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"It's a conspiracy theory and climate change": Of beastly encounters and cervine disappearances in Himalayan India

By Nayanika Mathur

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Abstract

This paper traces the introduction of the category of climate change into the Indian Himalaya. Climate change emerged as an explanation for recurring incidences of human-animal conflict and the disappearance of a protected species through the labours of the local state bureaucracy. Even as the narratives on climate change were being imbued with expert authority, counter narratives dealing with the very same phenomena voiced by long-term residents of the Himalayas were summarily dismissed by the state as constituting mere conspiracy theories. This paper accords both these narratives equal space and details the effects of the explanatory force of climate change in this region. It argues for an enhanced ethnographic specificity to the political work done in the name of climate change. Building upon ethnographic insights, this works ends by outlining certain distinctive characteristics of climate change as a concept and call to act upon the world.

Submitter

Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2015
Publication Title HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 87-111
ISBN/ISSN 2049-1115
Publisher HAU
Location of Publication Holy Angel University Sto. Rosario St. Santo Rosario St, Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines
DOI https://doi.org/10.14318/hau5.1.005
URL https://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau5.1.005
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Asia
  2. Cats
  3. Climate
  4. Extinction
  5. human-animal conflict
  6. Human-animal relationships
  7. India
  8. Mammals
  9. Physical environment