Environmental crises have intense and lasting effects for life on earth, and their consequences are a source of concern the world over. All civilizations, ancient and recent, have had their food, water, land, migration, and security shaped by environmental change. Yet, in recent years, a different understanding of environmental crisis has manifested.

Crises are often planetary in nature, like climate change, and scientists warn that the earth is entering a new epoch, the Anthropocene. Did humans change the history of an entire planet over the course of a single lifetime? What does this mean? What should be done? Who decides?

Chris Russill brings media and communication theory together with the environmental sciences to situate new ideas of crisis in their cultural, technological, and political contexts.

“It is really interesting to track how new images of environmental crisis unfold among scientists, artists, activists, software programmers, filmmakers, militaries, geoengineers and governments,” Russill says. “Basically, I look at the media they use to give technological, cultural, and political expression to crisis.”

The way we understand and respond to crisis is highly dependent on the media used to know them. “Our conception of the earth is changing as we mediate it and other planets in different ways,” he says.

The workings of our media shape how environmental crises unfold. “It is a challenging idea,” Russill admits, “but when we approach media properly, it snaps into focus.”

Russill’s current work examines how the legacy of hurricane and cyclone imaging shapes our approach to environmental politics, climate change, and the Anthropocene.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 in ,
Share: Twitter, Facebook

More News Posts