“Power inferno”, this is the title Jean Baudrillard gave to one of his essays in the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers, paraphrasing the title of a catastrophic film that hit the billboards years earlier: A “Tower Inferno”. A hell of power. This we might say today, as in past occasions, of the Amazon, an image of fire, destruction and resistance, that has been cyclically appearing and reappearing in the media, and that periodically unleashes indignation and helplessness, as if the Amazon were some sort of symbol of past and future apocalypse.
Jeannette Oppedijk van Veen, Leonardo van den Berg, Sijtse Jan Roeters, Jolke de Moel, Hanny van Geel
17 April 2019
Against the backdrop of an agrarian landscape that has become more homogenous, sterile and empty over the past 50 years, a new movement of Dutch farmers and citizens is emerging. They want to support a type of agriculture that does not damage the environment, enriches the life of farmers and citizens, and produces healthy food. This desire is expressed through a vast array of initiatives. It includes growers who allow citizens to undertake their harvesting, dairy farmers who plant trees and herbs in the field, cereal farmers who sell directly to local bakers, farms in which citizens become shareholders, and many more.
What are the implications of the rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for agrarian and environmental transformations, worldwide and in the BRICS countries in particular? This is the main issue with which the BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) has been concerned since 2013, when it was launched in Beijing by a collective of largely BRICS-based research institutions1.
The Government of the Republic of Kenya, in collaboration with Japan and Canada, hosted the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi between 26 and 28 November. While the official site claims that this is the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy, it is only the latest in a string of Oceans-focused summits, such as the Our Oceans conference which was held in Bali, Indonesia in October, and the Sustainable Oceans Summits organized by the industry-coalition the World Ocean Council in Hong Kong earlier this month. There are still more events on the way, such as The Economist’s World Oceans Summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.
Ever more people are connecting the dots between our economic system and ecological destruction but rarely make the link to militarism and security. As climate change will dramatically increase instability and insecurity, we examine the role of the military in a climate-changed world.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, short papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2019 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2019, we are particularly looking for accessible, engaging essays and artistic explorations that explore the issue of finance and power.
The joint report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL in 2016 paints a rather grim picture of the extent of environmental crime worldwide. It identifies it as the fourth largest criminal enterprise globally, right behind drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and human trafficking. Two questions are worth pondering here: to quote George Monbiot, how did we get into this mess and what can we do about it?