I'm very excited that a book chapter - penned long ago - will soon be out in print! The edited volume is titled "Urban Reinventions: San Francisco's Treasure Island," by Lynne Horiuchi and Tanu Sankalia. My contribution, "Pandemonium on the Bay: Naval Station Treasure Island and the Toxic Legacies of Atomic Defense," connects Treasure Island with the Marshall Islands through U.S. nuclear testing and Rob Nixon's concept of "slow violence." The book also has some great chapters by my colleagues Javier Arbona and John Stehlin, and my dissertation adviser, Richard Walker.
[Note: right now the book is super expensive! Hopefully this will change...]
Here are some photos I took from Naval Station Treasure Island's newspaper, The Masthead, while doing research at the National Archives.
Since November, in the weeks after the election, I've been involved in a group called the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, or EDGI (pronounced "edgy"). We formed to challenge Trump's expected attack on the EPA and other environmental agencies. EDGI co-coordinates #DataRescue events, monitors federal government websites changes, weighs in on de-regulation and other policy changes with white papers and letters to Congress, and has, since November, been confidentially interviewing EPA and OSHA employees. There is so much more to say about EDGI's work, and the amazing and hard-working people in it - but for now I'll just point you to our recent Accomplishments report. Please check it out!
A few weeks ago, at the American Association of Geographers conference, which was held in San Francisco, I co-led a really wonderful trip, or "toxic tour", to Bayview Hunters Point, with Jonathan London from UC Davis, and organizers Marie Harrison and Etecia Brown, with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice. Toxic tours are activist strategies to increase public awareness about the effects of hazardous waste sites on low-income communities, often communities of color. The notion of a "tour" subverts the associations of leisure and privilege with usual forms of tourism, emphasizing instead the immobilities (both socially and physically), forms of bodily harm, and other distinct vulnerabilities of those communities.
From the sewage treatment plant, we drove by Hunters View public housing, the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and then to the native plant nursery at Literacy for an Environmental Justice. We were so lucky to hear an inspiring presentation by the LEJ staff on their youth program their work restoring and maintaining Candlestick Point State Park. From there, we went to Heron's Head Park, which is a restored wetland habitat on San Francisco Bay, adjacent to the former Hunters Point power plant (which is now undergoing remediation). Along the way, Marie and Etecia shared historical details of each site, and their personal experiences of living in Bayview Hunters Point and organizing around social justice.
If you are interested in the subject, I recommend Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Pollution, Travel, and Environmental Justice, by Phaedra Pezzullo. You can also listen to Tracy Zhu speak about leading toxic tours through Bayview Hunters Point, on bicycle. Marie Harrison, one of our tour leaders that day, has also recorded an audio segment on Bayview Hunters Point, as part of the Invisible-5 project, an internet-based environmental justice tour down California's Interstate-5 freeway.
Last month I took a field trip down San Francisco's Third Street, with new colleagues associated with UC Santa Cruz's Science and Justice Center. It was the beginning of what will hopefully be a multi-faceted conversation and a participatory project about economic and health inequalities in San Francisco. Third Street runs from the city's new Mission Bay hospital and biotech complex (near the Giants Stadium), southwards, to Bayview Hunters Point - a neighborhood known for industrial land uses and environmental health problems, historically excluded from much of the city's post-World War II prosperity. The Third Street project is, in part, about mobility and immobility - how capital moves around more easily than people, how pollutants migrate through some neighborhoods and not others, and how these social and ecological relations might become more visible to those who work and live along Third Street. Below are some pictures I took along our walk. I am excited to see how the project unfolds!
I'm excited to visit UC Riverside on November 19th, as part of their Sustainability Studies speaker series. At Riverside, students can earn a B.S. in Sustainability Studies. What is totally cool is that this major is housed in the Department of Gender and Sexuality studies! As the department puts it,
"Substantively speaking, sustainability is inherently a gendered issue in many parts of the world because of how environmental changes affect men and women differently, based on their division of labor and social statuses. Gender also is a critical element in devision and implementing sustainable practices around the world Gender & Sexuality studies as a discipline have a long tradition of development research methods aligned with social justice that can be applied to studies of sustainability issues."
I couldn't agree more, and I am looking forward to learning about this awesome program.
Yesterday I took pictures at Lennar's San Francisco Shipyard development project. The shipyard looks much different from when I last viewed it in February 2015, on a "toxic tour" lead by the Bayview Hill Neighborhood Association. As I explore in my own work, the Lennar's "ecotopia" is complicated by the ongoing presence of toxic waste at the military base (even after it is fully redeveloped), and the ways toxic waste is displaced elsewhere, through the development project.
That evening I attended a performance by Guillermo Gomez-Peña, at a Shaping SF event on Valencia Street. That morning, we had all learned of San Francisco's election returns - Airbnb, after spending $10 million dollars on the campaign, defeated the Prop F measure. You can read a good piece on Prop F on KQED, here. It was a different performance that one I'd seen at UC Berkeley earlier that year - for good reason - he was more angry and sad, and it lacked the playfulness of his other performance. Rent in San Francisco for a single bedroom apartment averages somewhere between $3,500 and $3,800 - the highest in the country. For many people in San Francisco, ecotopia and technotopia are more of a dystopia.
"Notes from Technotopia: On the Cruelty of Indifference" is incredible to experience as a performance, but you can read a version of it here.