Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘ashley dawson’

“Review: Extinction: A Radical HistoryASHLEY DAWSON reviewed in Earth First! Journal

Monday, August 8th, 2016

“Recommended: Yes.This book outlines the history of extinction and critiques “solutions” to the problem from an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist stance, offering useful concepts for thinking about extinction in relation to environmental and social justice.”

To read more, visit Earth First!

“Mass Extinction: The Early Years” ASHLEY DAWSON excerpted in Longreads

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

“By thinking through the periodization of extinction, these questions of power, agency, and the Anthropocene become more insistent. If we are discussing humanity’s role in obliterating the biodiversity we inherited when we evolved as a discrete species during the Pleistocene epoch, the inaugural moment of the Anthropocene must be pushed much further back in time than 1800. Such a move makes sense since the planet’s flora and fauna undeniably exercise a world-shaping influence when their impact is considered collectively and across a significant time span. Biologists have recently adopted such a longer view by coining the phrase “defaunation in the Anthropocene.” How far back, they ask, can we date the large-scale impact of Homo sapiens on the planet? According to Franz Broswimmer, the pivotal moment was the human development of language, and with it a capacity for conscious intentionality. Beginning roughly 60,000 years ago, Broswimmer argues, the origin of language and intentionality sparked a prodigious capacity for innovation that facilitated adaptive changes in human social organization. This watershed is marked in the archeological record by a vast expansion of artifacts such as flints and arrowheads. With this “great leap forward,” Homo sapiens essentially shifted from biological evolution through natural selection to cultural evolution.”

To hear more, visit Longreads


Friday, July 15th, 2016

A fan recently honored us with a book trailer for Extinction: A Radical History.

“Ashley Dawson Interview – Podcast July 4, 2016” ASHLEY DAWSON on Democratic Perspective

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

“Ashley Dawson, professor of English at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and author of the new book, Extinction, a Radical History, joins Democratic Perspective regulars Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson, for a discussion of the toll human exploitation has taken on Earth’s biodiversity. What does it imply for our future that in the past fifty years alone, 40% of the planet’s species have disappeared? The inescapable answer: we have to change our perspective. Simply put, the ruthless exploitation of natural resources has limits. If we refuse to acknowledge them, we may wind up without a home.”

To hear more, visit Democratic Perspective

“The need for capital to expand infinitely on a limited resource base is really at the bottom of the crisis we’re seeing.” ASHLEY DAWSON on Russia Today

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Transnational trade deals “erode environmental legislation… and force countries that have progressive legislation that protects the environment to open up or be sued.”

To hear more, visit Russia Today.

“We’re in the sixth great crisis in the history of the planet” ASHLEY DAWSON on Majority Report

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

“This one though, human beings are largely responsible for.”

To read more, visit Majority Report.

What should we do in the face of the ongoing extinction crisis? ASHLEY DAWSON interviewed on KPFA

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

What should we do in the face of the ongoing extinction crisis? What is rewilding, and how does it work? Is de-extinction, which involves the resurrection of extinct species, advisable? Ashley Dawson puts mass extinction and the various efforts to address it in a broader political-economic context.

To read more, visit KPFA.

“We are completely unprepared for an era in which editing DNA is as easy as editing a Word document” ASHLEY DAWSON for Jacobin Magazine

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

“We are completely unprepared for an era in which editing DNA is as easy as editing a Word document. At present there are no legal controls over new technologies such as Crispr and gene drives, no government regulations on editing human DNA, no centralized risk-management inventory of labs where biohazards could be developed and released.”

To read more, visit Jacobin Magazine.

“We live in the midst of one of the greatest mass extinction events in the history of the planet.” ASHLEY DAWSON at Center for the Humanities

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

“We live in the midst of one of the greatest mass extinction events in the history of the planet. In its latest Living Planet report, the WWF states that global populations of vertebrate species have dropped by half since 1970. Today, halfway through the UN’s declared decade of biodiversity, the pace of extinction is picking up. Over the last decade, the planet lost 1.7 million sq kilometers of forest.”

To read more, visit Center for the Humanities.

“We can’t maintain biodiversity in a world in which there is unrestrained, hyper-capitalist exploitation based on ceaseless growth.” ASHLEY DAWSON on This is Hell

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

“We can’t maintain biodiversity in a world in which there is unrestrained, hyper-capitalist exploitation based on ceaseless growth. It’s fairly obvious that a system based on ceaseless expansion, on a finite planet, is going to run up against natural limits. And the extinctions we’re seeing right now is one of the prime examples of that.”

To read more, visit This is Hell.

“Dawson’s take is real, urgent, vital.” Biblioklept reflects on reading EXTINCTION

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Extinction frightens me—wait, I said that already, forgive me, I’ve been applying anaesthetics, okay—Dawson’s take is real, urgent, vital. It makes me face that I prefer my ecological criticism couched in the fantasy of the fantasy-past (Mononoke) or the doomed-but-hey-maybe-not-so-doomed-future (I’ll call here on Mononoke’s twin, Miyazaki’s 1984 epic Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, as an example). But prefer is not the right mode/verb here (and neither is the spirit of this riff, a solipsistic navel-gazing blog of myself). This failure is my failure.

To read the rest, visit Biblioklept.

“Forceful” The Los Angeles Review of Books reviews EXTINCTION

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Why has half the planet’s wildlife disappeared over the last 40 years? Why are we losing approximately 100 species every day? The answer, Dawson argues, lies not in the proximate drivers of extinction (deforestation, habitat fragmentation, poaching, overfishing, and climate change) but in the nature of capitalism itself.

To read the rest of the review, visit the Los Angeles Review of Books.

ASHLEY DAWSON interviewed on Vice

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

You critique solutions that you see as bad or inadequate. One of these criticisms is of “re-wilding”, where predators that were once thought of as a threat are re-introduced in order to benefit the whole ecosystem.

I think re-wilding offers people hope in a hopeless time. As global negotiations around climate change seem more and more deadlocked, something like re-wilding seems very exciting. I talk about the way it tries to wind time backwards, and there is something redemptive about that.

But there are problems: how far are we going to wind time backwards by reintroducing these keystone species? Do we want to go to the moment before Europeans arrived in a place like America? Well, there are problems with that because there were already people there who maintained the land in a certain way – it wasn’t “pristine” in the way settler-colonials envisaged it.

My real foundational critique is a pretty basic one. A lot of the celebrations of re-wilding are about bringing back areas in the global north while the decimation of so-called biodiversity hotspots in the global south pick up speed. What’s the point of working on a place like Oostvaardersplassen in Holland – where the Dutch government’s trying to re-introduce this ancient version of oxen – while the governments of the global north are unwilling to protect much more important areas in the south?

To read the rest of the review, visit Vice.

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