Call for a transition to ecopolitics that could address history of exploitation

29 June 2020 - 15:36
'Rock | Water | Life: Ecology & humanities for a decolonial South Africa' by Lesley Green.
'Rock | Water | Life: Ecology & humanities for a decolonial South Africa' by Lesley Green.
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So many writings on the ecological crisis remain grounded in the opposition between ‘the pragmatic cold analytical eye’ and ‘the romantic warm emotional heart,’ unaware that this binary is at the very heart of the crisis they are analysing. This book is driven by a fresh participatory ethics that leaves this binary behind to introduce a caring relation that is analytically sharp and an affective engagement that is systematically incisive. — Ghassan Hage, author of Is Racism an Environmental Threat?

In Rock | Water | Life Lesley Green examines the interwoven realities of inequality, racism, colonialism, and environmental destruction in SA, calling for environmental research and governance to transition to an ecopolitical approach that could address South Africa’s history of racial oppression and environmental exploitation.

Green analyses conflicting accounts of nature in environmental sciences that claim neutrality amid ongoing struggles for land restitution and environmental justice.

Offering in-depth studies of environmental conflict in contemporary SA, Green addresses the history of contested water access in Cape Town; struggles over natural gas fracking in the Karoo; debates about decolonising science; the potential for a politics of soil in the call for land restitution; urban baboon management, and the consequences of sending sewage to urban oceans.

Lesley Green is founding director of Environmental Humanities South at the University of Cape Town, editor of Contested Ecologies and co-author of Knowing the Day, Knowing the World.