Pacific Salmon Declines and the Thread-Bare Promises of Modernity

By Neil Nunn, University of Toronto § At every turn in my research examining the politics of mine-waste, salmon have spoken to me. They speak through a groundswell of activism over the last decade that amplify their struggles for life. They speak through the smell of their creek-side rotting bodies that remind me of their … More Pacific Salmon Declines and the Thread-Bare Promises of Modernity

Contamination of the Social Fabric: Sápara Leaders’ Resistance to Oil Companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Narrow Vision of Environmental Impact Studies

By Lindsay Ofrias, Princeton University § In the shadow of the world’s worst case of oil contamination, the Sápara, a small group of indigenous people, are desperately protecting their island of pristine rainforest in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Once a nationality numbering in the tens of thousands, only a few hundred Sápara people survive today, their population … More Contamination of the Social Fabric: Sápara Leaders’ Resistance to Oil Companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Narrow Vision of Environmental Impact Studies

Weeds, Herbicides, and Bodies: Emerging Entanglements in Toxic Agricultural Landscapes

By Tony VanWinkle, Sterling College § Dedicated to the memory of Jackie Dill. Shortly after the unexpected death of friend and mentor Jackie Dill, I read Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s poem, “The Change,” which narrates a first person, indigenous retrospective on shifts in the workaday world of tobacco field laborers. Central to this convulsive change was … More Weeds, Herbicides, and Bodies: Emerging Entanglements in Toxic Agricultural Landscapes

On Contamination: Conservation Science in Devilish Landscapes

By Meredith Root-Bernstein, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, Grignon, France § When you first see the gold mine in Alhué you are impressed by how massive the cascade of tailings is—by how many endemic trees, shrubs, bird nests, lizards and tarantulas must be crushed underneath it. When I took photos of the hills I always tried … More On Contamination: Conservation Science in Devilish Landscapes

On Tricking Ducks: Industrial Naturecultures and the Toxic Bodies of Oil Sands Country

By Whitney Larratt-Smith, UC Davis § “We were walking for a long time before I saw it. It was an exceptionally hot day in July for Northern Alberta, intensified by the acrid fumes of bitumen, diesel, and sulfur entering my lungs. I was starting to get a headache, and felt increasingly weary walking on the scorching … More On Tricking Ducks: Industrial Naturecultures and the Toxic Bodies of Oil Sands Country