Haiti Is Covered with Trees

May 19, 2016

Andrew Tarter

Haiti has been the unfortunate recipient of many an exaggerated moniker, including the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the Republic of NGOs, and the most deforested country in the Americas—to name just a few.

Concerning this latter label, virtually every single popular media description, development narrative, and academic account addressing deforestation in Haiti over the past five decades opens with the cliché citation of a grim and staggering statistic: only 2 percent of Haiti is forested.

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Dangerous Knowledge and Global Environmental Change

Whose Epistemologies Count?

November 26, 2014

Noel Castree

The question of how the social sciences and humanities ought to relate to science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) subjects is a recurrent one. It’s become a burning question in the world of “global change science” of late because the scope, scale, and magnitude of the human impact on Earth is unprecedented. Groups of otherwise sober geoscientists are sounding the alarm, as indicated by the concepts of the “Anthropocene,” “planetary boundaries,” and “global tipping points.” There’s been talk of a “new social contract” between global change researchers and the societies their inquiries are intended to serve. As part of this, geoscientists are now looking to those of us who study diverse human perceptions, norms, values, relations, institutions, and practices. As geoscientists recognize, we need to analyze, interpret, and change the habits of whole societies if we are to reduce and adapt to the enormous biophysical changes we are collectively instigating. Heide Hackmann and coauthors term this the “social heart” of global environmental change (2014). It implies that environmental social scientists and environmental humanists must step forward and make a difference now so that Earth future resembles something far less bleak than imagined by Cormac McCarthy in his shattering novel The Road.

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