In their understandable zeal to ward off the ‘nay-sayers’, for whom climate change is merely an illusion, rural sociologists have defended the modern constitution that separates the natural from the social. Yet, standards must be developed to identify the phenomena of concern to both climate scientists and the public. Standards must be identified to stabilize the phenomena of interest, making them into something that can be acted on. In addition, standards must point the way forward and measure progress toward the amelioration of the problem(s). In short, standards simultaneously perform, measure, and point toward the transformation of ‘the climate.’ Yet, even as standards are necessary, they may actually lead us astray. Drawing on Foucault and recent work in Science Studies, I argue that grappling with climate change will require changing the political and even epistemological climate, re-enacting the sciences as well as agriculture and food.
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