Notes on climate change science and Eyjafjallajökull erruption – citation list
A major product of the “Reflecting on Environmental Change through Site-Based Performance” network project was the August 2012 issue of Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts (Vol. 17 No. 4) titled On Ecology. I wrote the lead article for the issue and there are excellent contributions from other project participants, including the issue’s editors Stephen Bottoms, Aaron Franks and Paula Kramer. The article proper opens with an analysis of the environmental and cultural effects of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull on 14 April 2010. A list of citations specific to that event is presented below because there was insufficient space in the journal to include them.
There is an appropriate irony in that fact, as it seems the burgeoning science of climate change has offered a singular challenge to contemporary theatre. An excellent article on the topic by Julie Hudson, published by the journal New Theatre Quarterly in the same month as On Ecology, notes that ‘82 science plays [were] written between 1992 (the year of the Rio Earth Summit) and 2004 without directly discussing climate-change science’ (p. 260 – see footnote). This would seem to be a very curious case of climate change denial, especially given the playwrights’ interest in science. But also it could be a spin-off from the transdisciplinary nature of climate change scientific research overall and the difficulties that entails for non-scientists researching its causes, effects, languages, dramas and performances. For example, there are twelve items in the reference list below that together cite a significantly larger number of scientific disciplinary domains. The essay bibliography itself adds at least another ten from the sciences, or thirteen if one counts in economics. Yet another example, perhaps, that effective practical/creative antidotes to climate change are likely to to have to work hard to ensure that less is more.
I also include the preamble/abstract of my essay by way of context for its posting here.
Baz Kershaw, Earthrise Repair Shop, September 2012.
1. Preamble and abstract.
It is common knowledge that in recent years predictions about climate change from both sciences and arts have become increasingly stark. Its main environmental causes have been identified by major international scientific bodies and its potential effects on humans imagined though many artistic genres, most spectacularly in popular film. This essay approaches the possibility of such severely increasing global climate and civil instability via indirect routes, mostly searching for its sources in everyday systemic performance encounters between the Earth’s ecologies and humanity. It begins with a brief look at global-scale performance networks, taking an isolated but typical environmental event as example. It proceeds to explore some common conditions that might be especially characteristic of climate change, mainly through juxtaposing artistic and scientific practices and results, including two of my own somewhat absurd performance research events. It tends to avoid sequential logic in its arguments, aiming instead to evolve prismatic angles of interpretation through my main concern with how individual human subjects may be integral to climate-related perturbation. This approach tentatively and variously posits that human beings currently may possess a generally unrecognised compulsion to mis-perform ecologically. But also I suggest it may be particularly critical to treat this matter lightly; otherwise it could become impossible to invent effective climate change antidotes. So the essay also aims to test the rather ridiculous notion that some types of momentary human perception in performance might help to avert global warming. Hence above I offer an ironic motto as caption to the famous earthrise image of the Emerald Planet.
List of references to scientific data and cultural effects of Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, 14 April 2010. These are presented here in alphabetical order and all relate to the first half of section 2 of the essay on pages 5 and 6 of the journal.
BBC News (2010a) ‘Flight disruptions cost airlines
$1.7 billion, says IATA’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/
business/8634147.stm, accessed 4 February 2012.
BBC News (2010b) ‘Volcanic ash: Flight chaos to continue
into weekend’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8623534.stm,
accessed 4 February 2012.
CO2Now (current) NOAA CO2 Data for the Mauna Loa
noaa-mauna-loa-co2-data.html, accessed 3 February 2012.
IATA [International Air Transport Association] (2010)
quoted by Graeme Wearden, ‘Ash clouds costing airlines
£100m a day’, The Guardian (16 April), http://www.guardian.
iata, accessed 3 February 2012.
IATA [International Air Transport Association] (2011)
Fact Sheet Environment, http://www.iata.org/pressroom/facts_
figures/fact_sheets/pages/environment.aspx, accessed 05
ICAO [International Civil Aviation Authority] (2010)
Environment Report 2010, p. 42, fig. 1, http://legacy.icao.
accessed 3 February 2012.
IEA [International Energy Agency] (2011) ‘CO2 emissions
from fuel combustion: Highlights’, p. 64, http://www.iea.org/
co2highlights/co2highlights.pdf, accessed 3 February 2012.
IES/NVS [Institute of Earth Sciences / Nordic
Volcanological Center] (2010) ‘Chemical composition’,
http://earthice.hi.is/page/IES-EY-CEMCOM, accessed 3
IiB [Information is Beautiful] (2010) ‘Planes or volcano?’,
accessed 3 February 2012.
NOAA [ National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration] (2011) ‘CO2 level trends’, ftp://ftp.cmdl.
noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt, accessed 3
Wikipedia (2010a) Eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, http://
accessed 3 February 2012.
Wikipedia (2010b) Air travel disruption after the 2010
Eyjafjallajökull eruption, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
eruption, accessed 3 February 2012.
The full reference for Baz’s essay is: Baz Kershaw (2012): “‘This is the way the world ends, not …?’: On performance compulsion and climate change.” Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 17:4, 5-17.
For Julie Hudson’s essay see: Julie Hudson (2012). “‘If You Want to Be Green Hold Your Breath’: Climate Change in British Theatre.” New Theatre Quarterly, 28, pp 260-271.