By Noel Castree and Karen Renkhema-Lang
In recent months there’s been much talk about our so-called ‘post-truth era’. Wilful ignorance of the truth and the promotion of patently false claims have, rightly, become a cause of concern among many political analysts, media watchers and others. However, let’s not forget that another, much older problem confronts anyone seeking to understand the world in which we live: namely, the selective reporting and use of evidence. This is the ‘salad bar’ approach to truth. The evidence reported may be valid, but it only paints a partial – and sometimes, absent other evidence – a misleading picture of the realities it supposedly sheds light on.
A case in point is Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and related sequestration levels. Australia’s contribution to the problem of anthropogenic climate change continues to command considerable media attention, and – if the problem were to be taken seriously – has very large and immediate implications for government policy, business behaviour and people’s consumption practices. Yet the precise nature of this contribution remains unclear to many people because of two things. First, there is a plethora of official statistics about emissions and sequestration levels. They are reported by various national, sub-national and international bodies. Second, this richness of credible data provides anyone wanting to talk about the climate change issue in Australia – indeed, in most countries – a chance to confuse (knowingly or innocently) those with whom they wish to communicate. Continue reading
Sophie-May Kerr and Carrie Wilkinson reflect on the UOW Human Geography Society’s A Plastic Ocean’ Film Screening event and the possibilities for real change through individual and collective action.
Last week we hosted over 150 people at our sold out A Plastic Ocean film screening event. In addition to the film, we also had stalls hosted by representatives of local organisations committed to educating on the impacts of and reducing marine plastic pollution. It was so encouraging and inspiring to see so many people come together to be part of the wave of change that we so desperately need to combat the devastating global effects of plastic pollution.
This is a Polish story, told on Dharawal lands by an Italian man in the Southern Highlands, Australia.
Michael Adams, Dan Musil and I arrived at Penrose State Forest to learn how to forage for wild mushrooms. We were here to learn from Diego Bonetto, an environmental artist, educator, activist and first generation migrant. I pulled up in the carpark was immediately struck by the demographic diversity of the workshop participants: students from Bangladesh, second generation Eastern European migrants, Anglo farmers, foodies, inner city hipsters, PhD students, academics and children gathered for a different kind of Easter Hunt.
Post by Carrie Wilkinson
Plastic in ocean © Rich Carey/Shutterstock
Each year more than 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced, half of which is designed for single use. A plastic bag, for example, has a “life” of around 15 minutes but once disposed of can take 400 years to biodegrade. 8 million tonnes of single-use plastic ends up in our oceans every year. By 2050 it is predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.
The Plastic Oceans Foundation is working to change the way we deal with plastic waste by challenging our perception that this substance can be treated as ‘disposable’. At the core of this global awareness campaign is the release of a documentary feature film, ‘A Plastic Ocean’.
The University of Wollongong Human Geography Society invites you to their screening event of ‘A Plastic Ocean’.
Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
5th – 9th April 2017
Next week from the 5th – 9th April eight AUSCCER staff and postgrads will be attending the Association of American Geographers’ (AAG) Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
From papers and discussions on parenting, sharks, natural disasters, to urban development, we sure are a diverse group! We’ve trawled through the extensive program so you don’t have too. Catch them speaking at the sessions and times listed below.
If you’re not attending the AAG, you can follow the conversation via twitter using #AAG2017, following @AUSCCER or checking out each AUSCCERites’ twitter handles.
AUSCCER’s Anja Kanngieser talks about her sound art piece telling stories of climate change:
“To recall the day that the earthquake happened is to recall the immensity of devastation, beyond what one could imagine, beyond what words could explain. I can’t even tell you, I can’t find the language to convey the scenes of that day… There was a vacuum, a vacuum of air, of understanding, of words. And then of course there wasn’t. And then of course the sea came back. And it told its own story”
In 2016 I was commissioned by ABC Radio National’s sound art program Soundproof to make a radio work about climate change. Working with audio-visual artist Polly Stanton in our collective form of Burrow, we decided that we wanted to make a radio piece as beautiful as it was chilling, which would have the possibility of revisiting an event of anthropogenic, or human caused, environmental crisis through myriad historical, political and affective narratives. We called our piece And then the sea came back.
AUSCCER PhD Candidate Ananth Gopal reflects on his time volunteering with social enterprise Green Connect and the possibilities for productive relations to grow.
Warrawong sits on the south side of Port Kembla, downwind of the steelworks sloping into Lake Illawarra. For decades from the 1930s it housed successive waves of migrant communities. Before that, colonial migrant farmers knew it as a place of rich, fertile soils fed by Mt Kembla’s alluvial material. For millennia prior, the Dharawal nation nurtured this Country.
Compost – Green Connect urban farm Warrawong
Today, a Google search yields some underwhelming, albeit unscientific, findings: A 75 year old woman mugged last week, a gas fire which blew up a building and, the immolation of 16 puppies in a house fire. Its Wikipedia entry offers tepid consolation: ‘home to the third largest shopping centre in the Illawarra.’ With industrial decline in full-swing one could easily conclude Warrawong’s best years are behind it.
I’ve been spending time in Warrawong for nearly 18 months now. There’s a farm there at the back of Warrawong High School. One quite unlike any I know: Urban Grown, run by Green Connect. In the last three years Warrawong has begun to grow a different kind of notoriety, one that reimagines what industrial decline can look like. One that Human Geographers ought to take notice of. Continue reading
Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2016
‘Frontiers of Geographical Knowledge’
29th June – 1st July, Adelaide, South Australia
Next week, 11 AUSCCERites will be attending the annual Institute of Australian Geographers Conference in Adelaide, South Australia.
The full program for the conference is available here, but with so many UOW speakers we’ve put together ‘AUSCCER’s Guide to the IAG’ so you don’t miss a thing!
If you’re not attending the IAG, you can follow the conversation via twitter using #IAG2016 or AUSCCERites’ twitter handles (see below).
A clearer picture is emerging of the impacts of the fashion industry.
It is now known to be the second most polluting industry in the world, only after oil.
Where do your clothes come from?
The production of fabric and textiles consumes large amounts of water and energy, and creates huge volumes of waste.
It is responsible for countless human and non-human social and ethical violations.
It is an industry that affects us every single day.
Each year Fashion Revolution Week (18-24th April 2016) brings people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes.
Institute of Australian Geographers Annual Conference, Adelaide
June 29th – July 1st 2016
Call for Papers
Session Sponsors: Cultural Geography Study Group
Session Organisers: Susannah Clement and Kiera Kent, University of Wollongong
What is a child friendly city? How do families create space in the city? How might we include the experiences of young people and families in research?
This IAG session focuses on the everyday experiences of children, youth and families living in urban areas. This session aims to show the diversity of children, youth and family geography research coming from Australian and international contexts.
Where do the children play in the city? Photo: Brendan Esposito
As Cloke and Jones (2005) argue, children are often positioned as problematic in urban (adult) spaces because they challenge the boundaries placed on them and create disorder. Work by Children’s Geographers (e.g. Holloway & Valentine 2000; Matthews & Limb 1999) have engaged with the ‘New Social Studies of Childhood’, which Continue reading