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Toxic and Intoxicating Oil

Discovery, Resistance, and Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand

Patricia Widener (author)

ISBN: 9781978805040

Publication Date: Apr 2021

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

By analysing the intersections of a social movement and the political economy of oil, Patricia Widener reveals a nuanced story of oil resistance and promotion at a time when many anti-drilling activists believed themselves to be on the front lines of the industry's inevitable decline.
£94.50

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When oil and gas exploration was expanding across Aotearoa New Zealand, Patricia Widener was there interviewing affected residents and environmental and climate activists, and attending community meetings and anti-drilling rallies. Exploration was occurring on an unprecedented scale when oil disasters dwelled in recent memory, socioecological worries were high, campaigns for climate action were becoming global, and transitioning toward a low carbon society seemed possible. Yet unlike other communities who have experienced either an oil spill, or hydraulic fracturing, or offshore exploration, or climate fears, or disputes over unresolved Indigenous claims, New Zealanders were facing each one almost simultaneously. Collectively, these grievances created the foundation for an organized civil society to construct and then magnify a comprehensive critical oil narrative--in dialogue, practice, and aspiration. Community advocates and socioecological activists mobilized for their health and well-being, for their neighborhoods and beaches, for Planet Earth and Planet Ocean, and for terrestrial and aquatic species and ecosystems. They rallied against toxic, climate-altering pollution; the extraction of fossil fuels; a myriad of historic and contemporary inequities; and for local, just, and sustainable communities, ecologies, economies, and/or energy sources. In this allied ethnography, quotes are used extensively to convey the tenor of some of the country's most passionate and committed people. By analyzing the intersections of a social movement and the political economy of oil, Widener reveals a nuanced story of oil resistance and promotion at a time when many anti-drilling activists believed themselves to be on the front lines of the industry's inevitable decline.
Illustrations 10 black & white images
Pages 270
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Apr 2021
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Subject/s International economics   Public administration   Indigenous peoples   Environmental science, engineering & technology   Petroleum technology   Gas industries   Petroleum & oil industries   International relations  
Patricia Widener is an associate professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and author of Oil Injustice: Resisting and Conceding a Pipeline in Ecuador. She conducts allied qualitative research to advance an understanding and practice of climate, environmental, and marine justice, and to shed light on the socioecological risks of oil from its extraction to waste disposal. Currently, she is researching the impacts of extractive marine economies and regenerative aquatic practices among coastal communities and marine advocates. When in residence in Florida, she conducts regional studies on climate change and activist campaigns. Before studying sociology, she worked as a journalist for six years in Bangkok, Thailand, and Southeast Asia.

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