Publication Type:Conference Paper
Source:UK Postgraduate Science and Technology Studies Conference (2009)
Keywords:climate change, Ecological Modernisation, software, translation
By way of investigating corporate realities of instances of ecological modernisation this paper sets out to discuss how practices of translating existences of carbon dioxide seemingly achieve both sustaining capitalism as well as objectivism. To approach this aim I draw on ongoing ethnographic research in a multinational corporation. The multinational describes itself as the global leader in social and ecological justice within the financial services sector. The material for this paper stems primarily from the corporation’s head quarter and, secondarily, covers branches of its environmental network at several other sites.
The paper’s use of the concept “translation” draws on actor-network theory. I will describe mutations of the concept in the context of critical ecological modernisation studies focussing on two dimensions: First, the paper, discusses translations which sustain capitalist practices and rationalities. Second, I consider translations which systematically reproduce the neglect of uncertainty and end up in performances of objectivity.
Technologies, social – such as management configuration – and material – such as the corporation’s intranet – and their hybrids, provide locations to study the co-constructions of translations for getting rid of carbon dioxide while embracing it at the same time. The latter contradiction is key to the formation of corporate carbon dioxide technology: on the one hand devices are constructed in order to minimise carbon dioxide emissions, on the other hand through devices an enactment of continued need for carbon dioxide takes place. Networks depend on corporate carbon dioxide emissions. I will present emerging thoughts on how humans, inscribed with these seemingly contradictory trajectories, maintain their interests in the context of multiple translations. Because a corporate database is in use for knowing carbon dioxide as well as minimising it I look into its agency of automatically creating translations.