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Open access

Joshua Mullenite

Barber, Benjamin R. 2017. Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 224 pp. ISBN: 978-0-300-22420-7.

Günel, Gökçe. 2019. Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 272 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4780-0091-4.

Open access

Introduction

Oceans

Amelia Moore and Jerry K. Jacka

Abstract

In this introduction, we introduce the new editors of the journal and the new members of the editorial board. We then summarize the articles, highlighting the intellectual contributions they make to an environmental and social analysis of the world's oceans, ocean scientists, and marine species.

Open access

Navigating Shifting Regimes of Ocean Governance

From UNCLOS to Sustainable Development Goal 14

Ana K. Spalding and Ricardo de Ycaza

Abstract

Recent decades have seen a rapid increase in the diversity of ocean uses and threats, leading to the Anthropocene ocean: a place fraught with challenges for governance such as resource collapse, pollution, and changing sea levels and ocean chemistry. Here we review shifts in ocean governance regimes from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the first legal regime for the global ocean, to Sustainable Development Goal 14 and beyond. This second period represents a merging of growing international interest in the ocean as part of the global sustainable development agenda—characterized by a focus on knowledge, collaboration, and the formation of alliances between diverse actors and institutions of environmental governance. To conduct this review, we analyzed literature on changing actors, regimes, and institutional arrangements for ocean governance over time. We conclude with a summary of challenges and opportunities for future ocean governance.

Open access

New Materialist Approaches to Fisheries

The Birth of “Bycatch”

Lauren Drakopulos

Abstract

For the past 40 years, bycatch has been a significant focus of fisheries science and management, yet bycatch has evaded clear definition persisting as a perennial fisheries concern. This article brings insights from new materialism to examine the ontological politics of bycatch. Building on new materialist approaches to oceans and fisheries, the article contributes to the bycatch debate by putting forth a new framework for understanding bycatch as multiple, enacted through the material-discursive practices of science and policy. Through a survey of policy and scientific documents, the article traces the emergence of “bycatch” as a global fisheries issue. The analysis broadens the orderings and normative understandings about human and nonhuman life inflected by post-humanist and new materialist traditions, as well as fisheries science and policy.

Open access

Ocean Thinking

The Work of Ocean Sciences, Scientists, and Technologies in Producing the Sea as Space

Susannah Crockford

Abstract

How do scientists produce the ocean as space through their work and words? In this article, I examine how the techniques and tools of oceanographers constitute ocean science. Bringing theoretical literature from science and technology studies on how scientists “do” science into conversation with fine-grained ethnographic and sociological accounts of scientists in the field, I explore how ocean science is made, produced, and negotiated. Within this central concern, the technologies used to obtain data draw particular focus. Juxtaposed with this literature is a corpus by ocean scientists about their own work as well as interview data from original research. Examining the differences between scientists’ self-descriptions and analyses of them by social scientists leads to a productive exploration of how ocean science is constituted and how this work delineates the ocean as a form of striated space. This corpus of literature is placed in the context of climate change in the final section.

Open access

Plastic Packaging, Food Supply, and Everyday Life

Adopting a Social Practice Perspective in Social-Ecological Research

Lukas Sattlegger, Immanuel Stieß, Luca Raschewski, and Katharina Reindl

Abstract

This article presents practice-theoretical conceptions of societal relations to nature as a fruitful alternative to common system approaches in social-ecological research. Via the example of plastic food packaging, two different practice-theoretical approaches to food supply are discussed regarding their suitability for relating the material properties of packaging to their everyday use by producers, retailers, and consumers: (1) the network approach (portraying food supply as a network of practices; these practices include material elements that interrelate with other elements like competence or meaning) and (2) the nexus approach (investigating the interrelation between social practices and material arrangements in which they take place). Depending on the given research interest, both perspectives have their pros and cons: the network approach is stronger in understanding the everyday use of technologies, while the nexus approach encourages the integration of infrastructures and environmental contexts that are not directly observable within the practice.

Free access

Introduction

Agri-cultures in the Anthropocene

Martin Skrydstrup and Hyun-Gwi Park

Today when we think about climate change and Greenland, we do not think about agriculture, but of the melting ice. Perhaps the most evocative articulation of this connection was made in December 2015, when Paris was hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21. At this event, artist Olafur Elisasson and geologist Minik Rosing exhibited their art installation Ice Watch at the Place du Pantheon: a circle of icebergs with a circumference of twenty meters, which resembled a watch ticking and/or a compass providing orientation for the world’s leaders in the palm of Paris. The ice had been transported by tugboat from the harbor of Nuuk—Greenland’s capital—to France. The captain of the tugboat was Kuupik Kleist, former prime minister of Greenland, who was quoted saying: “Ninety per cent of our country is covered by ice. It is a great part of our national identity. We follow the international discussion, of course, but to every Greenlander, just by looking out the window at home, it is obvious that something dramatic is happening” (Zarin 2015).

Free access

Contemporary Megaprojects

An Introduction

Seth Schindler, Simin Fadaee, and Dan Brockington

Abstract

There is renewed interest in megaprojects worldwide. In contrast to high- modernist megaprojects that were discrete projects undertaken by centralized authorities, contemporary megaprojects are often decentralized and pursued by a range of stakeholders from governments as well as the private sector. They leverage cutting-edge technology to ‘see’ complex systems as legible and singular phenomena. As a result, they are more ambitious, more pervasive and they have the potential to reconfigure longstanding relationships that have animated social and ecological systems. The articles in this issue explore the novel features of contemporary megaprojects, they show how the proponents of contemporary megaprojects aspire to technologically enabled omnipresence, and they document the resistance that megaprojects have provoked.

Free access

Anthropocene Dynamics in the Prehistoric Pacific

Modeling Emergent Socioecological Outcomes of Environmental Change

Thomas P. Leppard

How will human societies evolve in the face of the massive changes humans themselves are driving in the earth systems? Currently, few data exist with which to address this question. I argue that archaeological datasets from islands provide useful models for understanding long-term socioecological responses to large-scale environmental change, by virtue of their longitudinal dimension and their relative insulation from broader biophysical systems. Reviewing how colonizing humans initiated biological and physical change in the insular Pacific, I show that varied adaptations to this dynamism caused diversification in social and subsistence systems. This diversification shows considerable path dependency related to the degree of heterogeneity/homogeneity in the distribution of food resources. This suggests that the extent to which the Anthropocene modifies agroeconomic land surfaces toward or away from patchiness will have profound sociopolitical implications.

Free access

Giorgio Osti

The article aims to add a ludic perspective to those generally used for studying environmental issues in social sciences. To introduce in the debate a play/game metaphor enriches the interpretations of environmental crisis and provides a further motivation to action. The ludic perspective has a sociorelational background. That tradition of studies helps in constructing a set of categories that are then applied to environmental education (EE). The choice of such a topic is motivated by two factors: EE is an aspect generally practiced but mistreated in the main theorizations, and EE is exemplary of the potentialities of the playing games metaphor, which are the desire to create, the acceptance of slow changes, the protection of an experimental bubble, and irony toward environmental issues.