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For the Rock Record

Geologists on Intelligent Design

Jill S. Schneiderman Ph.D

According to the idea of intelligent design, nature's complexity is the result of deliberate planning by a supernatural creative force. To date, most scientific arguments against this form of creationism have been made by evolutionary biologists. In this volume, a team of earth scientists reveals that the flaws of intelligent design are not limited to the biological sciences. Indeed, the geological sciences offer some of the best refutations of intelligent design arguements. For the Rock Record is dedicated to the proposition that the idea of intelligent design should be of serious concern to everyone. Editors Jill S. Schneiderman and Warren D. Allmon have gathered leading figures from the geological community with a wide range of viewpoints that go to the heart of the debate over what is and is not science. The purveyors of intelligent design theories and its kindred philosophies threaten the scientific literacy that our society needs by confusing faith and the practice of science. This collection offers a much-needed response.

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Found in Alberta

Environmental Themes for the Anthropocene

Found in Alberta: Environmental Themes for the Anthropocene is a collection of essays about the natural environment in a province rich in natural resources and aggressive in development goals. This is a casebook on Alberta from which emerges a far wider set of implications for North America and for the biosphere in general. The writers come from an array of disciplinary backgrounds within the environmental humanities.

The essays examine the oil/tar sands, climate change, provincial government policy, food production, industry practices, legal frameworks, wilderness spaces, hunting, Aboriginal perspectives, and nuclear power. Contributions from an ecocritical perspective provide insight into environmentally themed poetry, photography, and biography.

Since the actions of Alberta’s industries and government are currently at the heart of a global environmental debate, this collection is valuable to those wishing to understand the natural and commercial forces in play. The editors present an introductory argument that frames these interests inside a call for a rethinking of our assumptions about the natural world and our place within it.

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Free Burma

Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability

John G. Dale

When the military’s ruling party violently quashed Burma’s pro-democracy movement, diplomatic condemnation quickly followed—to little effect. But when Burma’s activists began linking the movement to others around the world, the result was dramatically different. This book is the first to explain how Burma’s pro-democracy movement became a transnational social movement for human rights.

Through the experience of the Free Burma movement, John G. Dale demonstrates how social movements create and appropriate legal mechanisms for generating new transnational political opportunities. He presents three corporate accountability campaigns waged by the Free Burma movement. The cases focus on the legislation of “Free Burma” laws in local governments throughout the United States; the effort to force the state of California to de-charter Unocal Oil Corporation for its flagrant abuse of human rights; and the first-ever use of the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act to sue a corporation in a U.S. court for human rights abuses committed abroad. Dale’s work also raises the issue of how foreign policies of so-called constructive engagement actually pose a threat to the hope of Burma’s activists—and others worldwide—for more democratic economic development.

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From Dar es Salaam to Bongoland

Urban Mutations in Tanzania

The name Dar es Salaam comes from the Arabic phrase meaning house of peace. A popular but erroneous translation is ëhaven of peaceí resulting from a mix-up of the Arabic words "dar" (house) and "bandar" (harbour). Named in 1867 by the Sultan of Zanzibar, the town has for a long time benefitted from a reputation of being a place of tranquility. The tropical drowsiness is a comfort to the socialist poverty and under-equipment that causes an unending anxiety to reign over the town. Today, for the Tanzanian, the town has become Bongoland, that is, a place where survival is a matter of cunning and intelligence (bongo means ëbrainí in Kiswahili). Far from being an anecdote, this slide into toponomy records the mutations that affect the links that Tanzanians maintain with their principal city and the manner in which it represents them. This book takes into account the changes by departing from the hypothesis that they reveal a process of territorialisation. What are the processesóenvisaged as spatial investmentsówhich, by producing exclusivity, demarcations and exclusions, fragment the urban space and its social fabric? Do the practices and discussions of the urban dwellers construct limited spaces, appropriated, identified and managed by communities (in other words, territories)? Dar es Salaam is often described as a diversified, relatively homogenous and integrating place. However, is it not more appropriate to describe it as fragmented? As territorialisation can only occur through frequenting, management and localised investment, it is therefore through certain placesófirst shelter and residential area, then the school, daladala station, the fire hydrant and the quaysóthat the town is observed. This led to broach the question in the geographical sense of urban policy carried out since German colonisation to date. At the same time, the analysis of these developments allows for an evaluation of the role of the urban crisis and the responses it brings. In sum, the aim of this approach is to measure the impact of the uniqueness of the place on the current changes. On one hand, this is linked to its long-term insertion in the Swahili civilisation, and on the other, to its colonisation by Germany and later Britain and finally, to the singularity of the post-colonial path. This latter is marked by an alternation of Ujamaa with Structural Adjustment Plans applied since 1987. How does this remarkable political culture take part in the emerging city today? This book is a translation of De Dar es Salaam ‡ Bongoland: Mutations urbaines en Tanzanie, published by Karthala, Paris in 2006.

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From Enron to Evo

Pipeline Politics, Global Environmentalism, and Indigenous Rights in Bolivia

Derrick Hindery

Throughout the Americas, a boom in oil, gas, and mining development has pushed the extractive frontier deeper into Indigenous territories. Centering on a long-term study of Enron and Shell’s Cuiabá pipeline, From Enron to Evo traces the struggles of Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples for self-determination over their lives and territories. In his analysis of their response to this encroaching development, author Derrick Hindery also sheds light on surprising similarities between neoliberal reform and the policies of the nation’s first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.

Drawing upon extensive interviews and document analysis, Hindery argues that many of the structural conditions created by neoliberal policies—including partial privatization of the oil and gas sector—still persist under Morales. Tactics employed by both Morales and his neoliberal predecessors utilize the rhetoric of environmental protection and Indigenous rights to justify oil, gas, mining, and road development in Indigenous territories and sensitive ecoregions.

Indigenous peoples, while mindful of gains made during Morales’s tenure, are increasingly dissatisfied with the administration’s development model, particularly when it infringes upon their right to self-determination. From Enron to Evo demonstrates their dynamic and pragmatic strategies to cope with development and adversity, while also advancing their own aims.

Offering a critique of both free-market piracy and the dilemmas of resource nationalism, this is a groundbreaking book for scholars, policy-makers, and advocates concerned with Indigenous politics, social movements, environmental justice, and resistance in an era of expanding resource development.

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From Enslavement to Environmentalism

Politics on a Southern African Frontier

By David McDermott Hughes

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From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City

A Historical Geography of Greater Sudbury

From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City is a historical geography of the City of Greater Sudbury. The story that began billions of years ago encompasses dramatic physical and human events. Among them are volcanic eruptions, two meteorite impacts, the ebb and flow of continental glaciers, Aboriginal occupancy, exploration and mapping by Europeans, exploitation by fur traders and Canadian lumbermen and American entrepreneurs, the rise of global mining giants, unionism, pollution and re-greening, and the creation of a unique constellation city of 160,000.

The title posits the book’s two main themes, one physical in nature and the other human: the great meteorite impact of some 1.85 billion years ago and the development of Sudbury from its inception in 1883. Unlike other large centres in Canada that exhibit a metropolitan form of development with a core and surrounding suburbs, Sudbury developed in a pattern resembling a cluster of stars of differing sizes.

Many of Sudbury’s most characteristic attributes are undergoing transformation. Its rocky terrain and the negative impact from mining companies are giving way to attractive neighbourhoods and the planting of millions of trees. Greater Sudbury’s blue-collar image as a union powerhouse in a one-industry town is also changing; recent advances in the fields of health, education, retailing, and the local and international mining supply and services sector have greatly diversified its employment base. This book shows how Sudbury evolved from a village to become the regional centre for northeastern Ontario and a global model for economic diversification and environmental rehabilitation.

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From the Ground Up

A History of Mining in Utah

edited by Colleen K. Whitley

Despite mining's multidimensional role in the history of Utah since Euro-american settlement, there has never been a book that surveyed and contextualized its impact. From the Ground Up fill that gap with a collection of essays by leading Utah historians and geologists. Essays here address the geology of the state, the economic history of mining in Utah, and the lore of mines and miners. Additionally, the book reviews a handul of particularly significant mineral industries---saline, coal, uranium, and beryllium---and surveys important hard-rock mining regions of the state.

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Géopolitique d'une périphérisation du bassin caribéen

Edited by Romain Cruse

La Caraïbe ressemble à s’y méprendre à un visage maquillé. Une couche superficielle d’exotisme fait ressortir ses traits les plus attrayants, à l’image des photographies de ces brochures touristiques sur lesquelles on force le bleu de la mer et le blanc du sable, tout en cadrant au plus serré sur les hôtels, les plages et les parties entretenues des centres-villes. Derrière cette parure cependant, se dévoile, à qui prend la peine d’observer, un visage profondément marqué par les inégalités, des carrières à ciel ouvertes des Cockpit Mountains (Jamaïque) jusqu’aux bidonvilles des marécages de Beetham à Port-of-Spain (Trinidad).Romain Cruse est de ceux qui ont pris la peine d’observer. Il s’intéresse au processus de mise en dépendance – ou périphérisation – du bassin caribéen du XVIe siècle à nos jours. Il prend en compte ce processus à la fois dans sa dynamique physique (le méditerranéanisme), sa dynamique économico-historique (le colonialisme) et dans sa dynamique géopolitique contemporaine (domination économique). Le principal intérêt de cet ouvrage est de ne pas présenter l'histoire de la Caraïbe comme celle d'un colonialisme dont n'arriveraient pas à se défaire les territoires. Si le poids du passé est important, ces espaces principalement insulaires ont tout de même connu de deux siècles (Haïti) à un demi-siècle (Jamaïque, Dominique, etc.) d'«indépendance» officielle. Le contexte géopolitique actuel, soit le glissement de la domination européenne vers celle américaine, ne saurait non plus être ignoré.

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Gambling with the Land

The Contemporary Evolution of Southeast Asian Agriculture

Rodolphe de Koninck and Jean-Francois Rousseau

Since the early 1960s, Southeast Asia countries have satisfied local demand for food while catering increasingly to the world market for agricultural produce, primarily through the export of industrial crops. Local production of food, particularly rice, has kept pace with population growth, while a massive intensification of cultivation along with territorial expansion of the agricultural realm have improved food security as a whole, although not for every country in the region. Expansion is also occurring in the maritime domain, with aquaculture growing even faster than land-based cultivation. Both forms of expansion have increased pressure on environmental resources, especially on forests, including coastal stands of mangrove. Countries in the region gambling higher production levels can be sustained without jeopardizing regional food security, and the stakes are very high. Gambling with the Land surveys and analyzes the production and trade of major agricultural crops throughout Southeast Asia between 1960 and the first decade of the 21st century. After reviewing the post-colonial role of agriculture in the eight major agricultural countries -- Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines -- the authors examine regional patterns of population growth and agricultural employment, positioning the region within broader world trends. Their carefully documented investigation highlights a number of salient processes as characteristics of the region's still rapidly expanding agricultural sector, and evaluates future prospects based on current trends.

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