Category Archive: environment

May 25

Book Review: Retreat from a Rising Sea

Pilkey, Orrin H., et al. Retreat from a Rising Sea : Hard Decisions in an Age of Climate Change. Columbia University Press, 2016. As I’ve worked on the previous editions of our textbook with Kim Brown, I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s important for educators to recognize that our task is not only to teach about …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2018/05/book-review-retreat-from-a-rising-sea/

Dec 01

Hope, Fusion and the Future

As a kid growing up in Southern Ontario in the early 80s, I enjoyed listening to a science program called “Quirks and Quarks,” on CBC radio. Imagine my surprise to find that -thanks to the wonders of podcasts- I could still listen to this program, which is as good as it ever was. One recent …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/12/hope-fusion-and-the-future/

Apr 01

Hope and Fear in the Amazon

In the 1980s the global media gave extensive coverage to deforestation in Amazonia. Over the last thirty years, there has been a significant decline in media attention to this topic, which partly reflects very real progress that Brazil and neighboring countries have made in slowing deforestation. Still, the problem remains. In 2014, Brazil decided not …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/04/amazonian-deforestation/

Jun 25

The problem with de-extinction

In my “Introduction to International Studies” course my students this spring watched a TED talk by Stewart Brand that discussed the idea of bringing back extinct species. This idea has attracted a great deal of media attention, but major challenges remain As my students pointed out, there is distinction between bringing back an individual and bringing …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/06/the-problem-with-de-extinction/

May 11

A Hidden Wonder in Brazil

It’s not true that the age of discovery is over, and everything worth knowing has already been found. We live in an age of revelations, such as the resting site of one of the ships from the lost Franklin expedition, an immense canyon in Greenland, and an unknown tapir in the Amazon. How can an mammal …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/05/a-hidden-wonder-in-brazil/

Jun 25

Dutch Ruling on Climate Change

A Dutch court has required that the government impose mandatory carbon cuts. This is not the first such suit, as others are pending elsewhere in Europe. This article by Lauren McCauley describes the ruling, and the impact that it is likely to have. Environmental groups are now planning to bring similar suits across the globe. …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/06/dutch-ruling-on-climate-change/

Jun 01

Fort McMurray and the Canadian Oil Sands

Years ago I toured the Fort McKay and an Oil Sands production facility. I was struck by the sheer scale of all aspects of the facility: the trucks the size of a small house; the tailings of sulphur, which formed a bright yellow block the size of an apartment building, and the pit, which seemed …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/06/fort-mckay-and-the-canadian-oil-sands/

Mar 05

Climate Change and War: the origins of the Syrian Conflict

Climatologists and social scientists have been debating whether a severe drought in the MIddle East may have led to the outbreak of war in that country for at least two years. I discussed this topic in a blog post published in 2013. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/03/climate-change-and-war-the-origins-of-syrian-conflict/

Jan 24

Sticky: an animated video about a rediscovered species

Spring quarter I will teach a fully online version of an “Introduction to International and Global Studies.” As I was looking for documentary content for the class I came across this animated video that tells the story of the rediscovery of the Lord Howe Island stick insect. This species was believed to be extinct, after …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/01/sticky-an-animated-video-about-a-rediscovered-species/

Jun 16

Cod and Tuna: overfishing in Canada and the Mediterranean

This week I had my students watch a documentary, The Cost of Sushi, which describes how overfishing is endangering the tuna stocks in the Mediterranean. The reasons why are familiar from past disasters: the real needs of local communities and fisherman, the development of new fishing technologies and factory ships, the demand from foreign markets, …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/06/cod-and-tuna-overfishing-in-the-mediterranean-and-canada/

Older posts «