Chris Waite, University of Warwick When Alexander von Humboldt reached the peak of El Teide in June 1799, he described how the ‘prodigious transparency of the atmosphere’ contributed to ‘the magical effect’ of Tenerife’s landscape1. Humboldt was on route to what would become an extraordinary Latin American expedition that saw him scale higher peaks than … Continue reading Santa Cruz Verde 2030: A new dawn for Tenerife?
Dr Thomas Verbeek, University of Warwick @thverbeek In our contemporary globalized economy, it is increasingly complex to disentangle the relationships between different places, different companies and different products. Through global production networks, globally operating conglomerates, global elite networks as well as through all kinds of inter-firm alliances such as joint ventures and license agreements, different … Continue reading Places of decision and flows of power: Disentangling petrochemical corporate networks
Dr. David Brown, University of Warwick @browndee17 In recent years, a backlash against plastics has been observed in the public sphere, with plastics as a commodity seen to be losing its ‘social licence’. Plastic waste has emerged as an environmental crisis in public discourse, considered to be pervasive and indomitable. According to the UN (2017), … Continue reading The Existential Crisis of the Petrochemical Industry and Discourses of Sustainability: Reflections from the 34th World Petrochemical Conference
Dr Calvin Jephcote, University of Warwick Petroleum has been the fuel for dramatic change in the twentieth century, as a source of energy it has revolutionised transport and powered technological advances, but as a chemical it has also enabled humankind to engineer synthetic environments. The petrochemical industry was initially created from the desire to commoditise … Continue reading Petrochemical Landscapes: A European Perspective
Dr Lorenzo Feltrin, University of Warwick @lorenzo_feltrin This year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of Quando il potere è operaio: Autonomia e soggettività politica a Porto Marghera (1960-1980) (edited by Devi Sacchetto and Gianni Sbrogiò, 2009, Roma: Manifestolibri), translatable as “When Power is Workers’ Power: Autonomy and Political Subjectivity in Porto Marghera (1960-1980)”. … Continue reading Book Review: Quando il potere è operaio: Autonomia e soggettività politica a Porto Marghera (1960-1980)
Loretta Lou, University of Macau / London School of Economics Even though it is becoming more and more common for musicians to take on the issue of environmental degradation in the age of Anthropocene, to produce an album about a particular kind of toxic pollution is literally unheard-of until Taiwanese indie rock band Sheng-Xiang & … Continue reading ‘Village Besieged’: An Elegy for Victims and Protest Against Taiwan’s Petrochemical Pollution
Dr Thom Davies, University of Nottingham, @ThomDavies Prelude: Some of the ideas discussed in this Toxic News piece are explored further in two recent academic publications, available here and here (Open Access). In September 2017, I returned to Louisiana to continue ethnographic research about lived experiences in a region infamously nicknamed ‘Cancer Alley’ – home to the … Continue reading Toxic Geographies: chemical plants, plantations, and plants that will not grow