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Cultures of Energy

Cultures of Energy brings writers, artists and scholars together to talk, think and feel their way into the Anthropocene. We cover serious issues like climate change, species extinction and energy transition. But we also try to confront seemingly huge and insurmountable problems with insight, creativity and laughter. We believe in the possibility of personal and cultural change. And we believe that the arts and humanities can help guide us toward a more sustainable future. Cultures of Energy is a Mingomena Media production. Co-hosts are @DominicBoyer and @CymeneHowe
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Now displaying: February, 2024
Feb 29, 2024

Cymene accounts for her mysterious conversion from a coffee-drinker to a tea-drinker but [spoiler alert] it turns out she’s not a doppelganger after all. Then after some EV road trip talk (16:06) we are delighted to have Cristián Simonetti join us from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. We start with Cris’s research on concrete, one of the most abundant contemporary materials, and what it reveals about the course of the Anthropocene trajectory. From there we talk about the debate over the Anthropocene designation and how stratigraphers tend to petrify earth processes by valuing solids over fluids. From there we move to talking about ice and his interest in the viscosity of glaciers and soil. We circle back to concrete and how the Romans conceived of it as a solid fluid and as a conversation between the elements. Finally, we talk about the special role glaciers have played in the Chilean Anthropocene. Glaciers move like ketchup? Concrete is a colloid? For those and further revelations, please listen on!

Feb 6, 2024

Cymene arrives at the Covid party on this week’s episode and she’s got the sultry radio voice to prove it. We share a few words about a magnificent pug named Doug and Cymene discovers  Russell Brand’s rightward "grift drift" to her horror. Then (18:58) we welcome Laurie Parsons to the podcast to talk about his excellent new book, Carbon Colonialism (Manchester U Press, 2023), which originated from his long-term research on the Cambodian garment industry. Laurie explains how when it comes to climate change we’re really not all in it together: carbon colonialism creates northern resource feasts and luxury at the expense of great climate and social vulnerability in the Global South. From this discussion of the deep inequalities in climate impacts, we move to the way the COP process has been perverted in recent years, the contested landscape of climate resilience, the low profitability of extraction, ignorance as green capital, and whether there is a pathway toward a non-extractive global economy. Laurie explains to us his skepticism about the idea of sustainable consumption and his feeling that we’ve entered the age of environmental sophistry. Finally, we discuss six myths that Laurie has identified that help to keep carbon colonialism going. Enjoy!

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