UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Saws, sonar and submersibles: Expectations of/for underwater logging

Randalls, S; Petrokofsky, G; (2014) Saws, sonar and submersibles: Expectations of/for underwater logging. Geoforum , 52 216 - 225. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.12.010. Green open access

[thumbnail of RandallsUWLfinaldepository.pdf]

Download (264kB)


Underwater logging is a relatively novel industry focused on extracting wood from standing trees in deep-water lakes and reservoirs. It emerges through a confluence of technological, financial and environmental interests, primarily within small corporations in British Columbia, Canada. Companies now operate in many countries worldwide and may be promoted by dam owners that are moving from a narrow focus on hydroelectric power revenue to exploring ways of extracting profit from these infrastructures. In this paper we use the example of underwater logging to explore the ways in which expectations for new industries create value for these companies. We show how uncertainty, materiality and control of the storyline become three formative factors in explaining why some expectations are realized while others fail. First, uncertainty can be made to be economically productive as long as it is bounded by methodologically reliable accounting. In the case of underwater logging, while unknown timber quantities could be economically damaging, rare, unknown wood is translated into a niche, high-end market that creates additional value. Second, materiality is at the heart of expectations in that companies need to show they have control over the raw materials and ecological consequences of the logging. Third, controlling the storyline becomes a vital part of marketing underwater wood. This produces a somewhat cautious reaction to certification schemes and retailers. The performative nature of expectations thus needs to be considered in explorations of the production of capitalist natures and the consequences of these interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Saws, sonar and submersibles: Expectations of/for underwater logging
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.12.010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.12.010
Language: English
Additional information: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in <Journal title>. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoforum, Volume 52, March 2014, Pages 216–225 DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.12.010
Keywords: Forestry, Sustainability, Expectations, Underwater technology, British Columbia, Finance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1393426
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item