Jonathan Wald Annotations

Across Scales and Systems (

Sunday, August 9, 2020 - 10:24pm
  • deutero [reflective/learning capacity]: How are people and organizations denoting and worrying about the phenomena you study?
    • I often felt like I was in a hall of mirrors where everyone was watching everyone else watching everything else. Not only are climate scientists turning to environmental data of various sorts, they are also thinking of who is producing that data, who can see what data they are using, and how it looks for them to be using those data sets.
  • meta [dominant discourses]: What discourses constitute and circulate around the phenomena you study? Where are there discursive risks and gaps?
    • Climate change was most frequently rendered as an economic concern (“Green Economy”) or as a disaster problem (“regional security.”) The discourse around authoritarianism and democracy was whispered. It could not be discussed openly, but was understood as a causal factor in the climate crisis. This whispered discourse bore many traces of socioambientialismo, a Brazilian democratic environmental movement which emerged in the 1980s.
  • macro [law, political economy]: What laws and economies undergird and shape the power the phenomena you study?
    • State and federal laws were discussed but did not solely determine the field. Mining and manufacturing industries were also important actors. French and German regional law governed international collaborations.
  • meso [organizations]: What organizations are implicated in the phenomena you study? What geopolitics are in play?
    • Municipal, state, federal, and international state agencies, local water basin committees, labour unions, and indigenous groups (actively excluded, but present nonetheless).
  • bio [bodies]: What are the bodily effects of the phenomena you study? 
    • Broadly speaking – destruction due to climate change carries a host of embodied consequences. More specifically, work in a government bureaucracy led to a lot of sighing, slouching, and generally depressed demeanor.
  • micro [practices]: What (labor, reproductive, communicative) practices constitute and are animated by the phenomena you study? 
    • Many of the practices revolve around compiling digitized data, both for environmental enforcement and for a variety of policy projects. This work was punctuated by semi-public PowerPoint presentations.
  • nano [language, subjectivity]: What kinds of subjects are produced by and imbricated in the phenomena you study? 
    • People encouraged to understand themselves as simultaneous impacted by and producing climate change.
  • edxo [education and expertise]: What modes of expertise and education are imbricated in the phenomena you study? 
    • Physical geography, engineering (particularly a new program called “electrical engineering” which provided a systems view of energy use), computer science for modeling, “bureaucraft.”
  • data [data infrastructure]: What data, infrastructure, analytic and visualization capabilities account for and animate the phenomena you study? 
    • GIS software, Excel spreadsheets, simple PowerPoint presentations.
  • techno [roads, transport]: What technical conditions produce and delimit the phenomena you study? 
    • Meteorological monitoring stations, accurate reporting of emissions in a wide variety of industries, computing power
  • eco-atmo [ecology, climate]: What ecological and climatic conditions situate the phenomena you study? 
    • Greenhouse gas effect, water cycle, soil conditions.
  • geo [earth systems]: What geological formations, contaminations, resources and scarcities ground the phenomena?
    • River basins, mineral deposits, water-soluble toxins from mining, land use leading to deforestation.
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