Tailing ponds from Alberta tar sands.

Tailing ponds from Alberta tar sands. Image from The Wednesday Post

Call for Papers:  Anthropocenic Discards and the Hydrocarbon Economy

 Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) 2014 Conference

June 11-14, 2014

Pace University, New York City

Conference Title: ‘Welcome to the Anthropocene: From Global Challenge to Planetary Stewardship’

In Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy (Springer 2012), Charles Hall and Kent Klitgaard use the term “hydrocarbon economy” to describe the brief period in human history in which fossil fuels have powered civilization.  Its reign, starting in the 19thcentury, corresponds with the onset of the Anthropocene, and has enabled vast, variegated growth in technology, productivity, the reach of capital, and material goods.  This panel will take up the subject of discards (wastes) in the context of the hydrocarbon economy.   How do practices of waste disposal and recovery relate to current and future systems of power generation and synthetic materials on one hand; and so called “natural materials” (including food, building, and other commodity substances) on the other?   Topics for papers may include, but not be limited to, discussions of plastics, waste-to-energy, biosolids, Environmental Justice, agriculture and nutrition, toxics, Zero Waste scenarios, dematerialized production and consumption, or other Anthropocenic qualities of discards.   Historical perspectives are welcome, as are contributions across all natural and social sciences and humanities.

If interested, please contact Samantha MacBride, session organizer, by January 312014 at samantha.macbride@baruch.cuny.edu.  Proposals and abstracts are due February 7th.