In writing about the Arctic and about climate, one makes choices not only about what to include but also what words to use and how to write them.
30 Donna J. Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective," in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, ed. Donna Haraway, (London: Free Association Books, 1991).
31 This includes being married to the Swedish representative on the Working Group of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). During this time AMAP had formal responsibility for the ACIA in relation to the Arctic Council. However, her engagement with ACIA was limited and our discussions have not been used as primary source material for the study unless corroborated by formal documents, recorded interviews, or by my own observations.
32 AMAP, Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report (Oslo: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, 1997); AMAP, Arctic Pollution Issues 2002 (Oslo: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, 2002).
33 AHDR, Arctic Human Development Report (Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004).
I uppercase the word Arctic, also when it is used as an adjective, such as in Arctic climate change. This choice is based on the fact that the word Arctic has taken on a different significance than the word polar, which is an alternative way to describe the characteristics of the region. It recognizes the Arctic as a region with its own regional identity.34 I therefore treat it grammatically the same way as I would write African or Asian.
In referring to the indigenous peoples, I use the plural form in referring to their status as peoples rather than just anyone living in the Arctic. I generally do not uppercase the words indigenous and peoples (i.e. Indigenous Peoples), which is often done in writing on this issue. I reserve the uppercasing for the names of the various peoples, i.e. Saami, Inuit, Athabascan, etc. One could argue that their international collaboration is increasingly creating a circumpolar indigenous peoples' identity. However, their representation as different and independent indigenous peoples in the Arctic Council suggests that the uppercasing should still be reserved for the proper names of the different peoples.
I use the term climate change as a generic expression for the various changes in Earth's climate system that the IPCC has analyzed and concluded are changing more compared to what can be expected based on natural variability.35 It does not imply any uniform change in climate or any specific framing of its causes and impact. However, in analyzing the climate change debate from social science perspective, it has not been my role to scrutinize the scientific evidence for particular ways of presenting climate change. I, therefore, had to choose some frame of reference. Unless otherwise specified, this frame of reference is the scientific reports from the various working groups of the IPCC and the 2007 summaries for policymakers from Working Group I and II. There are some problems with this choice, for instance IPCC has been challenged on many accounts, but nevertheless its scientific reports provide summaries of climate science that have been more thoroughly reviewed in a reasonably transparent process than any other material available.
As discussed in detail in Chapter 2 of this dissertation, I use the term regime similarly with how many authors use the word institution when discussing the structure of cooperation in relation to environmental issues.36 There is nothing self evident about my choice, but there are some advantages. One is that it creates a distinction between specific governance arrangements and more fundamental, primary institutions of international society, including such features as sovereignty and diplomacy. Another advantage, especially in an interdisciplinary dissertation, is that the word regime is not as exclusively connected to the social world but has similarities to how the word regime is used within the natural sciences, i.e. structures that are relatively stable but also have the potential to change. One example would be a semi-stable, well-defined ecosystem. Another example is the ocean currents that transport warm water to the Arctic and provide a relatively mild climate in northern Scandinavia. A final example could be the climato-logically relatively stable geological era in which human civilization emerges, and
34 E.g. Oran R. Young and Niels Einarsson, "Introduction," in Arctic Human Development Report, ed. AHDR, 15-26 (Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004).
35 IPCC, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers.
36 E.g. Young, Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. Science Plan, Sect 1.1. defines institutions as "systems of rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that give rise to social practices, assign roles to participants in these practices, and guide interactions among the occupants of the relevant roles." .
where we now see signs that the climatological regime is changing because of emissions of greenhouse gases entering us into a new geological era - the Anthropocene.37 The connections between social regimes and regimes in biogeophysical systems are not explored in this dissertation, but the choice of the word regime creates a potential for making such analytical connections in the future.
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