Toxic and Intoxicating Oil: Discovery, Resistance, and Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand (Nature, Society, and Culture) (Paperback)

Toxic and Intoxicating Oil: Discovery, Resistance, and Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand (Nature, Society, and Culture) By Patricia Widener Cover Image
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Description


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.

About the Author


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.
 

Praise For…


"The care that Widener takes in her research is outstanding– she manages to convey a strong sense of the real nature of ethnographic and case study research: unpredictable, problematic, and exciting."
— Sherry Cable

"A gripping analysis of the motivations of those who protested against the surge in oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceans and lands in the 2010s. Drawing from her own experiences in the field, Widener immerses the reader in the physical and emotional realities of protest action, and shows how the interplay of culture, identity, politics, and environmental concerns gave rise to a multi-faceted resistance to an expansionist oil and gas program."
— Janet Stephenson

"Unlike others who have experienced an oil spill, or hydraulic fracturing, or offshore oil and gas exploration, or climate fears, or disputes over unresolved Indigenous claims, New Zealanders were facing each one almost simultaneously. Collectively, these grievances mobilized civil society to construct and then to magnify a comprehensive critical oil narrative – in dialogue, local practice, and national aspiration. In this allied ethnography, quotes are used extensively to convey the tenor of some of the country’s most passionate and committed people, including many community advocates and anti-drilling activists who believed themselves to be on the front lines of the oil industry’s promotions and inevitable decline."
— ASA Environmental Newsletter


Product Details
ISBN: 9781978805033
ISBN-10: 1978805039
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 12th, 2021
Pages: 262
Language: English
Series: Nature, Society, and Culture