The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Tu B’Shvat in the Anthropocene: Teshuva with the Earth

An almond tree in blossom near Urueña in Valladolid, Spain, during Tu BiShvat. Photo by Nicolás Pérez.

Is it time to apply the Jewish practice of teshuva to environmentalism?


A Scientific Sea Change? What the Humanities Offer Environmental Science in the Anthropocene

A sample of plastiglomerate, collected on Kamilo Beach in Hawaii.

How might the sciences and the humanities converge in a geologic era marked by human activity?


Nature, Culture, and the Art of Breathing Underwater

Still from The Newsroom: Humans can't breathe underwater

It may be too late to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but even that won’t stop humans from being hopeful and resourceful.


Why is American Theater Afraid of Climate Change?

The 1993 play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by American playwright Tony Kushner unflinchingly tackled AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s.

I am particularly grateful when a book comes along that illuminates what our culture is really afraid of, those repressed realities that make our arts so docile, so fearful of challenging the status quo. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh, sheds light on an embarrassing failure of nerve that […]


What’s Next for Nature?

Alphabet of the Anthropocene by Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune

The Public Humanist seeks humanities-based responses to the Anthropocene, asking how our various disciplines shift in light of this new perspective. After all, the humanities ought to flourish in a time of significant biospheric human influence.


The Tragedy of Climate Change

In the latest in a series of reports released this spring, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned again that governments are not doing enough to avert the profound risks associated with rising levels of carbon in our atmosphere. The national assessment of climate report released soon thereafter in Washington states that these risks are no longer merely theoretical or far in the future. We are already experiencing higher temperatures, greater precipitation and more frequent and intense winter storms.


Why World Wide Views on Global Warming

On September 26, in forty-six countries, citizens will gather to discuss, deliberate and develop positions on core questions of global climate change policy. The outcomes of these deliberations will be made publicly available through the internet. They also will be presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP-15) where participating nations will aim to establish the successor to the Kyoto Protocol.


World Wide Views on Global Warming: A Global Citizen Consultation on International Climate Policy

"You really want to hear what people from this community think?” The middle-aged Latino man was supervising the neighborhood kids in the South End as they played pick-up basketball. “What’s the catch?” “No catch,” we assured him. “In fact some people will even be paid for their participation.”