Episode 25 – The Anthropocene and the Mother of Climate Science

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This week we’re thinking about the ways we frame history and how understanding the past can help us pave an equitable & inclusive path forward. Olivia breaks down the Anthropocene, the suggested name for the new human-centered epoch. If we accept that we’re in a new time period, when did it start, and why does it matter? Then Elise dives into the story of 19th century scientist Eunice Newton Foote, whose long-ignored work is now seen as fundamental to climate science. We also talk about the climate re-imaginings of Disney World, creating space for others, and feminist science.

Story #1: The Anthropocene (Olivia)
Photo from Desi Speaks.

Ahmed, Nafeez Mosaddeq. A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization And how to save it. Pluto Press, 2010.
Angus, Ian. Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System. Monthly Review Press, 2016.
Bonneuil, Christophe and Jean-Bapiste Fressoz. “Chapter 10: Capitalocene: a Combined History of Earth System and World-Systems.” The Shock of the Anthropocene: the Earth, History, and Us, Verso, 2016.
Davis, Heather, and Zoe Todd. “On the Importance of a Date, or Decolonizing the Anthropocene.” ACME an International Journal for Critical Geographies, 2017, pp. 761–780.
Fernando, Jude. “The Virocene Epoch: the vulnerability nexus of viruses, capitalism and racism.”
Folke, Carl et al. “Our Future in the Anthropocene Biosphere: Global sustainability and resilient communities.” Discussion paper for the first Nobel Prize Summit – Our Planet, Our Future, 2020.

My sources this week were all academic since my story came from a paper I wrote early in the semester for a graduate course on climate change–I apologize for the fact that that makes them less accessible, and perhaps it might be worth a greater conversation about accessibility and gatekeeping in academia.

I was able to find my favorite article, Decolonizing the Anthropocene by Heather Davis and Zoe Todd, online & free. I’ve linked it above.

This is just one visualization of the Great Acceleration – I highly recommend looking up more because I found it to be an emotional experience:

This is one visualization of the Great Acceleration. Via Stanford’s MAHB, adapted from New Scientist.
Story #2: Eunice Newton Foote (Elise)
Eunice Newton Foote had too much going on to take photos! This image is likely of her, but could potentially be of her daughter, Mary.

Meet the woman who first identified the greenhouse effect, Climate Change News, Feb 2016
Meet Eunice Foote, The Mother Of Climate Science Whose Work Was Ignored Because Of Her Sex, All That’s Interesting, Mar 2020
Eunice Foote, John Tyndall and a question of priority, Royal Society Publishing, Feb 2019
Eunice Foote: the mother of climate change, Chemistry World, April 2020

If you want to see what Eunice Newton Foote’s experiment looked like and how you can replicate the experiment at home, check out this Questacon video!

A look at Eunice Newton Foote’s ‘Circumstances affecting the heat of the Sun’s rays’ as it was originally published:

The Dump

This week we’re all about other podcasts:
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
American Hysteria – Disneyfication episode
The Crisis by VICE in English and Spanish (and if climate true crime is your cup of tea, don’t forget about Amy Westervelt’s Drilled!)

Next week we’ll be talking all about Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Join us! You can buy it on our Bookshop page, or you can check your local library, used bookstore, or listen on Libro.fm. (Anywhere, really, except from Amazon.)

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Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.

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Thanks for listening!

Ep. 37 – Bird Lady and Lady Bird World Is Burning

At the peak of 19th-century hat culture, an ounce of feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold. This extravagant trend, however, was putting once-flourishing bird populations in peril. Enter the bird lady: Harriet Hemenway, a controversial Boston socialite who co-founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society and used posh tea parties to protest the overhunting of birds. Elise recalls Harriet's story and the bird species that didn't make it. Then Olivia tells the story of Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. First Lady during the Johnson administration, who pushed a forward-thinking environmental agenda through seemingly superficial beautification projects. And she also might have sent the CIA after a beloved outspoken singer… Other topics include organizing among friends, easy access to climate change basics, and anti-car sneakers? Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 37 – Bird Lady and Lady Bird
  2. Ep. 36 – How to Survive Extreme Heat
  3. Ep. 35 – Coca-Cola and the Single-Use Mindset
  4. Ep. 34 – Haunted by the K-Cup
  5. Ep. 33 – Plastic Bottle Vanilla and CVS Receipts