On ‘the Political’ in Environmental History

By Stefania Barca* Like all history writing—and much of science-making itself—environmental history cannot help but be political. Stefania Barca reflects on the political implications of what environmental historians do. “Only mass social movements can save us now.” Naomi Klein makes this point in This Changes Everything, and I couldn’t agree more. Since their emergence in … Continue reading On ‘the Political’ in Environmental History

Fault Lines – Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy

By Giuseppe Forino* In his recently published book Fault Lines, Giacomo Parrinello delves into the environmental history of two major earthquakes in Sicily in the last century, allowing the earthquakes to narrate a fascinating journey into the dynamics and continuities between urban modernization and reconstruction efforts before and after the disasters. Sicily is one of … Continue reading Fault Lines – Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy

Of the Titanic, the Bounty, and Other Shipwrecks

By Marco Armiero* In this essay, environmental historian Marco Armiero presents three metaphors of the Anthropocene and discusses why words, and class, still matter. Periodically humans have to pay for their sins. Last time that a more than human entity asked them to pay the bill, it was the Deluge. Maybe everything starts from there. It … Continue reading Of the Titanic, the Bounty, and Other Shipwrecks

The road as a commons: An interview with James Longhurst, author of “Bike Battles” (2015)

As cyclists struggle to recover their space in the roads, conflicts involving bicycles are attracting more and more attention. Thinking of the road as a commons, as proposed by environmental historian James Longhurst in his new book Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, may give an entry point to a political ecology perspective.  James Longhurst, … Continue reading The road as a commons: An interview with James Longhurst, author of “Bike Battles” (2015)

“Liquid Power”: An interview with Erik Swyngedouw

Erik Swyngedouw, Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, on his new book, research experiences in Spain, Spanish literary inspirations and next research project. For most (urban) political ecologists, Erik Swyngedouw needs little introduction. Erik is a prolific writer and inspiring intellectual whose research over the past decades has focused on geographical political economy,  … Continue reading “Liquid Power”: An interview with Erik Swyngedouw

Decolonisation and the Munduruku Protocol: It’s time to listen and to respect

International conventions, in particular the International Labor Organisation Convention 169 (ILO169), establish that local communities should be consulted when a planned project will affect their territory. Consultation with indigenous peoples, as written in Article 6, should be undertaken through appropriate procedures, in good faith, and through the representative institutions of these peoples. This statement is followed by the article … Continue reading Decolonisation and the Munduruku Protocol: It’s time to listen and to respect

Lessons from the Collectivisation of Aigües de Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939)

After almost eight decades the story of the collectivisation of Aigües de Barcelona during the time of the Spanish Civil War emerges as highly insightful given today's context of European crisis and the parallel worldwide trend towards re-municipalisation of water management. * The changes that Barcelona’s Avinguda Diagonal underwent since it was renamed and lost … Continue reading Lessons from the Collectivisation of Aigües de Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939)

Making ourselves indigenous: on conservation ethics and the commons

by Stefania Barca* Last October, the journal Environmental History published a special section to commemorate 50 years of the USA Wilderness Protection Act (3 September 1964), and organized an online forum with commentaries by seven scholars. Though not an expert in the history of natural parks, I welcomed this opportunity to discuss some key ideas … Continue reading Making ourselves indigenous: on conservation ethics and the commons

Archival research: a little story behind a picture

by Santiago Gorostiza Langa In the outskirts of a Catalan city, inside an anonymous industrial warehouse, one can find hundreds of treasures. Their owner, the largest electric utility company of Spain, didn't take the time to put its name outside the building, but instead contracted a security service to take care of it. Maybe that's because a … Continue reading Archival research: a little story behind a picture