environment.”
Journal of Industrial Ecology (Vol. 17, Issue 3)
A comparative study of environmental impacts of two delivery systems in the business-to-customer book retail sector
Zhang, L.; Zhang, Y.
“China has the highest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the world. In China, logistics accounts for a significant portion of the total energy use and CO2 emissions in business-to-customer (B2C) retailing. This study focuses on the environmental impacts of B2C delivery in China, focusing on the book retail industry. Mathematical models are proposed based on the practical operations of the “e-commerce networked delivery” (END) system and the “sustainable networked delivery” (SND) system. The energy consumption and CO2 emissions per book are then determined and compared for the two systems. Furthermore, we contrast the findings with those of similar studies conducted for other countries and provide explanations for the differences. The results show that (1) in general, in China, the SND system is better than the END system in terms of environmental impacts; (2) the END system in China generates fewer environmental impacts than those in the United States and the United Kingdom, while the SND system in China has greater environmental impacts than that in the United States; and (3) the wide use of vehicles such as electric bicycles that have low energy consumption rates contributes to the reduction of environmental impacts per book in both the END and SND systems in China. The limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also discussed.”
Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability (Vol. 18, Issue 5)
Replacing neoliberalism: theoretical implications of the rise of local food movements
Marsden, T.; Franklin, A.
“The papers in this special issue mark an important stage in the now vibrant development of scholarship relating to alternative food initiatives and movements around the world. These papers particularly represent the recent developments of such movements and their scholarship in Canada. What is impressive about this Canadian scholarship are both its empirical rigour and scope, as well as its recourse to theoretical and conceptual advancement. The scholarship reﬂects detailed and extensive empirical work and the co production of knowledge with over 170 community-based food initiatives in Canada (Blay Palmer et al. 2013). As such, it begins to overcome, possibly for the ﬁrst time, the over-reliance on individual case study research that has somewhat dominated the ﬁeld thus far. Whilst this is understandable, in these papers, we begin to see the larger alternative and highly variegated agri-food landscape, given the scale of empirical and comparative research. In doing so, more improved deﬁnitions of alternative food hubs – as examples of place-based hybridity – come to the fore. More importantly still, we see methodological attempts (like in the Mount and Andre´e paper) to map this place-based terrain in new ways.”
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (Vol. 38, Issue 3)
Government by experiment? Global cities and the governing of climate change
Bulkeley, H.; Broto, V.C.
“In this paper, we argue for an approach that goes beyond an institutional reading of urban climate governance to engage with the ways in which government is accomplished through social and technical practices. Central to the exercise of government in this manner, we argue, are ‘climate change experiments’– purposive interventions in urban socio-technical systems designed to respond to the imperatives of mitigating and adapting to climate change in the city. Drawing on three different concepts – of governance experiments, socio-technical experiments, and strategic experiments – we first develop a framework for understanding the nature and dynamics of urban climate change experiments. We use this conceptual analysis to frame a scoping study of the global dimensions of urban climate change experimentation in a database of 627 urban climate change experiments in 100 global cities. The analysis charts when and where these experiments occur, the relationship between the social and technical aspects of experimentation and the governance of urban climate change experimentation, including the actors involved in their governing and the extent to which new political spaces for experimentation are emerging in the contemporary city. We find that experiments serve to create new forms of political space within the city, as public and private authority blur, and are primarily enacted through forms of technical intervention in infrastructure networks, drawing attention to the importance of such sites in urban climate politics. These findings point to an emerging research agenda on urban climate change experiments that needs to engage with the diversity of experimentation in different urban contexts, how they are conducted in practice and their impacts and implications for urban governance and urban life.”