The September issue of American Anthropologist included a nice review of this blog in its Public anthropology section. Written by Edward Maclin, a PhD Candidate in UGA’s environmental anthropology program, it was part of a review of anthropologists using new media to take on the UNFCCC climate talks last December in Copenhagen. While the full piece can be viewed at this link, here’s what he had to say about Accounting for Atmosphere:

On Accounting for Atmosphere, Jerome Whitington has been
blogging about the connections of anthropology and climate
change since July of 2009. Whitington’s research is
on climate change, broadly conceived—and he plans on
using his blog collaboratively to connect empirical details
to the large-scale issues climate change presents. Rather
than a “shotgun approach” that tries to capture all of
the relevant literature, he opts for “conceptual specificity”
(Whitington 2009b). Thus, instead of starting by reading
all the background papers, he begins by bringing together
a logically consistent framework and retrofitting it as
necessary—continually redefining theory as new cases are
added. Whitington here takes advantage of the weblog format,
with each post containing a defined kernel of thought
and hyperlinks allowing ideas to interact.Whitington’s posts
range in topic from Alfred Kroeber and Green Technology
to violence at COP protests in Copenhagen and the
weakness of political will in the face of bureaucracy. Perhaps
most interesting is that Whitington sets out to use this
blog as part of a new and expanding collaborative-research
project involving both anthropologists and nonanthropologists
in “public thinking and hopefully conjoint research”
(Whitington 2009a). Whitington’s blog is almost entirely
text based, and despite his eloquent prose he does not take
full advantage of the format’s multimedia capabilities—
though considering his goals it is not clear that images
and video would add benefits to his site. Like Turner’s
blog, public comments are scarce. A list of outgoing blog
links features only one member: Adam Henne’s Natures/
Cultures blog.

(Maclin, p. 466 American Anthropologist • 112:3 • September 2010)

Thanks for the kind word, Edward! As I head to the latest round of climate talks in a couple weeks, I certainly hope to be using this virtual space a lot more. Believe me there’s a lot to say!

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