New Masters (MA) in Political Ecology – Lancaster University

•The only one of its kind in the UK: dedicated to understanding how the environment and politics intersect with issues of power and justice

•You will work with and learn from one of the largest political ecology research groups in the UK

•You will directly engage with both academic and non-academic practitioners of political ecology, including environmental activists and film-makers

•You will take your learning into the ‘real world’ through innovative teaching sessions that move outside the classroom •

Brief Descriptoin:

Interested in challenging the status quo of the environment and its politics?

Come and join us at Lancaster for our recently launched MA in Political Ecology!

We are the only programme of its type in the UK, offering the conceptual tools and practical skills to ask the difficult questions of human-environment relations and drive transformative action. You will be immersed in one of the UK’s largest and dynamic political ecology research groups, which draws upon diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives. These address and analyse critiques, debates and actions related to environmental concerns over local to global scales. Key themes include the politics of resource extraction, water, climate politics and the green economy. We offer novel approaches to our teaching, engaging our students in creative classes that provide tools to understand a complex planet and the challenges of our living with it.  

For more information, please see: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-courses/political-ecology-ma/ or contact John Childs at j.childs@lancaster.ac.uk 

NEW PROJECT WEBSITE: ESRC-FUNDED CONCRETE IMPACTS: A SUPPLY CHAIN AND LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS OF THE US MILITARY’S ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT – https://www.concreteimpacts.org/

Project Summary

Concrete Impacts is a UKRI-Economic Social Research Council funded collaboration between Lancaster and Durham Universities examining the socio-ecological effects of military supply chains and wider environmental damage.

At the heart of this research project is ‘geo-political ecology’ – defined as the ‘…synergies between political ecologists’ careful attention to multi-scale environmental politics and the discursive-material co-constitution of global institutional geopolitics.’ (Bigger and Neimark 2018).

Our novel approach uses supply chain analysis – usually reserved as an economic management tool – as a way to measure socio-environmental impact in highly affected population locations or ‘hotspots.’ We will deliver a comprehensive open-sourced datalab that is a user-friendly source for climate, environmental and socio-economic costs of US military procurement of sand, water and cement in a theatre of war.

The purpose of Concrete Impacts is to examine how sand, water & cement were procured and delivered through military supply chains in Iraq and beyond. We do so by developing maps of military supply chains and pinpointing source material hotspots. We will calculate the environmental and pollution footprint of these materials using a novel hybrid Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA).

We arealso co-leading a major initiative to track, analyse and close the military emissions gap, and demand that governments disclose their military emissions data to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Learn more here: militaryemissions.org

Watch a short video about our activities alongside colleagues at the Conflict and Environment Observatory: https://youtu.be/1DesJ4KAqnM

The Research team includes: Benjamin Neimark, Oliver Belcher, Kirsti Ashworth, Reuben Larbi & Patrick Bigger

To find out more: https://www.concreteimpacts.org/

CfP POLLEN22: Other-than-Human Political Ecologies of Wildlife Conservation

Organised Paper Session:

Sayan Banerjee and Anindya Sinha

National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

Abstract

Political ecology (PE) has played a pivotal role in examining human–wildlife interactions and their implications for conservation practice. The most commonly researched themes in this domain include impacts of animals on people and related responses from different human actors; nonhuman-mediated re-ordering of landscapes, resource access, lives and livelihoods of local communities; or state-, market- and community-driven actions, their repercussions and the impacts of human social categories on interspecies interactions. While such scholarship has broken new grounds in the understanding of how power and inequality mediate environmental outcomes, the other-than-human has typically been relegated to being a mere object in these endeavours, or as lifeless entities upon which human meanings are inscribed.

This is not to say that PE has ignored such questions (Walker, 2005; Turner, 2015), although there is scope for far greater attention. There are a number of approaches in cognate sub-fields that are beginning to take other-than-human lives and subjectivities seriously in their accounts of social and political life. For instance, ‘more-than-human’ geographers have argued that landscapes and lives are co-constructed by both humans and nonhumans (Hinchcliffe, 2003) while others have called for the development of multispecies ethnographies (Kirksey & Helmreich, 2010), integration of individual- and collective animal subjectivities into geography (Bear, 2011), and the construction of dialogues between geography and ethology (Barua & Sinha, 2017). Recent scholarship (for example, Barua, 2014; Munster, 2016; Lorimer et al., 2017; Evans & Adams, 2018; Govindrajan, 2018; De Silva & Srinivasan, 2019), careful to being attentive to animal lives within the mesh of material and symbolic politics through space and time, have also been successful in demonstrating the purposefulness of more-than-human political ecologies or a political ecology that considers other-than-human lives vital. PE has also started attending to the vernacular ecologies/ethologies of other-than-humans, as centred by the place-based communities and the conservation politics associated with such beings.

This session invites papers from both, the Global North and South, engaging with other-than-humans as actors in the political ecologies of wildlife conservation. In order to develop a particular focus, we would like to limit our consideration of other-than-humans to wild or feral nonhuman species and examine what their lives can teach us about the PE of wildlife conservation or, in other words, explore the linkages between other-than-human agency, political processes and the broader conservation governance of wildlife. We will prioritise abstracts that fall within this scope and directly involve more-than-human perspectives. We thus hope to organise a diverse session, in terms of both presenters and the situatedness of the different empirical case studies that will be discussed.

If you would like to present a paper in our session, please send your abstract to sayan.workspace@gmail.com and anindya.rana.sinha@gmail.com, no later than December 5, 2021. The abstract should not exceed 250 words in length, excluding the title and author information.

We aim to submit our final proposal for an Organised Session, including selected contributions, to the POLLEN 2022 portal by December 12, 2021.

POLLEN22 CfP: Natures out of place? Spaces, ecologies and materialities of the ‘Weird’


The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network
28‐30 June 2022
Durban, South Africa


Session conveners:
Amber Huff (Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex)
Adrian Nel (Discipline of Geography, University of Kwazulu‐Natal)


Bringing political ecology’s long‐standing concerns with the politics of human‐nature relations into dialogue
with insights from cultural and critical geography, cultural anthropology, the environmental humanities,
geocriticism and genre fiction, this session responds to calls for a departure from primarily reactive analysis
and critique, to develop new, experimental, proactive, playful and speculative approaches in political ecology
(Harris, 2021; Braun, 2015). We ask: what is the potential of ‘the Weird’ and adjacent notions like the eerie,
the uncanny, and the haunted (VanderMeer and VanderMeer, 2011; Fisher, 2016; Fisher, 2012) for
developing grounded and radically ‘alternative epistemic entryways’ that can help us assess, historicize,
recast and subvert dominant framings and ‘anthropocene’ politics of ecology, crisis, control and enclosure
(Hosbey and Roane, 2021), whilst at the same time working for more convivial relations and abundant
futures (Büscher and Fletcher, 2019; DeVore et al., 2019; Collard et al., 2015)?


Background to the session


Colonialism, imperialism, globalization and neoliberalism have reworked socio‐natural relationships in ways
that disrupt and transform material landscapes and warp the ways that people sense and experience them.
For example, Braun et al. (2015) describe the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota as a place, ‘where surface
and depth, past and present, inside and outside, are folded together, producing new subjectivities, new
economies, new natures’. Tsing (2015) describes such ‘global landscapes’ as eerie, strewn with the ruins left
behind by extraction, haunted not only by the ghosts of alienated human and non‐human people and
natures, but also forms of power and imagined futures, ‘dreamworlds of progress’ (Tsing et al., 2017: 2).

At the same time, the rise of the world‐flattening discourses of the anthropocene and the ‘post‐natural
environmentalism’ of the planetary set, ‘crisis’ (or at least the ‘crisis’ that matters) seems to have become
disembedded from experience, from its material and social situations, origins and contradictions (Collard et
al., 2015). This process of abstraction does the work to extend and entrench a perceptual boundary between
society and a separate, passive and external nature, rendered virtually unlocatable by high technology, that
either becomes a backdrop to human activity and desire or as dominion to be endlessly parsed, produced
and priced (Sullivan, 2010; Woelfle‐Erskine and Cole, 2015). Disrupting accustomed ways of perceiving time,
space, boundary and scale, this creates perceptual slippages between the concrete and the virtual (Huff,
2021); the actor, the action and the acted‐upon (Ulstein, 2019); certainty and the unknowable. In short, ‘the
world has become weird’ (Tabas, 2015: 16).


In visual art, film and fiction, ‘The Weird’ is distinguished by an uncanny aesthetic, a sensation of
disorientation or imminence that passes from the subject (often a first‐person narrator or storyteller) to the
reader, and that hinges on the experience of two or more different worlds – in an ontological sense – existing
in superposition or becoming entangled in the same or contiguous space. These worlds are often traversed
via some indistinct portal, gateway or breach, revealed through a process of research, subtle noticing or
unveiling (Fisher, 2016; Regan, 2020). The Weird doesn’t stand alone as a genre, but works through slippage
into, most often, adjacent genres of fantasy, horror and science fiction. In the so‐called ‘weird tale’, the
monsters and aliens are not from another planet: they are invaders from another reality system, experienced
through encounters that unsettle ordinary perceptions of time, space, ecology, causality, or agency (Fisher,
2016). This is exemplified in works like Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Jeff VanderMeer’s
Southern Reach Trilogy and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy, but likewise stories from oral and written
traditions from around the world explore weird, uncanny and realms existing in or alongside our everyday
perceptions.

Materialities of the Weird are transgressive, often expressed in imaginative ecologies and biologies that
challenge binary thinking and biological essentialisms, and which play on and with scientific taxonomies and
commonsense ‘differences’ or boundaries between biological taxa, states of matter, human and ‘other’, the
‘here’, there and elsewhere, and between the anthropogenic and the ‘natural’ (Fisher, 2016; Regan, 2020).
The effect of this is to de‐center the subject and unsettle modes of perception by which one would normally
distinguish between the ‘human’ world and non‐human nature; the earthly and the other, the ‘real’ and the
hallucinatory.


Resonant with and certainly influential to Haraway’s conceptualization of ‘tentacular thinking’, the Weird
exemplifies a way of thinking and telling that abolishes the ‘rational’ and makes ‘…human exceptionalism
and bounded individualism, those old saws of Western philosophy and political economics, become
unthinkable,’ opening space for both deep critique and an expanded sense of what the material cosmos
might contain (Haraway 2016: 30; Fischer, 2018: 2; VanderMeer and VanderMeer, 2011: 29). encountering
the Weird can be horrific, a source of fear and avoidance. But it can also be a source of re‐enchantment,
fascination or of giving‐over and embracing the inevitability of transformation in a changed and changing
world. As Jeff and Ann VanderMeer (2011) contend, with the ‘abolition of the rational, can also come the
strangely beautiful’.


Call for papers

We invite papers and presentations that explore and develop these themes as they intersect with traditional
and emerging concerns in political and other ecologies that are sensitive to history, relationality and power.
We welcome proposals for contributions based on empirical studies, explorations and encounters in and of
the ‘weird’ spaces, ecologies, materialities and intimacies of the lived ‘anthropocene’, from Global South,
North and ‘beyond’. We are also open to methodological contributions that explore affective and embodied
practices of learning and telling about, from and with ‘weird ecologies’. What pathways, alternatives and
possible futures become visible if we ‘Weird’ the way we see and talk about crises and struggles for possible
futures?


If you want to present a paper in our session, please send your abstract in a Word attachment to
A.Huff@ids.ac.uk and Nela@ukzn.ac.za no later than December 5th, 2021. The abstract should be max 250
words (excluding title and author info) and should include affiliation (if applicable) and contact information
for all co‐authors. We will submit our final proposal for a paper session, including selected presentations, via
the POLLEN portal on December 10, 2021.

References

Braun B (2015) From critique to experiment? Rethinking political ecology for the Anthropocene. The
Routledge handbook of political ecology. Routledge, pp.124‐136.

Braun B, Coleman M, Thomas M, et al. (2015) Grounding the Anthropocene: sites, subjects, struggles in the
Bakken oil fields. Reportno. Report Number|, Date. Place Published|: Institution|.

Büscher B and Fletcher R (2019) Towards convivial conservation. Conservation & Society 17(3): 283‐296.

Collard R‐C, Dempsey J and Sundberg J (2015) A manifesto for abundant futures. Annals of the Association of
American Geographers 105(2): 322‐330.

DeVore J, Hirsch E and Paulson S (2019) Conserving human and other nature: A curious case of convivial
conservation from Brazil. Anthropologie et Sociétés 43(1): np.

Fisher M (2012) What is hauntology? Film Quarterly 66(1): 16‐24.

Fisher M (2016) The weird and the eerie. London: Repeater Books.

Fredriksen A (2021) Haunting, ruination and encounter in the ordinary Anthropocene: storying the return
Florida’s wild flamingos. Cultural Geographies. 14744740211003650.

Harris DM (2021) Storying climate knowledge: Notes on experimental political ecology. Geoforum 126: 331-339.

Hosbey J and Roane JT (2021) Black Ecologies Initiative. https://ihr.asu.edu/initiatives/black‐ecologies
(accessed 20 October).

Huff A (2021) Frictitious commodities: Virtuality, virtue and value in the carbon economy of repair.
Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 25148486211015056.Regan M (2020) Strange trees:
the aesthetics of ecology in Weird Fiction. In: Matthiasregan.org: Poetics, politics, popular culture.
Available at: https://matthiasregan.org/tag/weird‐ecology/.

Sullivan S (2010) ‘Ecosystem Service Commodities’‐a new imperial ecology? Implications for animist
immanent ecologies, with Deleuze and Guattari. New Formations 69(69): 111‐128.

Tabas B (2015) Dark places: Ecology, place, and the metaphysics of horror fiction. Miranda. Revue
pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone/Multidisciplinary peer‐reviewed journal on the English‐
speaking world.(11).

Tsing AL (2015) The mushroom at the end of the world: on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins. Princeton
University Press.

Tsing AL, Bubandt N, Gan E, et al. (2017) Arts of living on a damaged planet: Ghosts and monsters of the
Anthropocene. U of Minnesota Press.

Ulstein G (2019) ‘Age of Lovecraft’?—Anthropocene Monsters in (New) Weird Narrative. NORDLIT‐Tidsskrift
i litteratur og kultur 42.

VanderMeer A and VanderMeer J (2011) The weird: A compendium of strange and dark stories. Tor Books.

Woelfle‐Erskine C and Cole J (2015) Transfiguring the Anthropocene: Stochastic reimaginings of human‐
beaver worlds. Transgender Studies Quarterly 2(2): 297‐316.

PhD Course ‘Mitigating Climate Change: The Politics of Net Zero and Carbon Removal’

PhD Course (7.5 ECTS credits) ‘Mitigating Climate Change: The Politics of Net Zero and Carbon Removal’, 13-17 June, 2022, Copenhagen.

In this 5-day intensive course, students will be acquainted with the promises and pitfalls of ‘net zero’ mitigation
pathways and the technologies that are supposed to help bring these about. The course gives students a critical
overview of the current net zero conversation against the background of the history of climate politics, and goes into
some of the main tendencies, tensions and opportunities that characterize net zero pathways. It mainly draws on
conceptual tools in the fields of political economy, political ecology and science and technology studies.

Lecturers will be Holly Jean Buck, University of Buffalo, US; Wim Carton, Lund University, Sweden; Inge-Merete Hougaard, Lund University, Sweden; Jens Friis Lund, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Nils Markusson, Lancaster University, UK; and Camila Moreno, Humboldt University, Germany.

Course participants should be enrolled in a PhD program and can be at any stage of their studies. Participants will need to submit a draft essay prior to the start of the course. This essay will be discussed with colleagues and lecturers during the course.

A €100 course fee will be charged. Participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation. Participation will be capped at about 20 students.

To apply send a 1-page CV & 1-page motivation letter, to: jens@ifro.ku.dk and wim.carton@lucsus.lu.se, DEADLINE 15 January 2022. The letter should describe the PhD project and specify its relation to the theme of the course.

Senior Lecturer role at Open University, UK in Sustainable Development

The Open University, UK is seeking to appoint a senior lecturer to lead research and teaching in global development, specialising in sustainable development. Please see more information here: https://www.open.ac.uk/about/employment/vacancies/senior-lecturer-global-development-18828

I have been with the OU for five months now as lecturer in global development and can promise supportive colleagues and excellent research. The students, who are taught with a mix of online with in-person tutoring are highly dedicated to their education, and often come from diverse and unconventional pathways to higher education.

Lecturer in Economic Geography –

Closes:22nd August 2021

Lancaster University – Lancaster Environment Centre

The Lancaster Environment Centre is one of the world’s largest centres for environmental research. Our mission is to perform world-leading research, and to use that research to help understand and respond to global and environmental challenges. We span social- and natural science and work in an interdisciplinary research environment. We wish to appoint a lecturer in Economic Geography who will work within the Critical Geographies or Political Ecology research groups.

We seek an outstanding candidate whose research, engagement and teaching interests are in economic geography as applied critically to areas of environment or climate action and governance. This could include, for example, expertise in the economic or financial dimensions of climate and environment policy, feminist ecological economists, critical perspectives on the political economy/ecology of sustainability transitions, low carbon strategies and practices, the operation of biodiversity and carbon offsets and market-based environmental solutions in water, conservation or other domains, and decolonising perspectives on and approaches to economic geography.  We see economic geography to be an area of the geography discipline currently undergoing much rejuvenation and innovation and are looking for candidates who can contribute substantially to this agenda.  

Applications are invited from early career social scientists from all backgrounds who are building an international reputation for research in the broad area of economic geography. We encourage scholars from backgrounds under-represented in these fields. You will have a clear track record of achievement and publication and a compelling vision for your research. The candidate should be able to demonstrate how they will develop international collaborations that complement or strengthen existing research links in LEC, and internally work with other nodes of excellence in the University, including the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business based in the Management School. You will have a strong commitment to the teaching of human geography. At undergraduate level, you will support delivery of the degree programmes BA/BSc Geography which contain core teaching in economic geography. For our postgraduate taught portfolio, you will contribute to teaching as part of our new MA in Political Ecology.

LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Furthermore, we are active and progressive around sustainability, wellbeing and decolonising agendas.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Professor Nigel Clark, n.clark2@lancaster.ac.uk, Professor Frances Cleaver, f.cleaver@lancaster.ac.uk or Director Professor Phil Barker, p.barker@lancaster.ac.uk .

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

New Two-year Postdoc Opportunity: Military Supply Chains & Environmental Footprints

https://images.theconversation.com/files/280914/original/file-20190624-97789-11t31n3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&rect=0%2C413%2C3000%2C1500&q=45&auto=format&w=1356&h=668&fit=crop
US Air Force fighters during the 1991 Gulf War. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

We welcome applications for a Research Associate to join this new initiative funded by the Economic Social Research Council Secondary Data Analysis Initiative investigating military environmental footprints, led by Benjamin Neimark, Kirsti Ashworth, Patrick Bigger and Oliver Belcher.

The initiative is a partnership between Lancaster University, and the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), and in collaboration with the Data Science Institute, and the Institute for Social Futures and Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs. The postholder will join a lively, interdisciplinary department, Lancaster Environment Centre, with a strong tradition of quality research and impact with government, activists and business.

While the casualties and humanitarian costs of war are well-reported, wider socio-economic and in particular environmental impacts are generally overlooked. For instance, if the US military were a country, its fuel usage alone would put it in the top 50 largest emittersof greenhouse gases in the world. Yet they, like other global militaries, are entirely unaccountable. You will develop an open source virtual data laboratory to consolidate and make accessible data around the carbon and pollution impacts of military supply chains from a wide range of sources, bringing transparency to this currently opaque issue.

You will have a PhD in a relevant field (or equivalent experience in a relevant research-intensive role), and experience in economic and political geography, climate or energy policy and governance, geographic information systems, acquisition and managing large datasets and/or deliberative research. This experience could have been gained in an academic or other context. You will have strong skills in collaborating with external stakeholders, as well as managing your own time and contributing to the project team.

You will join us on an indefinite contract however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time is due to come to an end on 30th August 2023.

You are encouraged to contact Ben Neimark (b.neimark@lancaster.ac.uk) before applying, to discuss the role in more detail. 

HOW TO APPLY: https://hr-jobs.lancs.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=A3406

Check out a recent new article in DW: Scorched earth: The climate impact of conflict https://www.dw.com/en/the-bootprint-of-war-carbon-emissions/a-57682807

We encourage applications from people in all diversity groups, and with expertise beyond the academic. Applicants will be assessed within the context of your previous study/work environments by, for example, the research facilities available to you, and whether you had opportunities to attend conferences/scientific meetings and develop transferable skills. Applications from those seeking flexible working patterns or jobsharing or wishing to return after a career break are welcome. LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Furthermore, we are active and progressive around sustainability, wellbeing and decolonising agendas.

Car Recycling: an often-overlooked way to decrease your vehicle’s environmental impact

Contributed by Gabe Vargas, Masters student at University of California, San Diego 

For many in the Global North, our personal impact on the environment is inexorably connected to cars.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and everyday passenger cars account for a majority of the sector’s emissions. 

What you might not know, is that the environmental impact of cars doesn’t just come from driving them.  The industrial processes that bookend a car’s lifespan—its manufacture at the plant, and its disposal —have a disproportionate impact on the environment, both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution.  

While we can decrease our miles traveled along the margin, it will be a long time before the built environment in countries like the US renders cars unnecessary.  But, we can mitigate the impact of other sources of our cars’ pollution by recycling them.  

Why recycle cars? 

Automotive recycling has several key environmental benefits.  It diverts waste from landfills—importantly, both a large quantity of waste (10-12 million vehicles a year, according to Argonne National Laboratory, a leading institution researching car material recovery), and a disproportionate share of the hazardous waste that poisons our land and our communities’ water supplies.  It allows parts to be reused  further reducing environmental impact.  It also decreases the demand for mining, preventing significant environmental damage associated with resource extraction.  And it substantially decreases the carbon footprint associated with making new cars.  

According to SellMax in San Jose,  every year, car recyclers in the US and Canada produce sufficient steel to make 12,000,000 cars, recover parts that would have taken the energy equivalent of over 85,000,000 barrels of oil to replace, salvage 100,800,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel, 45,000,000 gallons of washer fluid, and 8,000,000 gallons of engine coolant.  That’s a lot of hazardous liquids that could have otherwise ended up in American watersheds. 

What can be saved? 

The Backbone: Iron and steel 

Iron and steel can be recovered from the cars’ frame—a significant fact, since these metals can make up over 60% of cars’ mass

By 2010, according to  Argonne National Laboratory, recovery of ferrous metals (iron and steel), from car recycling, constituted the largest source of scrap for the iron and steel industry.  Producing recycled steel uses 74 percent less energy than steel made from scratch (remember this energy would still come from burning fossil fuels).  

The Hidden Hazard: Tires 

Few symbols of decaying cars are more emblematic or familiar than a tire fire—after all, one has featured prominently in the opening sequence of the popular cartoon The Simpsons for decades.  And this fascination is somewhat justified—as a report by the municipal government of Lehigh County, PA summarizes, tire fires are incredibly dangerous They burn incredibly hot and produce toxic gases. , When put out with water, they leave behind a toxic slurry that contaminates groundwater and farmland. 

When not ablaze, abandoned tires still threaten public health.  When holding water, they provide habitats for mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus, Zika, and other diseases. 

Once recycled, tires have many uses. They can be made into new roads, clean-burning fuel to replace dirty oils, and incorporated into liners for garden beds. 

The Classic: Aluminum 

Few materials for recycling are as familiar to the everyday consumer as aluminum.  And there’s a reason that the image of tossing cans into blue bins has become so intimately linked with the process of recycling itself: aluminum recycling is one of the most efficient landfill-diverting processes.  

According to a 2010 literature review by Subodh Dasand their team from the technical publication Light Metal Age, the recycling process converts up to 99% of aluminum into usable products. (a far higher rate than many other materials—and it can be repeated almost indefinitely).  This results in less material entering landfills, and less aluminum being mined—which is extraordinarily important, given that aluminum mining largely occurs in destructive open pit mines. These mines devastate ecosystems, poison water sources for generations to come, and contribute to major human rights violations.   

Aluminum recycling also saves enormous amounts of energy.  According to the same review in Light Metal Age, recycling post-consumer aluminum saves up to 95% of the energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from mining, refining, and smelting aluminum by 95% as well.  This is even more important than it sounds, because, as the Environmental Protection Agency reports, aluminum smelting releases large quantities of incredibly strong, long-lived greenhouse gasses known as perfluorocarbons.  Each pound of these compounds released into the atmosphere  has the same impact as releasing 9,200 pounds of carbon dioxide—and will remain in the atmosphere for over 10,000 years. 

Aluminum was one of the first and most important metals to be recycled from cars.  As early as the 1980s, SAE International, a leading professional organization for engineers predicted that automotive recycling projects focused on reclaiming aluminum from car frames would come a critical means of “decreasing disposal problems” associated with environmental contamination from used cars while “lower[ing] demands on material resources” to produce new vehicles.   

Most aluminum in cars are now recycled, providing a significant boon to the environment. 

  

Other materials 

As noted in a 2006 journal article by  Muhamad Z. b. M. Sama and  Gordon N. Blount, many other materials can also be economically recycled from cars—including resins, foam, glass, copper, and rare earth metals in catalytic converters.  All of these require tremendous amounts of energy and pollution to produce, and are not biodegradable—that is, when placed in landfills, they will not decompose.  

Despite their polluting effect, we’ll have to keep living with cars for a while. But at least we can provide a future for our rivers and atmosphere with auto recycling until they are obsolete.

Book launch: Coal, Colonialism & Resistance (by Still Burning – network against hard coal and neocolonialism)

Book launch: Coal, Colonialism & Resistance (by Still Burning – network against hard coal and neocolonialism)

Coal is colonial, coal destroys ecosystems and communities, and coal is a climate killer. Across Europe, governments are implementing coal phase-outs and closing down hard coal mines. At the same time, Europe continues to import hard coal, outsourcing the destruction of ecosystems and communities to Russia, Colombia, and elsewhere. The book highlights the colonial entanglements of coal and warns of false green solutions – relying on hydrogen for ‘green steel’, for instance, and on renewables for ‘clean electricity’ – that don’t challenge colonialism, capitalism, and the state. It centres the voices of affected communities and warns of ‘false green solutions’.

After a short presentation of the book, we invite two speakers from Russia and Colombia to share their experiences of the impacts of mining and their resistance, and a decolonial climate justice and degrowth activist to explore ‘false solutions’ and ways to challenge climate injustice and neocolonialism.

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30 March, 2021, 6-7.45pm CEST/5-6.45pm GMT

Speakers include:

Narlis Guzmán Angula (Environmental and human rights activist, Colombia, via video message)
Vladimir Slivyak
(EcoDefence, Russia)
Tonny Nowshin (Climate justice and degrowth activist)
Co-author of Coal, Colonialism & Resistance

Language: English

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/still-burning-coal-colonialism-resistance-book-launch-tickets-144389088651

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Follow-up event: Coal and resistance in Colombia – a critical perspective of a local activist after a year of pandemic

April 7, 2021 7–8.30pm CEST/6-7.30pm GMT

Speaker:

Narlis Guzmán Angulo (environmental and human rights activist)

Languages: Spanish/English

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The book will be available here from 30 March on https://stillburning.net/ in pdf and printed version

We are looking forward to welcoming many of you there!

The editors of the book

#stillburning