Stereotypes are how we make sense of our world – we assign characteristics to categories so that we can act without needing to confirm all the attributes of the category. For example, we have certain expectations of what a “scientist” or a “fireman” or a “woman” is. As we become older, our knowledge of which characteristics can be assumed becomes more sophisticated.
I was lucky enough this last week to attend the American Association of Geographers conference in New Orleans. Along with my colleague Meredith Whitten from the London School of Economics, I co-organised a series of three sessions entitled “Urban parks & green spaces as a panacea?”. The sessions offered a fascinating cross section of the many reasons why cities around the world are adopting, or co-opting green space to deal with a multiplicity of challenges.
As you enter campus, leaving the busy road behind, towering trees surround your path. The air feels fresh as a distant ocean breeze rustles up the hill. Nearby, is an old growth forest filled with fallen logs, dense green moss, and countless ferns. If you listen closely, you can hear trickling water running along the forest floor.
While the controversy over the “twinning” of the Kinder Morgan (KM) TransMountain pipeline might be seen as a constitutional crisis, or a conflict between economics and environment, it is really something else. At its core, the pipeline project poses a moral problem and we should try to understand its solution in terms of a moral point of view.