Roads to Research with Rick Kool

12:00PM to 1:00PM May 1, 2019
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Centre for Dialogue, Learning and Innovation Centre
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Roads to Research sessions are filmed. If you recently missed a presentation, check the RRU Roads to Research YouTube channel.

Violence, environmental violence, and pro-environmental action

  • with Rick Kool
  • May 1 from noon to 1 p.m.
  • LIC Centre for Dialogue
  • Cookies & coffee will be provided

We rarely talk about violence when we talk about the expansion of the Alberta tar sands and the TransMountain Pipeline, the fracking necessary to fuel both BC Liberal and NDP’s LNG dreams, the on-going destruction of coastal old-growth forests, the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government, and the list can go on. If the term comes up at all, it usually is applied to those who might engage in violence to stop environmentally-destructive projects.

In the field I’ve spent most of my life working in, that of environmental education and communication, the term ‘’violence’ never appears in the titles or abstracts of our major conferences, and virtually never appears in our published literature. When we talk about climate change, about biodiversity loss, about plastic pollution, we fail to recognize the face of violence.

My theoretical lens is primarily based on the work of Norwegian peace scholar Johan Galtung. Galtung contrasts direct (the outcome of an actor with intent to commit violence), structural (the result of human systems that cause violence either through intent or unintentionally) and cultural violence (the result of social legitimization and justification of direct or structural violence).  Our media and educational systems help us to hide from the violence we are all complicit in, allowing us to morally disengage from the true meaning of our actions. As educators, we can address all of these forms of violence through appropriate acts of environmental non-violence, anti-violence, and contra-violence, terms that will be explored in my presentation.

Research Services gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Research Support Fund (RSF) in the development of this initiative. The RSF is administered by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat.