Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Energy Calamity and the Tar Sands - Reviews

Reviewer Comments
“Drs. Debra J. Davidson (Associate Professor, University of Alberta) and Michael Gismondi (Professor, Athabasca University) newest book, Challenging Legitimacy at the Precipice of Energy Calamity, is one of the few social scientific analyses of the Alberta tar sands-an enterprise warranting much closer scrutiny from academe than it has received to date. The authors do two things in this book. First, they take a good hard look at the tar sands from the broader context of peak oil and climate change, and conclude without much trouble that this form of development just doesn’t add up. Second, they analyze the frames, images and narratives that are used to legitimize this enterprise and the potential sources of weakness in those frames, and also the frames and narratives that are used to oppose it, and their potential to unseat legitimacy. They conclude that the legitimacy of the tar sands (and its state and industrial proponents) is fragile, but concerned citizens and organizations making up the resistance may not be capitalizing on those sources of fragility as well as they might. They situate this political moment in a complex systems framework, drawing on contemporary theory and critical perspectives on complexity/mobility, political ecology, human geography, legitimacy, citizenship, environmental sociology and discourse analysis.” (University of Alberta: Augustana Campus News)

“The book stands to make an important contribution not only to our understanding of tar sands development in Alberta politics ( a topic increasingly of global significance, as the authors note) but also to broader more “theoretical” issues of state legitimacy and contestation …The authors bring theoretically sophisticated tools to bear…” Springer Press Reviewer

The Canadian tar sands are becoming globally known and debated as an energy, natural resource, mining and climate issue. It is no longer just a local or regional or even a national issue but is part of global debates on how to sustainably manage the earth resources, defended and offended in different way by different groups. It has become an example…for many other major challenges of the present time…. In the way the issue is approached and dealt with, I can see interests coming from scholars in sociology, environmental studies, geography, economics, political sciences, anthropology, energy studies. Professionals in the field of energy, climate change, various mining business, governmental sectors, NGOs would be interested.” Springer Press Reviewer

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