Tag Archive: Cancun


Cancun: what just happened?

Making sense of what happened at the COP 16 global climate change summit in Cancun is not easy, especially when environmental and climate justice activists seem so intensely divided among themselves (and when the mass media has paid so little attention to it all). Democracy Now yesterday pitted Friends of the Earth’s policy analyst Kate Horner against Center for American Progress senior fellow (and fellow environmental philosopher) Andrew Light, and the two of them seemed to be speaking from different planets. Light’s extended take on the “Cancun compromise” is available here, while FOE International chair Nnimmo Bassey laments the “hijacking of Africa” at the summit here.

View full article »

gleanings

(findings, briefings, reports, call them what you will… I’m in an Agnes Varda mood, which is helping me deal with the loss of several weeks of gleanings in the hard drive crash that will define my life as “before 11/20/10″ and “after” it)

Scientists found that Asian and American brains respond completely differently when faced with images of dominance and submission, and when evaluating character traits of themselves as opposed to other people. Asians and Americans gathered with other world leaders to fiddle at a Mexican resort while buildings burned. (Some Americans stayed away. Activists grew distressed.) Hermetic libraries began giving off their own whiff of smoke amidst the dust. Google added trees and climate prognoses to the digital Earth. James Cameron tried to add a whole forest. U.S. corporations, meanwhile, gave thanks for their record profits.

Irish humanities academics called upon Irish humanities academics to help save the country’s sinking economic ship. Worldchangers sadly jumped their own ship, with barely a whimper. Anthropologists convening in the shipwrecked city of New Orleans slugged it out over whether or not they were scientists. Graham Harman and Steven Shaviro got ready to slug it out in the middleweight neo-realist philosopher category of the international thought-wrestling society. (The heavyweights are mostly dead, though their thoughts persist, and a few of them linger on.) A heavyweight of another kind, Chalmers Johnson swam away from it all quietly.

(More on the Harman-Shaviro showdown, as well as other object-relational matters, soon. And of course I’m being facetious with my terms here. Both are great intellectual role models, among the best and most public and genuine of the new breed of philosopher-metaphysicians, and I eagerly await the results of their deliberations. You all know which of them I agree with more, but the debate has been truly invigorating, and has been the main cause of my own interloper’s slide into philosophy sui generis – or so I hope that it’s generis. Wish I could be there at the Whitehead conference.)