Chapter 3 explores the role of the networks of WWF and its representatives in how WWF has approached its northern work and the reception to its northern work, ideas and proposals. The chapter stresses the value of networks and their necessity to effect any change with actors such as governments and businesses. The chapter also alludes to some of the potential liabilities for an organization’s credibility when it decides to partner with certain actors whose existence or history run counter to an organization’s purpose and stated priorities. It notes the concerns in the non-state actor literature about NGOs being perceived by their supporters as selling out or being co-opted by corporate or government actors when accepting financial support from them and how the challenge of fundraising, partnerships and alliances is navigated by WWF in Circumpolar North/Arctic work.
Chapter 1 contextualizes the book’s exploration of how WWF approaches its Arctic work and how it is received by regional, national and local actors by situating WWF’s work within the wider context of the history of IENGO involvement in the North. It introduces core concepts necessary to understand the operating conditions for environmental and animal rights organizations, and WWF in particular, in the Circumpolar North, and what factors like trust, moral legitimacy and stigma are and what role they play in the capacity of IENGOs to make inroads into the Arctic with different audiences in the region.
Chapter 6 provides a snapshot of opinions, as expressed by some Arctic states representatives to the Arctic Council and Arctic Indigenous peoples representatives, on WWF’s work and engagement efforts. This chapter helps to triangulate the reception of the key audiences that WWF is trying to engage with, and opens room for discussion about how successful the WWF approach to the Arctic and the North have been to date.
The World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the most recognizable international environmental non-governmental organizations in the world. The iconic panda symbol is known around the globe but in recent years a different bear has taken centre stage in the organization’s international work: the polar bear. The Arctic has become one of the organization’s key focus areas in the twenty-first century, but what the general public is less aware of is the fact that WWF has been involved in its northern work for decades. Within academic literature about WWF’s Arctic and northern engagement, much attention is given to cursory references to the organization’s participation as an observer within the Arctic region’s pre-eminent forum for environmental protection and economic development work – the Arctic Council. This book delves into the work of WWF in the Arctic and the North and focuses on how it has built its role in regional discussions and decision-making in order to engage different local, national, regional and international audiences.
In the Anthropocene, icebergs have moved from the periphery to the centre of global public consciousness, their ephemerality and mutability ominously signalling the changes operating at a planetary level. The calving of a giant tabular iceberg is now understood as a political event, framed by global media headlines not only as a visual spectacle but also as a source of communal fear, anxiety, guilt, and anger. At the same time, tourists have been visiting the Antarctic region in exponentially increasing numbers – a trend that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted but is unlikely to stop. Iceberg encounters are a key part of this experience, even while the icescape itself is impacted by anthropogenic warming, to which the travel required to reach the Antarctic region is a contributor. In this chapter, I propose a new term, ‘cryonarrative’, as shorthand to describe contemporary stories that explore interactions between humans and ice, and suggest ways in which this term might help us think about the current meanings being assigned to icebergs. Within tourism and media contexts, icebergs are often subject to reductive narratives that render them as aesthetic objects for human consumption or symbols of human doom. As a counter to this anthropocentric approach, I consider the advantages of characterizing and narrating icebergs as travellers on a planetary scale whose journeys are interconnected with our own.
In the 1930s, Arctic sea ice became very visible in Soviet life. Moving sea ice was recognized as an important actant in polar expeditions of different kinds: the Chelyuskin disaster, the icebreaker Krasin rescue voyage, Papanin’s drifting research station on an ice floe. Sea ice gradually stopped being seen as an obstacle in political and cultural discourses and became an element in the process of environing –transformation of nature into environment. To facilitate this process, however, sea ice needed to be carefully studied to better understand and predict its movements. Wherever possible the ice should become friendly, along with the rest of the Arctic that was also becoming friendly, as its most dangerous features were overcome thanks to human-induced transformation. This chapter considers the spaces and collections of the Museum of the Arctic, which opened in 1937 in Leningrad, with the focus on how sea ice was reimagined, depicted, and engaged with. It demonstrates how attitudes towards sea ice, and the ways of representing it that were established in the 1930s, continue to exert a powerful influence today. Icebreakers remain important objects and protagonists in the transformation of Arctic sea ice and continue to exert power as both heroic heritage and powerful contemporary symbols of Russian Arctic development and dominance.
This chapter answers the following questions: What is the mountain cryosphere? And what value does it have for ice humanities scholars? Unlike the Greenland or Antarctic icesheets, or even the Arctic cryosphere, the mountain cryosphere is not picked out by geographical continuity. Scattered across the globe, it is defined by a shared topographical situation. I argue that key geographical features of the mountain cryosphere – its near global distribution and its proximity to human habitations – render it both challenging and rewarding for ice humanities: challenging due to its dispersion and diversity – it is difficult to say something about humans and the mountain cryosphere in general; rewarding because, as homes and accessible places to visit, mountains are known in many ways, and thus present opportunities for studying multifaceted and entangled ways of knowing, experiencing, and representing ice. Of the world’s population, 13 per cent live in mountainous regions; many more depend on mountain glaciers and snowpack for water, power, and ecological and cultural services. Reflecting on the mountain cryosphere forcefully refutes the notion that ice is distant, peripheral, or marginal.
In oceanographer Wallace Broecker’s landmark article ‘Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming’, published in Science in 1975, ice played a crucial, yet somewhat opaque, role. By using data from the 1966 Camp Century ice core, Broecker made claims about future global warming. The ice core itself was not the heart of the inquiry for Broecker; rather it served as a frame of reference in the making of a different object of knowledge: the warming planet. Ice cores have increasingly become ‘planetary archives’ of interest to scientists beyond glaciology and they have ventured from a remote existence in the cryosphere into the models of Earth system scientists.
This chapter aims to situate ice core drilling within a broader history of the making of planetary-scale environmental knowledge. By tracing early applications of ice core data in scientific practices beyond glaciology, the work of the ice core can be located in a process of temporalization of the planetary environment. During the 1970s and 1980s, ice cores became crucial elements in the efforts to synchronize multiple paleoarchives into a coherent understanding of planetary dynamics. By conceptualizing ice cores as environing media, this chapter points to the multiple stages of mediation ice cores have undergone during the postwar era and their subsequent rise as a key technology to produce planetary-scale environmental knowledge.
There is a growing effort to move beyond the documentation of ice loss and, instead, to pursue projects that protect and preserve glaciers. These direct-action strategies can be referred to as ‘glacier protection campaigns’, and they range from geoengineering activities that slow ice melting to laws and policies that protect cryo-landscapes. This chapter analyses five different glacier-saving campaigns: (1) insulating blankets on Switzerland’s Rhône Glacier (2) glacier protection at European ski resorts (3) building artificial glaciers and ice stupas in India (4) Argentina's glacier protection law (5) the granting of legal personhood status for two glaciers in India. The chapter emphasis, however, is not on technical aspects of the campaigns themselves, but rather focuses on analysing underlying narratives and agendas embedded in the media stories, news articles, lawsuits, policies, and reports about glacier protection campaigns. The chapter follows an ‘ice humanities’ approach by focusing on the representations of glacier icons and objects through these campaigns. It shows how news and media accounts about glacier-saving activities do much more than explain the glacier projects. Ultimately, the stories about glacier-saving campaigns promote certain uses of ice, advocate a small set of solutions to the climate crisis, and privilege specific actors and entities (while silencing others) who are granted authority over ice. Solutions to the climate crisis and ice loss are thus themselves transformative. They preserve ice and also alter landscapes, shift governance and environmental politics, prioritize technoscientific interventions, commodify environments, exacerbate social inequalities, and change meanings and values of nonhuman nature.
Jurisdiction in the Arctic is always connected to ice in its material and imaginary forms. In Canada, attempts to assert jurisdiction and sovereignty in the north are also part of the colonial project. As we face a warming Arctic, itself leading to different ice conditions and experiences, it is vital to remember that the colonial lens has had a significant impact on our interactions and understanding of ice. This chapter contends that, in recent years, the concern about the future of Arctic ice (and the creatures that live on it) has served the purpose of asserting colonial jurisdiction. In this practice, environmental degradation, easily recognizable in the changing ice of the Arctic, is drafted as a rationale for increasing state jurisdiction, often in opposition to indigenous ways of life. By examining the scientific legacy of the Arctic Pilot Project and the rise of polar bear deterrence programmes, this chapter will argue that contemporary understandings of the Anthropocene have been drafted by the Canadian state to not only protect a melting environment, but also to assert state jurisdiction and ensure the continuity of the settler state.