The Monthly Global Change Review #06

| September 20, 2021 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Publication Info: Medium

Date of Publication: September 16

Year of Publication: 2021

Publication City: Lyon, France

Publisher: Medium - Ecole Urbaine de Lyon

Author(s): Bérénice Gagne


Volume: 06

Pages: 1

Top photo – “What is important now” (2021) – detail © Thierry Geoffroy / Colonel

A monthly publication by Lyon Urban School (Université de Lyon), written by Berenice Gagne, dedicated to a better understanding of global change and the Anthropocene urban world: a selection of news in many fields of study, which aims to grasp the world we live in and the world to come.

September 2021

Back to school! After a summer of extremes, it feels good to get back into the routine! Heat waves, fires, floods, hurricanes, famine and, to top it all off, a new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report documenting the acceleration and intensification of climate disruption all over the planet. Meanwhile, in the city, large rodents — capybaras —, dislodged from a wetland by increasing urbanization, dare to disturb the calm and delightfulness of an upscale neighborhood in northern Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Berenice GagneBerenice Gagne
Urban School of Lyon – Watching over the Anthropocene Urban World & Global Change. Born in CO2 332ppm, my children 400 and 406

📢 Enjoy reading or listening to original Anthropocene podcasts: Net ZeroAlgorithms , Drink or Drive.

Check out the selection of Anthropocene Good Reads #2020: 60 books in many fields of knowledge to help understand what is happening and what is coming.

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“What is important now” (2021) © Thierry Geoffroy / Colonel



– In Argentina, large rodents — capybaras — are disturbing the tranquility of an upscale neighborhood in northern Buenos Aires built on a wetland and revealing the country’s environmental, social and urban choices (The Guardian, 22/08/2021).

– A full life-cycle analysis of building materials (and deconstruction) shows that dense urban planning and construction below 10 stories are more effective in reducing carbon emissions in cities, challenging the futuristic imagination of skyscrapers (Bloomberg CityLab, 25/08/2021).

– “Denser cities could be a climate boon — but nimbyism stands in the way”: in the United States, resistance to the densification of cities to reduce carbon emissions (The Guardian, 22/08/2021).

– An urbanism of care and attention: what urban planning to include neurodiversity? (Fast Company, 09/08/2021).

– Environmental racism: research highlights the link between heat wave risks and discriminatory urban planning. The notion of “heat equity” is emerging in urban planning. A study of 175 U.S. cities found that “in 97% of the cities, communities of colour were exposed to temperatures a full degree celsius higher, on average, than communities composed mostly of non-Hispanic white people” (nature, 14/07/2021).


– Meat Atlas 2021: While meat accounts for only 18% of the calories consumed in the world, its production alone accounts for 56% to 58% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (Heinrich Böll Stiftung).

– “At a time of overproduction, when food inequalities have never been so strong and agriculture continues to have the essential mission of feeding the world, why shouldn’t it also have the mission of enchanting it?” (AOC, 06/09/2021). 2nd part: “The development of livestock farming has not only consumed surplus land and cheap energy, it has been the engine of agricultural capitalism, inseparable from the development of capitalism in general” (AOC, 07/09/2021).

– “Agriculture is sick of technology”: “Industrial agriculture feeds the population poorly, and its harmless alternatives are only intended for the wealthy classes, defend the authors of the essay Reprendre la terre aux machines (Take Back the Land from the Machines). For them, the alternatives must be part of a political project that goes beyond the sole question of agriculture: breaking with the logic of the market and technologization” (Reporterre, 24/08/2021).

– An issue of the journal Terrestres dedicated to a process of collective inquiry entitled “Reprise de terre” (Reclaiming Land): “Reclaiming and liberating land: a collective dynamic has been building for a year to invent land, political and legal tactics to counter the land grabbing and plundering by productivism. How to organize life again around commons that consider all the beings that inhabit a place?” (Terrestres, 29/07/2021).


“Price of Oil” (2020) © Andrew S. Wright



– The invisible revealed by the geographer James Cheshire and designer Oliver Uberti in Atlas of the Invisible. Maps & Graphics That Will Change How You See the World (Penguin, 2021): a new kind of atlas that uses data visualization to reveal the causes and consequences of climate change (The Guardian, 01/09/2021).

– A study shows that the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which banned ozone-depleting gases, has played an important role in preserving the planet’s ability to absorb carbon. Without it, increased production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances would have contributed to an additional 2.5°C rise in global atmospheric temperatures by the end of the century, the ozone layer would have nearly disappeared by the 2040s, and damage to vegetation would have diminished the ability of forests to store carbon in forests and soils (Motherboard, 18/08/2021).


– “How did the processes of secularization and colonization initiated by Europe in the 18th century contribute to the current climate upheavals?” Interview with the philosopher Mohamad Amer Meziane, author of Des empires sous la terre. Histoire écologique et raciale de la sécularisation (Empires under the earth. An ecological and racial history of secularization) (Usbek & Rica, 07/09/2021).

– 3 genetically different populations of grizzly bears and 3 native language families are geographically juxtaposed: the biocultural approach highlights the role of land and lanscape in community building (The Conversation, 02/09/2021).


– Interview with Guillaume PITRON author of L’enfer numérique. Voyage au bout d’un like (Digital Hell. Journey to the end of a like) who investigates “the material cost of the virtual”. “What are the physical consequences of dematerialization? How do impalpable data burden the environment? What is the carbon footprint of the digital?” (Usbek & Rica, 08/09/2021).


– “Ecology needs a macroeconomic policy”: an article by economist Jean Pisani-Ferry. “Carbon prices or regulations, it doesn’t really matter: one way or another, the economy will suffer a negative offer shock, the magnitude of which will be close to that of the 1973–74 oil shock. The transition to carbon neutrality on the double is a huge macroeconomic challenge, which must be tackled head on — with all the consequences that this implies” (Le Grand Continent, 01/09/2021).

“I’ll Melt With You” (2016) © Josh Keyes



– #KeepItInTheGround: “To limit global warming to 1.5°C, 60% of oil and gas would have to be left in the ground, and 90% of coal. “Every time oil or gas is found, every government in the world, despite all they may have said, is trying to get it out of the ground.” “None of the emission reduction commitments made to date by major oil and gas producing countries include explicit production reduction targets” (nature, 08/09/2021).

– “In the Age of the Anthropocene, Sweden Moves a City”: “The Paradox of Kiruna’s Displacement? The promotion by the municipality and the mining company LKAB of the project as a model of urban resilience to the effects of climate change — while omitting the original reason for its displacement: the expansion of the mining industry. A case study in which the economic interests at stake seem to triumph over the very existence of the city” (Le Grand Continent, 31/08/2021).


– In the age of pathogenic environments, paths for an ecological, relational, community and multispecific conception of health (Terrestres, 29/07/2021).


– Faced with the sixth mass extinction, the solution of the “law of the living”: “an evolution of the notion of legal personality” to change our relationship with the living? (The Conversation, 09/09/2021).

– Faced with the inaction of governments to take action against climate change, the number of court cases is increasing with the help of science. Source attribution is thus a growing scientific activity: it aims to identify the contribution of a given economic sector to climate change (nature, 08/09/2021).


– Bicycle: “The little queen and the terrible king”. Another look at the cruel and violent history of our “soft mobility”: the production of rubber under the aegis of Leopold II, king of the Belgians in the Congo (France culture, 11–12/09/2021).


– A column for an ecology of dismantling: “We must learn to de-innovate, to decommission and dismantle infrastructures that are incompatible with the ecological situation, to unravel our technological applications, to reterritorialize our production and distribution systems. Closure is the most optimistic political horizon of the new climate regime” (Le Monde, 03/09/2021).


– Against the essentialization of the “hetero-cis-patriarchal system”, Cy LECERF MAULPOIX, author of Écologies déviantes. Voyage en terres queers (Deviant ecologies. Journey in queer lands), calls on minority struggles to “get closer to the demands of political ecology” by associating “the demand of emancipation with that of the protection of the living” to “outline a plural ecology that can only be intersectional, fundamentally anti-capitalist, queer, decolonial and feminist” (Politis, 25/08/2021).


– “The ‘negative commons’. Between waste and ruin”, an article by the philosopher Alexandre Monnin: “The more capitalist societies develop, the more they lose their capacity to absorb what they produce in excess, relegating this waste to the poorest areas or to the depths of the earth and the oceans”. How to politicize the treatment of these negative commons? (Etudes, September 2021).


The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.