• Mark Harvey:食物、能源與氣候變遷的三難

    上午去聽英國Essex大學社會系教授Mark Harvey演講,談食物、能源與氣候變遷三個當代關鍵議題之間的三難局面,很有意思的題目,但要在一個小時裡頭談清楚不是件容易的事。所以我整場聽完的心得是:(1)能源、糧食、氣候危機又都收束在土地危機;(2)中國買下全世界自然資源再次被類比成帝國主義。不過,當然演講的內容要比我這兩句感想複雜的多。

    The food-energy-climate change trilemma refers to the stark alternatives presented by the
    need to feed a world population growing to nine billion, the attendant risks of land conversion and use for global climate change, and the way these are interconnected with the energy crisis arising from the depletion of oil, with its threat to existing, let alone growing levels of economic activity. 
    The presentation will first examine the challenges to social science presented by interactions between political economies and their related natural environments, both in terms of finitudes of resources and generation of greenhouse gases. I will review some approaches from classical political economy, transition theory, economic geography, and political ecology, before elaborating my neo-Polanyian approach. 
    I will then present the natural science perspective of the trilemma, necessary to inform a social science analysis of interactions between socio-economic and bio-physical systems. I will present the case of Brazil using a neo-Polanyian ‘instituted economic process’ framework, to demonstrate how the trilemma is a spatial and historical socio-economic phenomenon, developing unevenly and varying significantly in its dynamics in different environmental and resource contexts. In the last decade, the Brazil-China soyabean connection has given a new twist of considerable geopolitical and climate change significance to trilemma developments. 
    The presentation concludes by pointing to some further challenges to developing a social scientific theory in this field, and will open questions for discussion.

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