Issue #5 is now available online!

Issue #5 Food Rights and Food Fights is now available for viewing and downloading through Issuu. In the 5th issue of Tvergastein we wanted to look at food consumption and production, amongst other things, from a global as well as local perspective. How has globalization impacted local food production? Do we really know what we’re eating? These are some of the questions we sought to answer in this edition. If you’re in Oslo but missed our launch event and would like a hard copy of the journal, you can look for one around UiO Blindern campus, at SUM, and on the NMBU campus in Ås, coming soon.

ISSN number (online): ISSN 1893-5834
ISSN number (print): ISSN 1893-5605

Ethical Oil: Greenwashing Canada´s Oil Sands?

“Ethical oil” is a relatively recent label used by oil producing countries and companies in order to appeal to the conscientious consumer. In this article Carlos Rosado examines the claims Canada makes for why oil extracted from their soil is more “ethical” than elsewhere. He finds that such claims are part of a greenwashing, an “evolving political discourse in which Canada is increasingly abdicating its international responsibilities in favour of the short term benefits which unsustainable resource extractions affords the state.”

Illustration: Luis Carlos Rosado van der Gracht.

Canada has long enjoyed the image of a democratic, prosperous and internationally responsible nation. International perceptions of Canada as a “northern gentle giant” are likely due (at least in part) to its relative military and economic inconsequence when compared to its larger and more aggressive southern neighbour. Although Canada has traditionally had a mixed record regarding environmental management, over the past several decades there has existed a sense that Canada is one of “the good guys” and that despite its shortcomings it remains environmentally progressive and committed to addressing global environmental issues such as ocean acidification and climate change. Continue reading

Making Peace with the Earth

In the foreword of her new book The Living Earth Dr. Vandana Shiva warns that now, when humanity have come to terms with the huge powers we have accrued to manipulate nature, we face a choice of enormous importance. We must choose, claims Shiva, between a destructive anthropocene, where our polluting and destroying ways are continued, or a creative anthropocene, where responsibility and humility towards nature is key. Tvergastein Journal is proud to present an excerpt. 

Illustration: Heida Mobeck.

Illustration: Heida Mobeck.

From a Destructive Anthropocene, to a Creative Anthropocene Guided by the Living Earth

The Economist special Issue on the “The World in 2012” ends with an obituary for The Earth. The earth is not about to die. What is dying is an outmoded paradigm and world view that has created multiple crises, beginning with the ecological crisis. The Mayan Prophecy, to which it refers, is not about the end of the Earth, but our age of ecological destruction.

By working on models of human progress based on the false assumption that we are separate from the earth and the earth is dead inert matter, humanity has pushed species to extinction, destabilized the climate, destroyed water, and polluted the rivers and oceans. The illusion that we are separate from the Earth is eco-apartheid. Beginning with separation from the Earth, we create separation within the human community. Finally, we separate ourselves from our own humanity, our being, our purpose on Earth. We start believing the Earth is to be owned and conquered. We accept the brutalisation of our brothers and sisters. And we shrink ourselves into appropriateness or consumers.

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Space for Debate: Climate Change, Climate Denial and the Logic of the Media

Climate change denialism is an ever-present feature of the current environmental discourse. In this text Angi Buettner argues that the very logic of the media produces a rethoric-driven public debate about climate change that leads both to misrepresentations of facts as well as an undercommunication of politically and scientifically vital information. 

Illustration: Eirik Severeide.

The more the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change consolidates (indicating that urgent and drastic action is needed), the louder climate change denial becomes, and a growing number of politicians support environmental policies that do not address climate change; there are complex political, financial, and psychological explanations for this (see for example Dickinson [1]; Hamilton [2]; Marshall [3]). In this context, it is useful to consider how these developments are reflected in the media coverage of climate change.

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Heading for Rio, Again…

With the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development a week away Robyn Eckersley claims that we need much more than another shopping list of goals. According to her we need an outcome that is visionary, tangible and transformatory.  

Photo: Misha Jemsek.

In June 2012 governments, stakeholders and global civil society will gather together at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil to renew and enhance the international community’s commitment to sustainable development. The agenda is both exciting and ambitious. The so-called ‘zero draft’ outcome document remains a work in progress, bulging with competing ideas, both big and small.

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