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By Debra J. Davidson

Two intersecting moments of the Twenty-first Century outline our politics, economies, and destiny clients for civilization: the mounting proof for international weather switch, now unequivocally attributed to socio-economic actions, and its de-stabilizing results on our biosphere, mixed with the tip of simple oil and the straightforward wealth it generates. at the strength query, non-conventional fossil fuels were promoted through political elites because the subsequent most fascinating improvement choice. the advance of nonconventional fuels, even though, does not anything to relieve both weather switch or the falling fee of strength provide, and generates a number of social and environmental results. the biggest endeavour marking this ancient nexus—indeed the most important business undertaking in heritage, is the extraction and processing of the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta, Canada. The social, environmental, and most significantly political results of this grand test will reverberate during the international polity, and both motivate or warning opposed to expanding our dependence on such non-conventional fuels and assuming the a number of expenses such dependence will entail. making plans for reflexive societal switch calls for that we first ask how such giga-projects are legitimated, and who's demanding this legitimacy? during this booklet we hint how language and visible representations are used to enhance or problem the legitimacy of improvement of the Athabasca tar sands, and draw on our insights to consider most probably strength and weather futures.

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Extra resources for Challenging Legitimacy at the Precipice of Energy Calamity

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But the gargantuan is no less undetectable, inconceivable, and thus the incomprehensibility of the scale of disruption associated with the tar sands itself has an analogous shock value. The tar sands most certainly still enjoys the support of powerful interests hailing from multiple origins, but there are some indications that the hegemony once enjoyed by these parties is now on shaky ground. The unprecedented level of discussion of the tar sands by Provincial Members of the Legislative Assembly in recent years provides one ready indicator, suggesting that while state endorsement of tar sands development did not pose a potential legitimacy threat historically, this political landscape has changed, both in terms of the source of legitimacy threat, and in terms of the universe of potentially resonant discursive frames available with which to counter that threat.

Lefebvre 1991: 402–3) Because such scapes constitute a physical and relatively fixed presence, the channels constructed also describe patterns of equity, as they empower some, and pass by others (Graham and Marvin 1996). Even the seemingly ubiquitous networks, such as that of digital information, are constrained by the direction of investments into microwave towers, fibre-optic cables, and the like, which must go somewhere in space, and thus favour some routes over others. This is not to say that the maps describing the global network society are static, but they most certainly do not evolve instantaneously.

Html. Accessed 15 January 2011. Alberta Environment (2009b). Reclaiming Alberta’s Oil Sands. alberta. html. Accessed 15 January 2011. Alberta Environment (2009c). Frequently Asked Questions – Oil Sands. gov. asp. Accessed 15 January 2011. Alberta Environment (2009d). Tailings. html. Accessed 15 January 2011. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Beck, U. (2009). World at Risk. Cambridge: Polity Press. Bentivegna, S. (2006). Rethinking politics in the world of ICTs. European Journal of Communication 21(3), 331–43.

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