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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

In 2013, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced the end of the Yasuní-ITT initiative. The initiative had proposed to combat climate change by not exploiting oil reserves in one section of the Yasuní National Park. Anticipating outcry, Correa promised that operations would affect less than one thousandth of the park, or “menos del uno por mil.” This article examines the role of numerical calculations in the governance of subterranean resources. Numbers do a particular kind of labor to rationalize the shift contained in the Yasuní-ITT initiative that rhetoric alone does not. Metrics such as el uno por mil constitute and translate between diverse realms of value. Yet, contrary to the assumption that numbers are derived from strictly technical, expert processes, I show how such metrics are fundamental to translations between incalculable matters of nature, the future, and the “good” when deployed in contests over the effects of oil on life.

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Participation, Process and Partnerships

Climate Change and Long-term Stakeholder Engagement

Carrie Furman, Wendy-Lin Bartels and Jessica Bolson

As awareness of the potential threats posed by climate change increases, researchers and agricultural advisors are being called upon to determine the risks that different stakeholder groups will likely confront and to develop adaptive strategies. Yet, engaging with stakeholders takes time. It also requires a clear and detailed plan to ensure that research and outreach activities yield useful outputs. In this article, we focus on the role of anthropologists as researchers and conveners in stakeholder engagement and provide a generalised overview of a long-term engagement process proceeding in three stages: (1) fact-finding and relationship- building; (2) incubation and collaborative learning; and (3) informed engagement and broad dissemination. We conclude with a discussion of perspectives and challenges that were encountered during two engagement experiences in the south-eastern United States.

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Ingolfur Blühdorn

Following the end of their government coalition with the Social Democratic Party, German Green Party leaders spoke of "a dawn of new opportunities" for Alliance 90/The Greens. They wanted to capitalize on the strategic opportunities afforded by Germany's new five-party system and on the unexpected rise of climate change in public debate. Shortly before the 2009 federal election, however, the party's "new opportunities" seem rather limited. Selectively focusing on one particular explanatory factor, this article contrasts the Green's neo-radical eco-political position as it has emerged since 2005 with the ways in which environmental issues are addressed by the currently popular LOHAS (Life of Health and Sustainability) consumer movement. It suggests that the German Greens may have paid too little attention to the ongoing reframing of the environmental issue in public discourse and that this has impaired their prospects for a swift return to government office.

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Imagining Futures of Energy

Views from Central Asia

Markus S. Schulz

The future of energy is crucial for human mobility and well-being on a finite planet. What energy types are available to cover global needs? To what extent can they be produced and consumed safely? How can the negative effects of global warming, climate change, and environmental degradation be avoided? Who will benefit, and who will be at risk? Faced with such urgent questions, it was timely that the World Expo 2017 was dedicated to the theme of “Future Energy.” Held from June to September in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, a total of 115 countries, 22 international organizations, and several transnational corporations set up their own pavilions and exhibition spaces. Close to four million people visited the three-month-long expo, including an estimated five hundred thousand from abroad.

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Ecosystem integrity and policy coherence for development

Tools aimed at achieving balance as the basis for transformative development

Harlan Koff, Miguel Equihua Zamora, Carmen Maganda and Octavio Pérez-Maqueo

If aliens were to look down on planet Earth and observe us, they might be led to believe that the natural state of humanity is crisis. Whether we focus on politics, economics, society or the environment, it seems that crises are perpetuated and possibly even expanded in global affairs. For example, we have recently witnessed war in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, expanded flows of refugees and the resulting nativist fears expressed in those countries where they arrive or could potentially arrive, unprecedented global financial crises, the depletion of natural resources and our alleged contribution to deadly disasters (such as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013) through climate change. Borrowing from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s observation of 19th century French politics, we may argue that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” (http://www.histoire encitations.fr/citations/Karr-plus-ca-change-plus-c-est-la-meme-chose)

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Hugh Beach, Dmitri Funk, and Lennard Sillanpää, eds., Post-Soviet Transformations: Politics of Ethnicity and Resource Use in Russia Anna Bara

Susan A. Crate and Mark Nuttall, eds., Anthropology and Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions Zareen Pervez Bharucha

Benjamin Isitt, From Victoria to Vladivostok. Canada’s Siberian Expedition, 1917–1919 J. L. Black

U. K. Kuznetsova, The Dictionary of Tuvan Culture: Angloiazychnyi slovar’ tuvinskoi kul’tury Alexander D. King

Yu. V. Popkov and E. A. Tyugashev, Filosofiia Severa: Korenye Malochislennye Narody Severa v Stsenariiakh Miroustroistva [Philosophy of the North: Indigenous Peoples of the North in World Order Scenarios] Karl Mertens

Douglas Rogers, The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals David Z. Scheffel

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Introduction

A New Journal for Contemporary Environmental Challenges

Paige West, Dan Brockington, Jamon Halvaksz and Michael Cepek

Social scientists have been writing about the relationships between people and their surroundings for as long as there has been social scientific inquiry. Fields such as anthropology, economics, history, human geography, law, political science, psychology, and sociology all have long and rich histories of contributing to and pioneering socio-environmental analysis. However, the past 20 years have seen a proliferation of scholarship in the social sciences that is focused on environmental issues. This is due, in part, to changes in our environment that have profound implications for the future of both human society and the environment. It is also due, in part, to the ways in which environmental practitioners have portrayed the causes of these changes. In the 1970s, social scientists, concerned with the ways in which the causes of environmental changes were being attributed to some peoples and not others, felt that their knowledge of social processes and social systems could shed light on these issues (see Blaikie and Brookfield 1987). They thought that the methods and theories of the social sciences could and should be brought to bear on questions about contemporary environmental changes. Climate change, the water crisis, deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss, the energy crisis, nascent resource wars, environmental refugees, and environmental justice are just some of the many compelling challenges facing society today that were identified by these early scholars as sites in need of social scientific analysis.

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George Holmes, Joel Wainwright, Jason Yaeger, Eric D. Carter, Kelley L. Denham, K. Jill Fleuriet, Kathleen Gillogly, Shannon Stunden Bower, Joel Hartter, Catherine Fennell and Andrew Oberle

Dowie, Mark, Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples

Escobar , Arturo, Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes

Fagan , Brian, The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Hornborg , Alf, J. R. McNeill, and Joan Martinez-Alier, eds., Rethinking Environmental History: World-System History and Global Environmental Change

Jones, Eric C., and Arthur D. Murphy , eds., The Political Economy of Hazards and Disasters

Langston, Nancy, Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES

Li, Tania Murray, The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics

Radkau, Joachim, Nature and Power: A Global History of the Environment

Robbins , Paul, Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are

Sheridan , Michael, and Celia Nyamweru, eds., African Sacred Groves: Ecological Dynamics & Social Change

Walker, Richard, The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area

Wrangham , Richard, and Elizabeth Ross, eds., Science and Conservation in African Forests: The Benefits of Long-Term Research

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SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, Joshua Reno, Tal Liron, Genevieve Lakier, Andrew Tarter, Adam Henne, Joseph Doyle Hankins, Peter Rudiak-Gould, Sharla Blank, J. Stephen Lansing, Alaka Wali, John Wagner, David Zurick, Robert Fletcher and Brian Grabbatin

BUTTON, Gregory, Disaster Culture: Knowledge and Uncertainty in the Wake of Human and Environmental Catastrophe

FALASCA-ZAMPONI, Simonetta, Waste and Consumption: Capitalism, the Environment, and the Life of Things

FIJN, Natasha, Living with Herds: Human-Animal Coexistence in Mongolia

GUNERATNE, Arjun, ed., Culture and the Environment in the Himalaya

HASTRUP, Frida, Weathering the World: Recovery in the Wake of the Tsunami in a Tamil Fishing Village

JOHNSTON, Barbara Rose, ed., Life and Death Matters: Human Rights, Environment and Social Justice

KIRBY, Peter Wynn, Troubled Natures: Waste, Environment, Japan

MCADAM, Jane. ed., Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

MENZIES, Charles R., Red Flags and Lace Coiff es: Identity and Survival in a Breton Village

MORAN, Emilio F., Environmental Social Science: Human-Environment Interactions and Sustainability

NEWING, Helen, Conducting Research in Conservation: A Social Science Perspective

PARR, Joy, Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953–2003

RADEMACHER, Anne M., Reigning the River: Urban Ecologies and Political Transformation in Kathmandu

RUTHERFORD, Stephanie, Governing the Wild: Ecotours of Power

WALKER, Peter A. and Patrick T. HURLEY, Planning Paradise: Politics and Visioning of Land Use in Oregon

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Timothy B. Leduc and Susan A Crate

This article is concerned with the way in which indigenous place-based knowledge and understandings, in a time of global climate change, have the potential to challenge researchers to self-reflexively shift the focus of their research toward those technological and consumer practices that are the cultural context of our research. After reviewing some literature on the emergence of self-reflexivity in research, the authors offer two case studies from their respective environmental education and anthropological research with northern indigenous cultures that clarifies the nature of a self-reflexive turn in place-based climate research and education. The global interconnections between northern warming and consumer culture-and its relation to everexpanding technological systems-are considered by following the critical insights of place-based knowledge. We conclude by examining the possibility that relocalizing our research, teaching, and ways of living in consumer culture are central to a sustainable future, and if so, the knowledge and understandings of current place-based peoples will be vital to envisioning such a cultural transformation of our globalizing system.