Explore a global timelapse of our planet, constructed from Landsat satellite imagery. The Amazon rainforest is shrinking at a rapid rate to provide land for farming and raising cattle. Each frame of the timelapse map is constructed from a year of Landsat satellite data, constituting an annual 1.7-terapixel snapshot of the Earth at 30-meter resolution. The Landsat program, managed by the USGS, has been acquiring images of the Earth’s surface since 1972. Landsat provides critical scientific information about our changing planet.
For the interactive timelapse version of this tour, visit http://earthengine.google.org
Hijacking the Anthropocene Sunday, 24 May 2015
Written by Ian Angus Climate & Capitalism
How the anti-green Breakthrough Institute misrepresents science to advance a technocratic agenda and undermine grassroots environmentalism.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” —Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
What can lobbyists do when science contradicts their political messages? Some simply deny the science, as many conservatives do with climate change. Others pretend to embrace the science, while ignoring or purging the disagreeable content. That’s what the Breakthrough Institute (BTI) is doing with one of the most widely discussed issues in 21st century science, the proposal to define a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene.
BTI has been described as “the leading big money, anti-green, pro-nuclear think tank in the United States, dedicated to propagandizing capitalist technological-investment ‘solutions’ to climate change.” Founded in 2003 by lobbyist Michael Shellenberger and pollster Ted Nordhaus, its philosophy is based on what’s known in academic circles as ecological modernization theory – described by Richard York and Eugene Rosa as the view that “industrialization, technological development, economic growth, and capitalism are not only potentially compatible with ecological sustainability but also may be key drivers of environmental reform.”
“This movie is not like any other movie. It’s an attempt to break with the story of civilization and to tell another very different story. One about a culture incompatible with nature.”
– Felix Silvestris Catus
anOther Story Of Progress covers various issues, such as environmental destruction, indigenous resistance and insurrection – from a primitivist perspective. It also features primitivist thinkers such as John Zerzan and Layla AbdelRahim, as well as activists Vandana Shiva and Ana Maria Lozano from Justicia y Paz – to mention just some of the people appearing in the film.
Aside from footage shot with a home video-camera, material has been drawn from various documentaries to emphasise the thesis presented in the film: western civilization is a violent, destructive culture that has to be fought against.
By Alessandra Seiter
This piece was originally published on Chickpeas & Change.
I want to complicate the movement’s primary framing of its goal as achieving “animal rights.”
First, I’d like to lay out my understanding of veganism – built upon the work of other radical activists before me – as a radical politics steeped in anti-speciesism (if we define speciesism as the belief of the inherent superiority of human beings over all other beings on earth). As Ida Hammer notes, veganism is a social change movement “based on the […] ideal of non-exploitation,” and certain practices like eating an animal-free diet logically flow from this principle that we should not exploit others (November 2008). This view of veganism as a struggle for societal change rightly frames vegans as those “who seek out the root of a problem so that [they] may strike at it for a solution” (Dominick)—the definition of a radical. As radicals, vegans “base [their] choices on a radical understanding of what animal oppression really is, and [their] lifestyle is highly informed and politicized” (Dominick), rather than steeped in the mere refusal to consume the bodies of other animals.
To form a radical movement, activists must move beyond measures to reform existing structures of oppression, and instead demand a revolutionary dismantling and rebuilding of society. In the wise words of Audre Lorde, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
Up until recently, the village of Ramdegi was a bustling farming community in central India’s Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Today, the village’s human population stands at exactly zero, though its streets and fields are now teeming with a different kind of life.
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce human conflict with wildlife, the Indian government has been encouraging communities living in and around nature reserves to relocate for the sake of peaceful coexistence — and last month, everyone in Ramdegi did just that. Around 200 families agreed to accept incentive packages to move beyond the reserve’s borders, freeing the land to be reclaimed by the surrounding biodiversity.
It didn’t take long before the village, now completely void of people, to be filled anew. A little over four weeks after the last human departed, Ramdegi is now home to herds of bisons, deer, antelope, and boars — grazing on the budding meadows that were once cropland and cattle farms.
Predators too, once reviled by villagers for killing their livestock, are returning to Ramdegi. According to the Times of India, even a tiger has been spotted prowling the grounds of the empty village, free from dangerous and often deadly conflicts with humans that have driven the species to ‘endangered’ status.
This is not the first time an entire village has moved out so nature could move in. Across India, nearly a hundred communities have already voluntarily relocated to widen tiger reserves, and dozens more are expected to follow suit in the years to come.
Human ingenuity may be unmatched in its ability to tame wild landscapes for our own ends — but as Earth’s other inhabitants struggle in the resulting wake, human capacity for compassion in making room for nature just might prove to be the greatest quality of all.