Author(s): Martello ML
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Abstract Recent scientific findings, as presented in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), indicate that climate change in the Arctic is happening now, at a faster rate than elsewhere in the world, and with major implications for peoples of the Arctic (especially indigenous peoples) and the rest of the planet. This paper examines scientific and political representations of Arctic indigenous peoples that have been central to the production and articulation of these claims. ACIA employs novel forms and strategies of representation that reflect changing conceptual models and practices of global change science and depict indigenous peoples as expert, exotic, and at-risk. These portrayals emerge alongside the growing political activism of Arctic indigenous peoples who present themselves as representatives or embodiments of climate change itself as they advocate for climate change mitigation policies. These mutually constitutive forms of representation suggest that scientific ways of seeing the global environment shape and are shaped by the public image and voice of global citizens. Likewise, the authority, credibility, and visibility of Arctic indigenous activists derive, in part, from their status as at-risk experts, a status buttressed by new scientific frameworks and methods that recognize and rely on the local experiences and knowledges of indigenous peoples. Analyses of these relationships linking scientific and political representations of Arctic climate change build upon science and technology studies (STS) scholarship on visualization, challenge conventional notions of globalization, and raise questions about power and accountability in global climate change research.
This article was published in Soc Stud Sci
and referenced in Journal of Geology & Geophysics