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Accepted Paper:

Uneven Geographies of Climate Knowledge Production in Vanuatu  


Foley Pfalzgraf (University of Hawaii)

Paper short abstract:

Analyzing the history of climate knowledge production in Vanuatu, including the historical establishment of sensors and contemporary climate capacity building programs, provides a compelling space to rescale climate knowledge production temporally and geographically.

Paper long abstract:

Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that Pacific Islands have not significantly contributed to greenhouse gas emissions but bear significant climate impacts, Pacific Islanders are largely absent from speaking in climate research and discourse. Theorists in political ecology and science and technology studies emphasize studying the historical determinants and multi-scalar processes that bring particular regimes of knowledge into place. Drawing from this approach this paper analyzes the history and spatiality of climate knowledge production, answering the question: to what extent is there an uneven geography of climate knowledge production and what are the implications of such inequities? Drawing from Vanuatu as a case study of contemporary knowledge politics and processes of accumulation by degradation, this paper analyzes the colonial history of climate observation and outlines contemporary concerns from scientists in Vanuatu. Ultimately, this paper argues that contemporary climate change knowledge production cannot be isolated from historical processes of colonialism and accumulation.

Panel AN01
(Re)scaling the Anthropocene