The Power and the Water: Connecting Pasts with Futures is an environmental history initiative that focuses on environmental connectivities that have emerged in Britain since industrialisation. Researchers from several universities have come together to study how our 21st century sense of place, livelihood and community has been moulded by our links to the environmental processes of rivers, constructed watercourses, energy systems and infrastructure. It is through these environmental connectivities that our local actions are linked to planetary systems.
Coastal Frontiers aims to examine the environmental and political history of the Bay of Bengal's coastal rim over the past century. Research focuses on how environmental change has been experienced in the region; on how water resources have been contested; and on how coastal environments have been transformed by colonial and post-colonial political borders. Coastal Frontiers tells the story of environmental transformation and political conflict in a region that is now particularly vulnerable to climate change, and at the frontier of strategic competition over water resources and energy.
This project was initiated in 2009, with a focus on the international development of environmental prediction since the sixteenth century, bringing together perspectives from the history of science, sociological and communication studies, and the social, cultural and political history of the environment. It examines how authoritative narratives and specific claims developed in the context of scientific discourse, fieldwork, and methodologies; how environmental objects of study were constructed and valued; how particular trajectories were adopted by 'experts', disciplinary communities, policymakers, activists and a wider public in relation to their explanatory power, their social and political resonance, their degree of verifiability, and their insertion into observable historical trends.
The debate about the future of the Arctic is currently heated, but not for the first time. Descriptions of the future of the Arctic – often enthusiastic but at times foreboding – were formulated during the entire 20th Century. The questions raised in this project explore the people behind these descriptions, how the descriptions were formulated, against a background of contemporary political, economic, scientific and ideological contexts, and how they were heard.