Search Results: a-vast-machine-computer-models-climate-data-and-the-politics-of-global-warming-infrastructures

A Vast Machine

Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

Author: Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262290715

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 546

View: 3362

Global warming skeptics often fall back on the argument that the scientific case for global warming is all model predictions, nothing but simulation; they warn us that we need to wait for real data, "sound science." In A Vast Machine Paul Edwards has news for these skeptics: without models, there are no data. Today, no collection of signals or observations -- even from satellites, which can "see" the whole planet with a single instrument -- becomes global in time and space without passing through a series of data models. Everything we know about the world's climate we know through models. Edwards offers an engaging and innovative history of how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere -- to measure it, trace its past, and model its future.

A Vast Machine

Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

Author: Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: MIT Press (MA)

ISBN: 9780262518635

Category: Computers

Page: 518

View: 1768

The science behind global warming, and its history: how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere, to measure it, to trace its past, and to model its future.

A Vast Machine

Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

Author: Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: Mit Press

ISBN: 9780262013925

Category: Computers

Page: 518

View: 7960

The science behind global warming, and its history: how scientists learned tounderstand the atmosphere, to measure it, to trace its past, and to model its future.

Fixing the Sky

The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control

Author: James Rodger Fleming

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023114413X

Category: Science

Page: 325

View: 9775

Weaving together stories from elite science, cutting-edge technology, and popular culture, Fleming examines issues of health and navigation in the 1830s, drought in the 1890s, aircraft safety in the 1930s, and world conflict since the 1940s.

Hawking Incorporated

Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject

Author: Hélène Mialet

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226522261

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 7036

These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking. Drawing on an extensive and in-depth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking—who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all—is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so. Each chapter focuses on a description of the functioning and coordination of different elements or media that create his presence, agency, identity, and competencies. Attentive to Hawking’s daily activities, including his lecturing and scientific writing, Mialet’s ethnographic analysis powerfully reassesses the notion of scientific genius and its associations with human singularity. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Stephen Hawking or an extraordinary life in science.

Changing Life

Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities

Author: Peter J. Taylor,Saul E. Halfon,Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9780816630134

Category: Science

Page: 230

View: 1098

In laboratories all over the world, life -- even the idea of life -- is changing. And with these changes, whether they result in square tomatoes or cyborgs, come transformations in our social order -- sometimes welcome, sometimes troubling. Changing Life offers a close look at how the mutable forms and concepts of life link the processes of science to those of information, finance, and commodities. These essays -- about planetary management and genome sequencing, ecologies and cyborgs -- address actual and imagined transformations at the center and at the margins of transnational relations, during the post-Cold War era and in times to come.

Inventing Atmospheric Science

Bjerknes, Rossby, Wexler, and the Foundations of Modern Meteorology

Author: James Rodger Fleming

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262033941

Category: Science

Page: 312

View: 869

How scientists used transformative new technologies to understand the complexities of weather and the atmosphere, told through the intertwined careers of three key figures.

Why We Disagree about Climate Change

Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity

Author: Mike Hulme

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107268893

Category: Business & Economics

Page: N.A

View: 1903

Climate change is not 'a problem' waiting for 'a solution'. It is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon which is re-shaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity's place on Earth. Drawing upon twenty-five years of professional work as an international climate change scientist and public commentator, Mike Hulme provides a unique insider's account of the emergence of this phenomenon and the diverse ways in which it is understood. He uses different standpoints from science, economics, faith, psychology, communication, sociology, politics and development to explain why we disagree about climate change. In this way he shows that climate change, far from being simply an 'issue' or a 'threat', can act as a catalyst to revise our perception of our place in the world. Why We Disagree About Climate Change is an important contribution to the ongoing debate over climate change and its likely impact on our lives.

Arming Mother Nature

The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism

Author: Jacob Darwin Hamblin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199911592

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 3339

When most Americans think of environmentalism, they think of the political left, of vegans dressed in organic-hemp fabric, lofting protest signs. In reality, writes Jacob Darwin Hamblin, the movement--and its dire predictions--owe more to the Pentagon than the counterculture. In Arming Mother Nature, Hamblin argues that military planning for World War III essentially created "catastrophic environmentalism": the idea that human activity might cause global natural disasters. This awareness, Hamblin shows, emerged out of dark ambitions, as governments poured funds into environmental science after World War II, searching for ways to harness natural processes--to kill millions of people. Proposals included the use of nuclear weapons to create artificial tsunamis or melt the ice caps to drown coastal cities; setting fire to vast expanses of vegetation; and changing local climates. Oxford botanists advised British generals on how to destroy enemy crops during the war in Malaya; American scientists attempted to alter the weather in Vietnam. This work raised questions that went beyond the goal of weaponizing nature. By the 1980s, the C.I.A. was studying the likely effects of global warming on Soviet harvests. "Perhaps one of the surprises of this book is not how little was known about environmental change, but rather how much," Hamblin writes. Driven initially by strategic imperatives, Cold War scientists learned to think globally and to grasp humanity's power to alter the environment. "We know how we can modify the ionosphere," nuclear physicist Edward Teller proudly stated. "We have already done it." Teller never repented. But many of the same individuals and institutions that helped the Pentagon later warned of global warming and other potential disasters. Brilliantly argued and deeply researched, Arming Mother Nature changes our understanding of the history of the Cold War and the birth of modern environmental science.

Refining Expertise

How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges

Author: Gwen Ottinger

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814762611

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 1036

Winner of the 2015 Rachel Carson Prize presented by the Society for Social Studies of Science Residents of a small Louisiana town were sure that the oil refinery next door was making them sick. As part of a campaign demanding relocation away from the refinery, they collected scientific data to prove it. Their campaign ended with a settlement agreement that addressed many of their grievances—but not concerns about their health. Yet, instead of continuing to collect data, residents began to let refinery scientists' assertions that their operations did not harm them stand without challenge. What makes a community move so suddenly from actively challenging to apparently accepting experts' authority? Refining Expertise argues that the answer lies in the way that refinery scientists and engineers defined themselves as experts. Rather than claiming to be infallible, they began to portray themselves as responsible—committed to operating safely and to contributing to the well-being of the community. The volume shows that by grounding their claims to responsibility in influential ideas from the larger culture about what makes good citizens, nice communities, and moral companies, refinery scientists made it much harder for residents to challenge their expertise and thus re-established their authority over scientific questions related to the refinery's health and environmental effects. Gwen Ottinger here shows how industrial facilities' current approaches to dealing with concerned communities—approaches which leave much room for negotiation while shielding industry's environmental and health claims from critique—effectively undermine not only individual grassroots campaigns but also environmental justice activism and far-reaching efforts to democratize science. This work drives home the need for both activists and politically engaged scholars to reconfigure their own activities in response, in order to advance community health and robust scientific knowledge about it.

Why Forests? Why Now?

The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change

Author: Frances Seymour,Jonah Busch

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 1933286865

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 429

View: 6985

Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting development. Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort over the next five years to reverse tropical deforestation. Why Forests? Why Now? synthesizes the latest evidence on the importance of tropical forests in a way that is accessible to anyone interested in climate change and development and to readers already familiar with the problem of deforestation. It makes the case to decisionmakers in rich countries that rewarding developing countries for protecting their forests is urgent, affordable, and achievable.

Global Warming and Social Innovation

The Challenge of a Climate Neutral Society

Author: Andre Faaij,David Jager,Marcel Kok

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136564918

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 4955

Societies need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 80 per cent in order to counter the risks of climate change. This study envisions a climate neutral society - one where the output of polluting gases is minimised by social innovations set up in households, by local authorities, through developments in information and communications technologies and dematerialization, and through the shift towards product service systems and emissions trading. The work discusses the possibilities for steering and orchestrating this long-term transition towards a climate-friendly society, mapping paths through current dilemmas in climate policy and exploring the legal issues of making this transition.

The Closed World

Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America

Author: Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262550284

Category: Computers

Page: 440

View: 9268

The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence. Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a "closed-world discourse" of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of "containment" led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a " Star Wars" space-based ballistic missile defense. Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a "cyborg discourse." By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world. Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series

The Politics of Invisibility

Public Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects After Chernobyl

Author: Olga Kuchinskaya

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262027690

Category: Political Science

Page: 264

View: 9244

Before Fukushima, the most notorious large-scale nuclear accident the world had seen was Chernobyl in 1986. The fallout from Chernobyl covered vast areas in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe. Belarus, at the time a Soviet republic, suffered heavily: nearly a quarter of its territory was covered with long-lasting radionuclides. Yet the damage from the massive fallout was largely imperceptible; contaminated communities looked exactly like noncontaminated ones. It could be known only through constructed representations of it. In The Politics of Invisibility, Olga Kuchinskaya explores how we know what we know about Chernobyl, describing how the consequences of a nuclear accident were made invisible. Her analysis sheds valuable light on how we deal with other modern hazards -- toxins or global warming -- that are largely imperceptible to the human senses.Kuchinskaya describes the production of invisibility of Chernobyl's consequences in Belarus -- practices that limit public attention to radiation and make its health effects impossible to observe. Just as mitigating radiological contamination requires infrastructural solutions, she argues, the production and propagation of invisibility also involves infrastructural efforts, from redefining the scope and nature of the accident's consequences to reshaping research and protection practices. Kuchinskaya finds vast fluctuations in recognition, tracing varyingly successful efforts to conceal or reveal Chernobyl's consequences at different levels -- among affected populations, scientists, government, media, and international organizations. The production of invisibility, she argues, is a function of power relations.

The Revenge of Gaia

Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity

Author: James Lovelock

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465008666

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 9283

The key insight of Gaia Theory is that the entire Earth functions as a single living super-organism. But according to James Lovelock, the theory's originator, that organism is now sick. It is running a fever born of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but the human race faces a severe test. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from “flipping” into an entirely new equilibrium that will threaten civilization as we know it. But we can do much to save humanity. In the tradition of Silent Spring, this is a call to address a major threat to our collective future.

The Container Principle

How a Box Changes the Way We Think

Author: Alexander Klose,Charles Marcrum

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262028573

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 416

View: 3488

A cultural history of the shipping container as a crucible of globalization and a cultural paradigm.

"Raw Data" Is an Oxymoron

Author: Lisa Gitelman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262312336

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 192

View: 1317

We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured not just in terabytes but in petabytes (where peta- denotes a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion). Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every "like" stored somewhere for something. This book reminds us that data is anything but "raw," that we shouldn't think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural one that needs to be generated, protected, and interpreted. The book's essays describe eight episodes in the history of data from the predigital to the digital. Together they address such issues as the ways that different kinds of data and different domains of inquiry are mutually defining; how data are variously "cooked" in the processes of their collection and use; and conflicts over what can -- or can't -- be "reduced" to data. Contributors discuss the intellectual history of data as a concept; describe early financial modeling and some unusual sources for astronomical data; discover the prehistory of the database in newspaper clippings and index cards; and consider contemporary "dataveillance" of our online habits as well as the complexity of scientific data curation. Essay authors:Geoffrey C. Bowker, Kevin R. Brine, Ellen Gruber Garvey, Lisa Gitelman, Steven J. Jackson, Virginia Jackson, Markus Krajewski, Mary Poovey, Rita Raley, David Ribes, Daniel Rosenberg, Matthew Stanley, Travis D. Williams

Changing the Atmosphere

Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance

Author: Clark A. Miller,Paul N. Edwards

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262632195

Category: Political Science

Page: 385

View: 3639

Incorporating historical, sociological, and philosophical approaches, Changing the Atmosphere presents detailed empirical studies of climate science and its uptake into public policy.

Environmental Histories of the Cold War

Author: J. R. McNeill,Corinna R. Unger

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521762448

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 8581

Explores the links between the Cold War and the global environment, ranging from the environmental impacts of nuclear weapons to the political repercussions of environmentalism.

Governing Climate Change

Author: Harriet Bulkeley,Peter Newell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317635558

Category: Political Science

Page: 180

View: 4498

Governing Climate Change, Second Edition, provides a short and accessible introduction to how climate change is governed by an increasingly diverse range of actors, from civil society and market actors to multilateral development banks, donors, and cities. This updated edition also includes: up-to-date coverage of the negotiations post-Copenhagen (Cancun, Durban, and towards Paris) and some of the shifts in the inter-governmental politics; a deeper discussion of the roles of actors that have come to prominence in the climate negotiations; an overview of the key funding mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance, and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation); a direct assessment of what the proliferation of TCCG (Transnational Climate Change Governance) adds up to in terms of legitimacy, effectiveness etc., drawing on all the recent research in this area; an analysis of renewable energy in the UK (in the light of recent controversies around the siting of wind turbines and fracking projects). Providing an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on geography, politics, international relations, and development studies, this book is essential reading for students and scholars concerned not only with the climate governance but with the future of the environment in general.

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