Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Integrative Research Institute Law & Society (LSI)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Juristische Fakultät | Integrative Research Institute Law & Society (LSI) | Termine | Javiera Barandiarán: Environmental Memory and Regulation: Reflections from Lithium-Rich Salt Flats

Javiera Barandiarán: Environmental Memory and Regulation: Reflections from Lithium-Rich Salt Flats

  • Was DynamInt1 EPEDER IRI L&S
  • Wann 24.05.2022 von 18:15 bis 19:45
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Salt flats are the remnants of terminal lakes, where the water that once lay there seeped underground or evaporated into the atmosphere. Salt flats today are receiving renewed attention from the mining industry as a source of low-cost lithium, a soft, white metal used in electric vehicles. This mining boom is putting salt flats, and their surrounding ecosystems, under environmental stress. This talk shares work in progress which reviews what scientists know of this stress and the interactions between this knowledge and regulation, its historical context, and some of the consequences for climate change. Drawing on the writings of geologists and scientists, as well as regulatory environmental studies, the analysis reflects on the underlying views of nature that inform these writings and ongoing debates about the sustainability of salt flat mining. Existing regulation fails to adequately protect salt flats due in part to its conceptual commitments to the present and future, at the expense of environmental historical memory, as evidenced in the views of nature held by different scientists.

Barandiaran-Javiera.jpgJaviera Barandiarán is an associate professor in the Global Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her BA from the University of Edinburgh and PhD in environmental science, policy, and management at the University of California, Berkeley. Barandiarán is the author of Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy (MIT, 2018) and has published widely in journals such as Environmental Politics, Journal of Political Ecology, and Latin American Research Review. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the National Science Foundation, among others. She is a fellow at The American Academy in Berlin.




Photo: Annette Hornischer

This event is part of the lecture series Regulating Extremes: Climate Change.