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WCBN's environmental talk show

noon to 1pm alternate Mondays
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The Logic of Sufficiency. Enough really is enough.


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Out guest this week: Dr. Thomas Princen, winner of the International Studies Association 2007 award for his latest book the The Logic of Sufficiency (2005) — the “best book for the study of inter­na­tional envi­ron­mental problems.”  Commited to intel­lec­tual expo­ra­tion, his­tor­ical grounding and active learning, Dr. Princen shares his insights on the need for “local­iza­tion,” “suf­fi­ciency” and “appro­pri­ately placed buzzwords.”

Learn more about Dr. Princen here.

Pick up The Logic of Sufficiency in Ann Arbor at Shaman Drum, or online used or through Amazon. While there, have a look at his other books… restraint in con­sump­tion, not in thinking.

In other news…

Something pity to look at, Emptied Oceans, a short from Randy Olson and Shifting Baselines:


[…] back from the radio station after our fab inter­view with Thom Princen, I asked him about the future of the “local­iza­tion” seminar […]

Dear IHIH,

Great show with Tom Princen. I really like the lobster story since it iden­ti­fies a natural threshold that con­tinues to be iden­ti­fied through the historic expe­ri­ences of local fish­ermen (both men and women who practice the art of fishing), who maintain a cul­tur­ally rich and eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able eco-​​social com­mu­nity by iden­ti­fying, delib­er­ating on and ulti­mately respecting natural thresh­olds in their own life and the life of their com­mu­nity of practice.
The same thing is true of baited hook and line vs. trawling fishing for cod with severe eco-​​social outcomes when the threshold is trans­gressed, usually in the inter­ests of capital or patron­izing indus­trial devel­op­ment programs.

The only thing I would add to the Lobster story is that in New Brunswick they had the tech­nology right (highly inef­fi­cient but totally suf­fi­cient tech­nology that respected a natural threshold asso­ci­ated with lobsters) but the dis­tri­b­u­tion of lobsters within the Native and Settler fishing com­mu­ni­ties was totally skewed in the favor of the Settler fish­ermen. For years con­ser­va­tion­ists had pointed to the sus­tain­ability of the lobster fishery in New Brunswick until a national court decision promoted by Donald Marshall (a falsely accused and con­vinced Native man from Cape Breton) who had gone fishing without a license and out of season for eels, lobster and other marine life. In the end the politics of mal-​​distribution of the lobster set the scene for a violent on-​​the-​​water alter­ca­tion with the native fishing com­mu­nity of Burnt Church. Traps were cut and physical violence and property damage against both Native and Settler com­mu­ni­ties. This is a good case to empha­size that the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of natural thresh­olds does not end the polit­ical rela­tion­ships within local­izing places. The dis­trib­u­tive question, who gets what?, is taken within or outside natural thresh­olds and cannot be assumed to exist even in the tech­nology used helps to maintain eco­log­ical integrity. There is also the issue of the shifting baseline and what we take to be a recov­ered ecosystem… I wish I was there to take Tom’s course. Let us know how it goes.

[…] of Possibilities is doing a series on inno­va­tion (I wonder if Thom Princen knows all the inter­vie­wees). This episode is excel­lent too, par­tic­u­larly the first half with David […]

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