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Interesting links: June 2015

Regarding climate change, June 2015 is about Pope Francis’ encyclical – see articles in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and Huffington Post.

Next week, 7-10 July, there will be an international scientific conference in Paris, called Our common future under climate change. Follow the conference twitter account @ClimatParis2015 and look at the hashtag #CFCC15.

Watch this short video on Meltwater Pulse 2B, by Peter Sinclair on recent research about Antarctic glacial melting.

Here’s another video, this time a talk by Charles Vörösmarty on Water in the 21st century: Sources of pessimism, sources of optimism (link seen on Jeremy Schmidt’s The Anthropo.Scene).

And then there is a video of a conversation between Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour on cosmopolitics and re-thinking the nation-state. Beck starts by explaining his idea of metamorphosis, which is the topic of his new book The metamorphosis of the world: How climate change is transforming our concept of the world, to be released in January 2016.

See the call for papers for an international conference on political ecology, called Undisciplined Environments, on 20-23 March 2016. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2015.

Prof Anna Tsing has a new book out in September, called The mushroom at the end of the world: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruins. The write-up on the publisher’s website states: “Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world’s most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.”

The South African Department of Home Affairs has released a study on the local knowledge associated with the rooibos and honeybush species in South Africa. “The study has revealed that there is no evidence to dispute the claim by the San and the Khoi people of South Africa that they are the rightful holders of traditional knowledge associated with rooibos and honeybush. In light of the finding, the department therefore urges any individual or organisation involved in bioprospecting or biotrade using rooibos and honeybush species to engage with the Khoi and San communities or people to negotiate a benefit sharing agreement in terms of NEMBA and the BABS Regulations.”

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