Broadly, my area of research focus is the human rights implications of global climate change for present and future generations. When viewed as an act of wrongdoing (a knowing imposition of harm), climate change raises many issues of central relevance to sociology, including that of inequality, power, exclusion, community, relations between generations, protest, lifestyle, social and political change, etc. More recently, I have attempted to extend this research focus to consider also how justice principles might be extended to include more than human inhabitants of this planet. The wrongful expulsion of ever greater numbers of non-human species from their natural habitats through wildfires, storm surges, the effects of global warming, the over-exploitation of land, sea, and biological life forces a new debate on the ethics of climate displacement. Should principles of distributive justice, claims of occupancy, freedom of movement, rights to food, safe haven, etc. be extended to non human communities in a more politically relevant way? My research looks at these questions and notes the influence of Covid-19 as well as the interconnections between deepening ecological and health crisis as a stimulus to action. Crisis experiences move policy debate on rapid loss of biological diversity forward and encourage an extension of the normative horizons of the common good to include more than human subjects of justice.
Recipe: Leftover beer-battered vegetables
This tasty recipe is non-dairy and is all about celebrating the products of local organic farming whilst minimizing waste and being kind to the environment. Ideal for a light lunch or a starter to a main meal. This is not my own recipe but one by Tom Hunt from his wonderful new book, Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet (Kyle Books). Enjoy!
Leftover beer-battered vegetables
100g of wholemeal spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp of baking powder
130ml leftover beer and/or water
Extra virgin olive oil or organic rapeseed oil for deep-frying
200g of mixed seasonal vegetables, sliced or left whole, depending on size.
In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and seasoning. Pour in the beer and/or water and beat out any lumps. Add a little more beer/water or flour, as necessary, to achieve the consistency of double cream.
Fill a saucepan less than one-third full with oil and set over a medium heat until it reaches 180C/350F. To test the temperature, dribble in a drip of the batter: if it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready. Do not let the oil smoke. Turn down the heat if it gets too hot as all oils are unhealthy when overheated.
Dip the vegetables first in a little flour and shake this off. Then dip them into the batter, again shaking off any excess. Carefully lower the battered vegetables (in batches) into the hot oil and deep fry for five minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain while you cook the rest. Serve immediately, accompanied by a condiment.
To save and reuse the oil, first allow it to cool down completely, then strain it through a fine sieve and cheesecloths into a container and store in a cool, dark place.
Curried aquafaba mayonnaise
500 ml of aquafaba (water in which beans are soaked overnight, use as a substitute for egg whites. Use a ratio of 1:5 beans to water, 200g dried chickpeas to 1 litre of water)
¼ tsp of ground turmeric
200ml of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of vinegar (optional).
Pour the aquafaba into a bowl and add the mustard, turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until combined and frothy. Pour in the oil in a very slow, steady stream, whisking constantly which will take a few minutes. Once the consistency is as you like it, stop adding the oil and blend in the vinegar and other flavorings. Store in a sterilized container in the fridge for no more than one week.
Dr. Tracey Skillington is Director of the BA (Sociology), Department of Sociology & Criminology, University College Cork. Her publications include the following: Climate Justice & Human Rights (Palgrave), Climate Change & Intergenerational Justice (Routledge); 2020. ‘Natural resource inequities, domination and the rise of youth communicative power: Changing the normative relevance of ecological wrongdoing’, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory. DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2020.1775669. She is currently a partner in a new EU Horizon project, JUSTNORTH on promoting inclusive sustainable models of development for the Arctic.