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This COLD CASE focuses on the emergent ecological discourse around the rights of nature. Specifically, the ethical and ecological question as to whether one has the ‘right’ to ‘break’ sea ice as a routine consequence of maritime governance. Ice under these conditions is narrowly conceived as a strategic barrier to coastguard patrol that can be overcome through local fracturing. It is not viewed as material that is integral to ecosystem stability more broadly. While scientists admit that the open-water left in the wake of an icebreaker absorbs more solar energy and thus melts ice away along its trail, they argue that the contribution of icebreaking to climate change are minimal. This COLD CASE explores the rights of water bodies and asks whether a change in material state through freezing should transform rights as well.

Video will be available March 2022


LOCATIONS  Ice-covered areas in the Circumpolar North
DATE  2021