Science and Tourism in The Bahamas
University of California Press 2019
New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Caribbean StudiesNew Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and Society August 21, 2020 Lance C. Thurner
Despite being a minor contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, like many other small island nations, The Bahamas’s ecology and society are especially vulnerable to current and expected changes to the oceans and the climate. Spectacular coral reefs, low-lying islands, and a social life oriented towards the sea makes The Bahamas a posterchild of the existential dangers of global warming. At the same time, The Bahamas’s economy, firmly founded on tourism, also heavily depends upon airline and cruise line fossil fuel consumption.
Wading into this nexus, Amelia Moore casts an ethnographic eye towards the scientists, conservationists, educators, politicians, fisherpeople, and tourism boosters who attempt to understand and react to an age of ecological volatility. In contrast to assumptions of scientific objectivity and independence, Moore finds that science, politics, and business are deeply entangled in ways that are not apolitical and which require scrutiny to make adaptations to climate change more democratic and equitable.
Through prolonged research on the islands and well-paired case studies, Moore illuminates the ways that such adaptations do, can, and might not have to reproduce the inequalities inherited from colonialism and the age of fossil fuels.
Destination Anthropocene: Science and Tourism in The Bahamas (University of California Press) is a stellar example of the significance and role of humanistic – and specifically ethnographic – inquiry regarding how climate change has, is, and will change human and human-nonhuman relations. Well-written and theoretically sophisticated without heavy jargon, Destination Anthropocene is a joy to read and very well suited for use in the classroom.
Amelia Moore is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Coastal Tourism and Recreation in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island.
Lance C. Thurner teaches history at Rutgers Newark. His research and writing address the production of knowledge, political subjectivities, and racial and national identities in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Mexico. He is broadly interested in the pedagogical applications of the digital humanities and the methods and politics of applying a global perspective to the history of science and medicine. More at http://empiresprogeny.org.
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