Unearthing Conflict

Author: Fabiana Li
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 9780822358190
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Unearthing Conflict Fabiana Li analyzes the aggressive expansion and modernization of mining in Peru since the 1990s to tease out the dynamics of mining-based protests. Issues of water scarcity and pollution, the loss of farmland, and the degradation of sacred land are especially contentious. She traces the emergence of the conflicts by discussing the smelter-town of La Oroya—where people have lived with toxic emissions for almost a century—before focusing her analysis on the relatively new Yanacocha gold mega-mine. Debates about what kinds of knowledge count as legitimate, Li argues, lie at the core of activist and corporate mining campaigns. Li pushes against the concept of "equivalence"—or methods with which to quantify and compare things such as pollution—to explain how opposing groups interpret environmental regulations, assess a project’s potential impacts, and negotiate monetary compensation for damages. This politics of equivalence is central to these mining controversies, and Li uncovers the mechanisms through which competing parties create knowledge, assign value, arrive at contrasting definitions of pollution, and construct the Peruvian mountains as spaces under constant negotiation.

Mining Capitalism

Author: Stuart Kirsch
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520281705
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Corporations are among the most powerful institutions of our time, but they are also responsible for a wide range of harmful social and environmental impacts. Consequently, political movements and nongovernmental organizations increasingly contest the risks that corporations pose to people and nature. Mining Capitalism examines the strategies through which corporations manage their relationships with these critics and adversaries. By focusing on the conflict over the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Stuart Kirsch tells the story of a slow-moving environmental disaster and the international network of indigenous peoples, advocacy groups, and lawyers that sought to protect local rivers and rain forests. Along the way, he analyzes how corporations promote their interests by manipulating science and invoking the discourses of sustainability and social responsibility. Based on two decades of anthropological research, this book is comparative in scope, showing readers how similar dynamics operate in other industries around the world.

The Politics of Resource Extraction

Author: S. Sawyer
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230368794
Format: PDF, ePub
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International institutions (United Nations, World Bank) and multinational companies have voiced concern over the adverse impact of resource extraction activities on the livelihood of indigenous communities. This volume examines mega resource extraction projects in Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chad, Cameroon, India, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines.

Consuming the Caribbean

Author: Mimi Sheller
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134516770
Format: PDF, Docs
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From sugar to indentured labourers, tobacco to reggae music, Europe and North America have been relentlessly consuming the Caribbean and its assets for the past five hundred years. In this fascinating book, Mimi Sheller explores this troublesome history, investigating the complex mobilities of producers and consumers, of material and cultural commodities, including: foodstuffs and stimulants - sugar, fruit, coffee and rum human bodies - slaves, indentured labourers and service workers cultural and knowledge products - texts, music, scientific collections and ethnology entire 'natures' and landscapes consumed by tourists as tropical paradise. Consuming the Caribbean demonstrates how colonial exploitation of the Caribbean led directly to contemporary forms of consumption of the region and its products. It calls into question innocent indulgence in the pleasures of thoughtless consumption and calls for a global ethics of consumer responsibility.

Nature Choice and Social Power

Author: Erica Schoenberger
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135051585
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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We are at an environmental impasse. Many blame our personal choices about the things we consume and the way we live. This is only part of the problem. Different forms of social power - political, economic and ideological - structure the choices we have available. This book analyses how we make social and environmental history and why we end up where we do. Using case studies from different environmental domains – earth and water, air and fire – Nature, Choice and Social Power examines the form that social power takes and how it can harm the environment and hinder our efforts to act in our own best interests. The case studies challenge conventional wisdoms about why gold is valuable, why the internal combustion engine triumphed, and when and why suburbs sprawled. The book shows how the power of individuals, the power of classes, the power of the market and the power of the state at different times and in different ways were critical to setting us on a path to environmental degradation. It also challenges conventional wisdoms about what we need to do now. Rather than reducing consumption and shrinking from outcomes we don’t want, it proposes growing towards outcomes we do want. We invested massive resources in creating our problems; it will take equally large investments to fix them. Written in a clear and engaging style, the book is underpinned with a political economy framework and addresses how we should understand our responsibility to the environment and to each other as individuals within a large and impersonal system.

The Price of Nuclear Power

Author: Stephanie A. Malin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 081356980X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Rising fossil fuel prices and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are fostering a nuclear power renaissance and a revitalized uranium mining industry across the American West. In The Price of Nuclear Power, environmental sociologist Stephanie Malin offers an on-the-ground portrait of several uranium communities caught between the harmful legacy of previous mining booms and the potential promise of new economic development. Using this context, she examines how shifting notions of environmental justice inspire divergent views about nuclear power’s sustainability and equally divisive forms of social activism. Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted in rural isolated towns such as Monticello, Utah, and Nucla and Naturita, Colorado, as well as in upscale communities like Telluride, Colorado, and incorporating interviews with community leaders, environmental activists, radiation regulators, and mining executives, Malin uncovers a fundamental paradox of the nuclear renaissance: the communities most hurt by uranium’s legacy—such as high rates of cancers, respiratory ailments, and reproductive disorders—were actually quick to support industry renewal. She shows that many impoverished communities support mining not only because of the employment opportunities, but also out of a personal identification with uranium, a sense of patriotism, and new notions of environmentalism. But other communities, such as Telluride, have become sites of resistance, skeptical of industry and government promises of safe mining, fearing that regulatory enforcement won’t be strong enough. Indeed, Malin shows that the nuclear renaissance has exacerbated social divisions across the Colorado Plateau, threatening social cohesion. Malin further illustrates ways in which renewed uranium production is not a socially sustainable form of energy development for rural communities, as it is utterly dependent on unstable global markets. The Price of Nuclear Power is an insightful portrait of the local impact of the nuclear renaissance and the social and environmental tensions inherent in the rebirth of uranium mining.

Leviathans at the Gold Mine

Author: Alex Golub
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 082237739X
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Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an ethnographic account of the relationship between the Ipili, an indigenous group in Papua New Guinea, and the large international gold mine operating on their land. It was not until 1939 that Australian territorial patrols reached the Ipili. By 1990, the third largest gold mine on the planet was operating in their valley. Alex Golub examines how "the mine" and "the Ipili" were brought into being in relation to one another, and how certain individuals were authorized to speak for the mine and others to speak for the Ipili. Considering the relative success of the Ipili in their negotiations with a multinational corporation, Golub argues that a unique conjuncture of personal relationships and political circumstances created a propitious moment during which the dynamic and fluid nature of Ipili culture could be used to full advantage. As that moment faded away, social problems in the valley increased. The Ipili now struggle with the extreme social dislocation brought about by the massive influx of migrants and money into their valley.

Extractive Relations

Author: John R. Owen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1783535091
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Extractive Relations explores the nature of industrial power and its role in shaping what we understand to be the global mining sector. The authors examine issues at the forefront of contemporary debates: corporate obligations in safeguarding the rights of people displaced by mining, the recognition of community rights and interests in supporting or opposing mining developments, the handling of non-judicial grievances and workability of corporate remedy systems, and the logic of community relations departments in navigating these issues inside and outside of the typical modern mining establishment. The authors develop a unique theoretical approach that highlights the different types and uses of power in these settings. This perspective is supported by the authors' own sustained engagement with the mining sector over many years, drawing on cases from over twenty countries. The analysis of these issues from both 'inside' and 'outside' the sector is a key point of differentiation. For readers seeking to understand how mining companies interpret and interact with the communities and interests around their operations, this book provides invaluable insight and analysis.

Subterranean Struggles

Author: Anthony Bebbington
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292748620
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Over the past two decades, the extraction of nonrenewable resources in Latin America has given rise to many forms of struggle, particularly among disadvantaged populations. The first analytical collection to combine geographical and political ecological approaches to the post-1990s changes in Latin America’s extractive economy, Subterranean Struggles closely examines the factors driving this expansion and the sociopolitical, environmental, and political economic consequences it has wrought. In this analysis, more than a dozen experts explore the many facets of struggles surrounding extraction, from protests in the vicinity of extractive operations to the everyday efforts of excluded residents who try to adapt their livelihoods while industries profoundly impact their lived spaces. The book explores the implications of extractive industry for ideas of nature, region, and nation; “resource nationalism” and environmental governance; conservation, territory, and indigenous livelihoods in the Amazon and Andes; everyday life and livelihood in areas affected by small- and large-scale mining alike; and overall patterns of social mobilization across the region. Arguing that such struggles are an integral part of the new extractive economy in Latin America, the authors document the increasingly conflictive character of these interactions, raising important challenges for theory, for policy, and for social research methodologies. Featuring works by social and natural science authors, this collection offers a broad synthesis of the dynamics of extractive industry whose relevance stretches to regions beyond Latin America.

Living with Oil

Author: Lisa Breglia
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292748744
Format: PDF, Kindle
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For decades, Mexico has been one of the world’s top non-OPEC oil exporters, but since the 2004 peak and subsequent decline of the massive offshore oilfield—Cantarell—the prospects for the country have worsened. Living with Oil takes a unique look at the cultural and economic dilemmas in this locale, focusing on residents in the fishing community of Isla Aguada, Campeche, who experienced the long-term repercussions of a 1979 oil spill that at its height poured out 30,000 barrels a day, a blowout eerily similar to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Tracing the interplay of the global energy market and the struggle it creates between citizens, the state, and multinational corporations, this study also provides lessons in the tug-of-war between environmentalism and the lure of profits. In Mexico, oil has held status as a symbol of nationalist pride as well as a key economic asset that supports the state’s everyday operations. Capturing these dilemmas in a country now facing a national security crisis at the hands of violent drug traffickers, cultural anthropologist Lisa Breglia covers issues of sovereignty, security, and stability in Mexico’s post-peak future. The first in-depth account of the local effects of peak oil in Mexico, emphasizing the everyday lives and livelihoods of coastal Campeche residents, Living with Oil demonstrates important aspects of the political economy of energy while showing vivid links between the global energy marketplace and the individual lives it affects.