FES speaker series ‘Navigating the Anthropocene’ continues with three events

FESanthropoceneThree more events in the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) speaker series “Navigating the Anthropocene” will take place from January to March, rounding out the five-event series for 2015-16.

The series seeks to shed light on how humankind is overwhelming and degrading the earth’s life support  systems on which all life depends – fresh water is contaminated and in short supply; climate is undergoing irreversible changes; and planet earth has entered a human-dominated epoch that many scientists refer to as the Anthropocene.

As part of this speaker series, FES will present “Environment, War & Refugees” on Jan. 28, “Economics in the Anthropocene” on Feb. 23 and “Planning in the Anthropocene” on March 22.

Environment, War & Refugees – Jan. 28, 1 to 2:30pm, HNES 141

Justin Podur
Justin Podur

The civil war in Syria is forcing a massive exodus of migrants who are seeking shelter in other parts of the world. In this talk, there will be discussion on some of the problems associated with this war, the role of western nations and our inability to give shelter to those who are being displaced.

Based on discussions about the refugee crisis in Syria, the talk will turn to the issue of climate change and the potential massive migrations that this threat may cause in the near future. If providing shelter to the people of one country is proving so challenging, is the world ready to provide shelter to millions when climate-induced migrations begin?

Speakers include Faculty of Environmental Studies Professors Justin Podur and Peter Penz, along with William Deng Deng, chairperson of the National Disarmament, Demobilisation & Reintegration Commission of South Sudan.

There will be a Q&A session after the talk.

Economics in the Anthropocene – Feb. 23, 12:30 to 2pm, HNES 140

Peter Victor
Peter Victor

Speakers Tim Jackson (University of Surrey, U.K.) and Peter Victor (York University) will discuss the current, dominating economic paradigm and economic system in the context of the Anthropocene.

It is often referred to as one of the major causes for much of the social and environmental problems of our time and, as such, a major cause of the Anthropocene.

However, ecological economics offers a regrounding of economic theory in an attempt to change the dominant economic system into one which works for society and within the constraints imposed by a finite planet.

In this event, participants have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers about how economics can became a positive actor in dealing with the world’s current problems and how it could help us navigate through the Anthropocene.

Planning in the Anthropocene – March 22, 12:30 to 2pm, HNES 140

Roger Keil
Roger Keil

Cities in the 21st century concentrate an increasing amount of the flow of matter and energy through society, and therefore are highly responsible for what seems to be an ever-growing impact on the planet’s environments.

In this panel discussion, there will be opportunity for a conversation about how cities can become more efficient in reducing energy and material flows, and based on the experience of the panel, there may be discussion on how to address the major barriers (institutional, political, economic, behavioural) to achieving these reductions.

The panel includes: Chair David Miller (president & CEO, World Wildlife Fund Canada; former mayor of Toronto); Roger Keil (Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University); Franz Hartmann (executive director, Toronto Environmental Alliance); and Faisal Moola (director general, Ontario and Northern Canada, David Susuki Foundation).