Marxism 2017: Biodiversity and Species Extinction (Ian Rappel and Sarah Ensor)

Ian Rappel and Sarah Ensor’s meeting on biodiversity and species extinction covered in detail. #Marxism2017

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post in my series about Marxism 2017. The meeting covered in this post was the second that I attended on day 1 of the festival. Most of the rest of this post will be photographs from that meeting, but before getting to the main meat I have one small thing to do relating to my previous post

ERRATUM

In the first published version of my post about day 1 I labelled a logo as being from the front of a TEAM t-shirt. It was not, and I have corrected the original post, but I refuse to do the blogging equivalent of sneaking out a correction in 6pt type in the middle of page 27, so here is a picture showing the a TEAM t-shirt:

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BIODIVERSITY AND SPECIES EXTINCTION

Of our two speakers, Ian Rappel is a conservation biologist and was looking at the overall picture, while Sarah Ensor, author the blog Herring and Class Struggle, focused on the oceans. 

THE PRELIMINARIES

Here are the photos from before the main talks:

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The speakers and chair (centre) at the platform

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The chair introducing the meeting

PART 1: IAN RAPPEL

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Four diverse life forms – sperm whales, ants, duckweed (the smallest of all vascular plants), tardigrades

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There will be more on the Anthropocene later in this series, with an account of Ian Angus’ meeting on this subject.

PART 2: SARAH ENSOR

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The light relief – a tardigrade.

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AS followers of this blog will know I was in northwest Scotland recently, and I saw many signs of fish farms, including in Loch Alsh, as seen from above in this post: https://aspi.blog/2017/06/12/scotland-walking-from-ferry-cottage-to-kyle-of-lochalsh/

CONCLUSION

This was an important meeting, and I welcome the higher profile that nature and ecology are enjoying at this year’s Marxism (I have been to three meetings on the topic already, with another three scheduled for this final day). I cannot say that I enjoyed it, but I am glad that I attended and was glad to note that there were few empty seats. 

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The Anthropocene

A post created from my experiences at the Marxism and Nature day school which took place at Student Central, Malet Street, London on Saturday.

INTRODUCTION

This post is based on a day school organised by the International Socialism Journal titled Marxism and Nature which took place on Saturday. To set the scene, here is the timetable for the day:

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THE TRAVEL

The travel should have been straightforward, since Malet Street is walkable from King’s Cross, but engineering works intervened. The first effect of the engineering works was that I had to get the 6:54AM rather than 7:54AM train from Lynn. After getting the replacement bus service from Ely to Cambridge the next train to London turned out to be a stopper, so reckoning on saving a bit of time overall, I alighted at Finsbury Park and took the Piccadilly line line to Russell Square. Having a little time to spare, I avoided the most crowded route, opting for a slightly circuitous walk which had the bonus of taking in this splendid commemorative plate:

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This post will be followed by several on http://www.londontu.be focussing specifically on the public transport elements of the day.

THE EVENT: PHOTOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW

Here before getting to the real meat of the post are some photos taken at the event. The event took place at Student Central, formerly known as the University of London Union (ULU). The opening and closing plenaries were in the Upper Hall, which when I first visited the building was known as the Badminton Court (although these are both beaten in the changeability stakes by The Venue, which was Manning Hall when i first visited, and then became Room 101).

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THE ANTHROPOCENE IN SLIDES

The pictures produced below come from all across the day…

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These slides are not presented in the order in which they were shown – the first 14 are from Ian Angus’ talk in the closing plenary, before we have some the workshop session I attended during the early afternoon and then back to Ian Angus’ talk.
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The derivation of the word Anthropocene.

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These six slides, starting with this comparison between the instability of the Pleistocene and the stability of the Holocene and ending with the indicators that prove to all who will see (remember, there are none so blind as those who will not see).

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THE WORKSHOP SESSION

I have included some of Ian Rappel’s slides above, so this section will focus mainly on the other speaker at the workshop, Sarah Ensor, who is researching the history of class struggle in Iceland and whose blog can be found here.

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MORE ON THE CLOSING PLENARY

The closing plenary featured Ian Angus, many of whose slides I have already shown, and Camilla Royle, deputy editor of International Socialism Journal, who had played a key role in organising the event. The event ended with a show of solidarity with antu-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery.

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Sally Campbell introduces the closing plenary.
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Ian Angus, who travelled all the way from Canada to speak here.

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Camilla Royle following Ian Angus.

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HOMEWARD BOUND

Knowing that a non-stop train to Cambridge would be leaving Kings Cross at 17:44 I headed that way in no great hurry, and was comfortably aboard the train. Here are some final photographs…

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The southbound London Underground routes from Finsbury Park.

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Excellent combined route map of these three lines, Kings Cross.

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