In Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, state and private interests have created the densest development of wind power anywhere in the world. This presentation examines how a governmentally supported, ecologically timely project, the Mareña Renovables wind park, failed in the face of unprecedented local resistance. We argue that while transitions to renewable energy have the ethical potential to leverage a global climatological good, when they are seen to contravene local claims for rights, autonomy, environmental knowledge and ecological stewardship, such projects can generate instead the conditions for contention and collapse.
Laura Nader has authored over 300 book and articles in a storied career that includes becoming the first tenured woman in Anthropology at the University of California.
There will be three opportunities to hear her speak at Yale on March 25:
11:30 Book talk, Culture and Dignity: Dialogues Between the Middle East and the West. (Room 208, Whitney Humanities Center)
2:15 Screening of her film, Losing Knowledge: 50 Years of Change in Oaxaca, Mexico. (Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall)
4:00 Keynote Presentation: “Energy and Human Frailty” (Anthropology, Room 105, 10 Sachem Street)
Dr. Sovacool is Professor of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark and Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School. He is an internationally renowned scholar and energy policy expert who has authored and edited 16 books and more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reports. He is also the editor-in-chief of Energy Research and Social Science, published by Elsevier. Professor Sovacool has served in advisory and research capacities at the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Electric Power Networks Efficiency and Security Program, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy’s Climate Change Technology Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, the International Energy Agency in Paris, France, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Geneva, Switzerland, among others.
There are three opportunities to interact with Dr. Sovacool in the course of his day-long visit:
9:30 a.m. The Art and Craft of Publishing in Academia
Would you like to punctuate your university education with a published article? Do you have a hard time getting your great ideas on paper and into the media? Do you dream of joining your fine professors in the Ivory Tower? Here is your chance to learn from a prolific publisher.
11:00 a.m. The Barriers to Clean Energy in the United States: All about the technology, or something more?
What are the barriers to the development of commercial grid connected renewable electricity projects, to distributed forms of generation, or to energy efficiency practices? This presentation examines the technical, economic, political and social barriers to such renewable energy projects with a specific focus on the United States. With the advancement of renewable energy becoming increasingly linked to climate law and policy developments; the presentation explores the institutional challenges, economic barriers, regulatory hurdles, and social attitudes impacting, and often slowing, the diffusion of cleaner sources of electricity supply. However, to prevent driving the audience to despair, the presentation also discusses an array of different policy mechanisms that can overcome these pesky barriers.
Steven Stoll of Fordham University studies the history of agrarian society in the United States because he’s found that “agriculture offers the ideal vantage from which to observe the intersection of ideas and practices, economies and landscapes.”
His presentation was videotaped and is presented below:
Tracey Osborne is Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development and Director of the Public Political Ecology Lab at the University of Arizona. Her research investigates the political ecology of environmental markets, particularly carbon markets, and their implications for the lives and livelihoods of forest communities in the Global South. Specifically, she explores the intersection of carbon markets, development, and agrarian change as they relate to forestry-based carbon initiatives in Mexico. She received her PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.
The event is co-sponsored by the Yale Student Environmental Coalition (YSEC).
Our featured speaker is Barbara Rose Johnston of the Center for Political Ecology. Barbara is an environmental anthropologist whose research explores the linkages between environmental crisis and human rights abuse, seeking acknowledgment and implementation of the right to a healthy environment, environmental equity, and the right to reparation and remedy. She has served as a scientific advisor in a number of international, national, and community-based forums, including the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, where her research on the biomedical, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental impacts of the United States nuclear weapons testing program and the history and consequences of a classified human radiation experimentation program informed tribunal proceedings, supported judgments, and prompted a subsequent United Nations Human Rights Council investigation. An award-winning author, she has published definitive works that shape the interdisciplinary field of political ecology and demonstrate the power of a science and human rights approach in action-research. Recent major publications include: Consequential Damages of Nuclear War – The Rongelap Report (Left Coast Press 2008); Life and Death Matters: Human Rights, Environment and Social Justice, 2nd edition (Left Coast Press, 2011); and Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures? (UNESCO & Springer, 2012).
Dr. Annie Harper of the Yale Community Carbon Fund, and Diego Angarita, a Board Member of Co-op Power of New England will give 15 minute talks followed by question and answer from the audience on re-scaling the energy grid, increasing community ownership of energy resources and other pertinent issues for those interested in effecting change in their own backyard.