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Turtle Is-Land continues to burn...

Scary stories from Halifax where wildfires ('unprecedented') have taken up to 10 homes and threaten many more. Evacuations continue and meanwhile on the Prairies Albertans go to the polls today with climate change treated like a drunk uncle at a kids birthday party.

Public and political commitments to addressing climate change have advanced and retreated while the necessary solutions must be consistent over decades to be successful[1]. Yet globally, the public environmental data space post-2008 GFC has been a time of constrained government resources and eroding trust in public and private organizations.[2] As governments adapt to rapidly changing environment issues during ongoing fiscal constraints due to Covid shutdowns, they must be able to rely on rigorous policy and regulatory bodies to protect the health and security of citizens while also progressing sustainable management of resources.

Bratton (1989)[3] gives an excellent overview of the Convid-19 pandemic (“Revenge of the Real: Politics for a post-pandemic world”) that has many parallels with environmental governance, including data management. Bratton argues that “politics is moving from law to biology” which by extension can be interpreted as ecology. Geotechnology and geopolitics will ultimately be indistinguishable from one another as sensing and modelling become integral to care of

Climate science has all these apart from the last, which is what enables change. Anti-vax/anti-state/anti-climate change protests challenge not the reality of power but the power of reality. For better or for worse, reality keeps winning. the individual body and society, to the scale of the planet. Bratton talks of a “biopolitical stack” comprising “an integrated, available, modular, programmable, flexible, tweakable, customizable, predictable, equitable, responsive, sustainable infrastructure for sensing, modelling and recursive action”[4].

Interesting times.

Thoughts and prayers to those in Halifax and Alberta.

[1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2023). Sixth Assessment Report. IPCC. [2] Chabbi, A., Loescher, H. W., & Dillon, M. S. (2017). Integrating Environmental Science and the Economy: Innovative Partnerships between the Private Sector and Research Infrastructures. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 5. [3] Bratton, M. (1989). The politics of government-NGO relations in Africa. World Development, 17(4), 569–587. Bratton notes the next pandemic will have to deal with a minority of vocal dissenters who are both well-resourced and highly motivated and who collectively “disavow the real”. In uncertain times, “stupidity adapts. Stupidity evolves” (p. 164; emphasis in the original). [4] Bratton, p. 145.

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