Category Archives: Death

Climate Change Ain’t the First Existential Threat

A Twitter essay by Mary Annaïse Heglar: Sorry, Y’all, but Climate Change Ain’t the First Existential Threat

Not all marine fish eat plastics

The Gulf Stream, which curves along the southern shore of Newfoundland, is saturated with plastics. Fish that feed from the surface waters, where plastics tend to accumulate, are in an ideal position to ingest plastics. But what about the bigger fish that eat these fish, especially when we eat those predators? In 2016, our laboratory […]
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Science with heart

Conservation biologist Alex Bond on dealing with pollution, harm, and suffering as a scientist.

Consider the Vulture: An Ethical Approach to Roadkill

After riding along with Bill that day, I started wondering about the morality of turning dead deer into “zoological garbage.”[3] If how we treat the dead influences how we treat the living, then the most obvious question is whether this is a respectful way to treat the dead.

Sonic Breakdown, Extinction and Memory

by Lina Dib Originally published in continent 6(1) CC BY 2.0 DOWNLOAD PDF (https://soundcloud.com/continent/lina-dib-sonic-breakdown-extinction-and-memory) This soundtrack features sounds of environmental as well as technological extinction. Of course, one cannot speak of extinction without first addressing a breakdown of sorts, a breakdown of what was once sustainable. Restoration ecology seeks to reverse damage brought on to ecosystems […]
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Fracking, mining, murder: the killer agenda driving migration in Mexico and Central America

Why negotiate with poor Indigenous communities sitting atop valuable oil, water, wood and ore if they can be pushed off their land with hidden criminal, political and misogynistic forces?

Refugees: Humans-as-Waste?

Discard studies is about more than discarded, wasted, unsaved, and externalized objects. It also includes people.

Designing for the Future at Giant Mine

How do you communicate permanent pollution and toxicity to future generations? We held workshops with community members in Yellowknife and Dettah to make models about they would communicate the dangers of buried arsenic at the local Giant Mine into the future.

Abjection: A definition for discard studies

Abjection describes a social and psychological process by which things like garbage, sewage, corpses and rotting food elicit powerful emotional responses like horror and disgust.

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Discard Studies

This is a call, grounded in my own speechlessness, for scholars to articulate the conditions under which the seemingly extreme cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are not anomalies, but symptoms of a wider system of values that dictate which lives are disposable and which are not, what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
It is also a call to take to the streets. As Mary Douglas has taught us, “dirt” is all about maintaining good citizenship. The failure to indict is a clear statement that no crime has been committed: police brutality is an acceptable form of citizenship. But it isn’t. It’s dirty. It’s filthy.