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Environmental Futures

Environmental Futures

Jessica Barnes

ISBN: 978-1-119-27832-0 May 2016 Wiley-Blackwell 212 Pages


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Concerns about the exploitation of limited resources, optimum development trajectories, and climate change draw attention to the temporal horizons of our environment - Environmental Futures is a curated collection of essays that explores different ways of knowing the future and how these futures shape contemporary social worlds.

  • Includes a range of detailed case studies, from ice melting in Antarctica to coal mining in Bangladesh, flooding in Colombia to climate modelling in Egypt
  • Approaches prognosis as a cultural, political, and material process
  • Reveals the ways in which authority and expertise may be reinforced, circumscribed, or contested in the process of making a prediction and its aftermath
  • Offers novel insights on how and why futures come to be significant in the present
  1. Prognosis: visions of environmental futures (Andrew S. Mathews and Jessica Barnes)
  2. Sensing the ice: field science, models, and expert intimacy with knowledge (Jessica O’Reilly)
  3. Uncertainty in the signal: modelling Egypt’s water futures (Jessica Barnes)
  4. Subsoil abundance and surface absence: a junior mining company and its performance of prognosis in Northwestern Ecuador (David Kneas)
  5. Mines and signs: resource and political futures in Bangladesh (Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury)
  6. Chronicle of a disaster foretold: scientific risk assessment, public participation, and the politics of imperilment in Bristol Bay, Alaska (Karen Hébert)
  7. A doubtful hope: resource affect in a future oil economy (Gisa Weszkalnys)
  8. Liquid Oman: oil, water, and causality in Southern Arabia (Mandana Limbert)
  9. Prognosis past: the temporal politics of disaster in Colombia (Austin Zeiderman)
  10. Claiming futures (Elizabeth Ferry)