Fargo Is Like Phoenix: Showtime’s “The Years of Living Dangerously”

Posted on Apr 9, 2014
Fargo Is Like Phoenix: Showtime’s “The Years of Living Dangerously”

“Imagine, Harrison, that Fargo, North Dakota is like Phoenix,” a climate scientist tells actor Harrison Ford in the first episode of Showtime’s nine-part TV docu-mini-series on climate change, The Years of Living Dangerously.  This sentence epitomizes what the show has to offer: the most thorough exploration of climate change in American popular culture since Al […]

To the “Church of Crude”: CENHS Class Tours the Baytown Refinery

Posted on Mar 17, 2014
To the “Church of Crude”: CENHS Class Tours the Baytown Refinery

As part of the CENHS course “Culture, Energy and the Environment: An Introduction to Energy Humanities,” a group of Rice undergraduates visited ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery.  These are the reflections of four students. Ben Hoff, Class of 2017, Mechanical Engineering On Thursday, February 6th my classmates and I met at the student center in the middle […]

Fort McMoney, A Documentary Video Game on the Alberta Tar Sands

Posted on Dec 9, 2013
Fort McMoney, A Documentary Video Game on the Alberta Tar Sands

For a limited time, you have the opportunity to visit beautiful Fort McMurry (Alberta, CA) free of charge, and play a critical role in decision-making about the development of the Alberta tar sands.  Just this morning I spoke with an oil lobbyist after watching his testimony at a municipal council meeting, visited  the Black Sand […]

CENHS to Offer Spring Course on “Culture, Energy and the Environment”

Posted on Nov 4, 2013
CENHS to Offer Spring Course on “Culture, Energy and the Environment”

This Spring, CENHS offers Rice undergraduates an introductory course in the energy and environmental humanities: “Culture, Energy and the Environment: An Introduction to Energy Humanities.”  Taught by Cultures of Energy Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, the course draws upon new research across the arts, humanities and social sciences to help students better understand the cultural and […]

Cli Fi Noir, From Finland with Foreboding

Posted on Oct 24, 2013
Cli Fi Noir, From Finland with Foreboding

Antti Tuomainen’s The Healer is set in Helsinki in the near future, perhaps two or three decades from now, but it portrays a world that is hardly recognizable.  Finland, like every other European nation, has become a failed state due to the influx of millions of climate migrants, with its own citizens abandoning urban centers […]

Post-Petroleum Energy Regimes in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl

Posted on Sep 11, 2013

While the concept of apocalypse has long been a generative and motivating trope for environmental-minded authors, filmmakers, thinkers, and activists, it has also prevented a certain kind of future-oriented imagination.  Unless one is predicting an extinction-level event, or a planet that is literally uninhabitable, the slippery conceptual slope between “catastrophe” and “apocalypse” prevents many authors […]