The Environmental Documentary provides the first extensive coverage of the most important environmental films of the decade, including their approach to their topics and their impacts on public opinion and political debate. While documentaries with themes of environmental activism date back at least to Pare Lorenz's films of the 1930's, no previous decade has produced the number and quality of films that engage environmental issues from an activist viewpoint. The convergence of high profile issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, animal abuse, and corporate malfeasance has combined with the miniaturization of high quality recording equipment and the expansion of documentary programming, to produce an unprecedented number of important and influential documentary productions. The text examines the processes of production and distribution that have produced this explosion in documentaries. The films range from a high-profile Hollywood production with theatrical distribution like An Inconvenient Truth, to shorter independently produced films like The End of Suburbia that have reached a small audience of activists through video distribution, interviews with many of the filmmakers, and word of mouth.
Information Environmentalism applies four environmental analytical frameworks - ecology, 'the commons', public choice theory, and welfare economics - to the information environment. The book neatly captures the metaphorical relationship between the physical environment and the information environment by alluding to the environmental philosophy of 'social ecology' and the emergent informational discourse of 'cultural environmentalism'. The book aims to develop, refine and integrate the theoretical foundations of cultural environmentalism based on the Dewey premise that 'there is nothing so practical as a good theory'. It is also built upon the proposition that the success of the environmental movement can be traced directly to the analytical frameworks of ecology, 'the commons', public choice theory and welfare economics. In the digital age, the regulation of information will have a critical impact upon the manner in which human beings conduct their lives, and the manner in which society functions more generally. In this sense, the book injects some gravitas into an issue that will become increasingly pressing throughout the 21st century.
`Europe is sometimes credited with a `polis,' but not a `demos'. Political integration and economic globalisation cannot diminish local identity and social memories. This fascinating collection of national case studies shows why there will always be a local `demos' located in ecology, economy, and society. But there will never be a transnational `demos', precisely because locality is the basis for meaningful sustainability. Long may it triumph.' Tim O'Riordan, CSERGE, University of East Anglia 'The book offers a refreshing perspective on the diversity of Europe and at the same time, on the interdependence of the policies, economies, and societies of European countries. Going beyond the dichotomies of `good and bad' and `leaders and laggards' in environmental matters, the authors contribute to a different understanding of the North-South divide in the process of European integration.' Angela Liberatore, European Commission, Directorate General for Research `This is a self-consciously revisionist volume, whose findings are theoretically significant, policy-relevant, and timely. Its insistence on `bringing society back in,' its debunking of the notion of a `Mediterranean syndrome,' its emphasis on developmental `leapfrogging' capacity of late-comers to emerge as leaders in contexts of late modernity, and its systematic attempt to reconceptualize the politics of Europeanization should be carefully listed to students and policy-makers concerned with collective action, Southern Europe, European integration, and environmental politics.' P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, University of Athens
Deepwater Horizon Articles
Deepwater Horizon Books