This is what Laurence Coupe of The Times Higher Education, the premier higher education news magazine in the UK, had to say about Invisible Nature:
Environmental problems seem abstract in our everyday lives. The cap of the toothpaste I used only twenty minutes ago seems like just a cap, but eventually it could become a death sentence for an albatross.
See how in the trailer of the eye-opening, devastating film Midway:
Films such as Midway bring home to us the connections between the immediate context of our everyday lives and the results out there in the world that we really don’t want to see. In doing so they empower us to head toward a world that’s healthier for us and other creatures.
Tonight, I’ll be speaking about my book Invisible Nature at Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley. Please come if you’re in town.
Science has recently been telling us some truly wonderful news: We humans are not alone in the universe as the only conscious, feeling beings. Other animals are conscious, can think, can feel pain, and can even be considered people. The question is, Why do we need to be told such things that our ancestors already knew?
Burl Hall has written an interesting op-ed on humility, in light of Invisible Nature. He ties it into obedience violence and the Milgram experiments and into some writing that his wife, Merry Hall wrote in response to my book. Take a look…
I recently launched my new blog over at Psychology Today: The Green Mind. Please check it out. Some of the posts the I write there will appear here as well, but the two blogs will have some differences as well, with more more psychology-focused entries there.
News of environmental problems seems endless: worsening climate change, radioactive landscapes, flooded coastal cities, species going extinct. It can seem depressing and overwhelming. The world appears out of control, and the problems seem abstract. How do they relate to our daily lives? How can we regain control over our environmental impacts? Read More.
My book Invisible Nature: Healing the Destructive Divide between People and the Environment has just been released by Prometheus Books.
Google recently released a “street view” of Namie, one of the abandoned cities near the melted-down Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors. So now you can stroll through the town and see eerie images of lonely bicycles, headstones scattered by the tsunami, weeds taking over yards, and fully stocked soda vending machines sitting idle by the side of the road. Traversing the town by street view gives you a palpable feeling of the emptiness.
The Atlantic Monthly has collected some of the most haunting images: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/03/google-maps-a-japanese-nuclear-ghost-town/100482/
They remind me of Pripyat, Ukraine, the small city closest to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2314041/Chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-Eerie-photographs-Helene-Veilleux.html
How many more towns, cities, and landscapes will have to be abandoned, possibly for centuries or millennia, because of our nuclear disasters? How many more children will be deformed by the genetic damages of nuclear radiation, which can be passed down through generations? It seems that we’re ever optimists, always wanting to believe in the latest claims about new technologies that will benefit humankind. Are abandoned cities and landscapes worth it?
At the other end of the scale of this kind of waste lie the empty cities in China being erected in a kind of gold-rush-style real-estate boom, with not enough residents who can afford them: http://www.news.com.au/business/china-building-mega-cities-but-they-remain-empty-sparking-fears-of-housing-bubble-burst/story-e6frfm1i-1226611169281
Empty cities not only litter the landscape, they stand as monuments to the profligate waste of the modern economy. A lot of resources go into making them. To have them then lie unused seems tragic–on top of the human tragedies of our nuclear catastrophes (worldwide cancer deaths from Chernobyl is estimated at around 27,000). Entire landscapes are also uninhabitable by humans.
When these damages are more visible, we tend to react to them more strongly. Just after the Fukushima disaster struck, both Germany and Japan began to pull back on their support for commercial nuclear power. But these effects wear off. We forget and return to the shiny lure of cheap energy. Maybe these pictures will help us remember.
My book Invisible Nature: Healing the Destructive Divide Between People and the Environment, is at the printer, sent there by my publisher Prometheus Books. I’m getting excited for the August 6 release date. I hope you’ll take a look!
Meanwhile, several strong endorsements have rolled in, including one by the esteemed environmental philosopher J. Baird Callicott, who calls Invisible Nature ”a tour de force.” His endorsement, along with Vandana Shiva’s can be seen here.