Fossil Fueled Collusion; industry, media, people and politics

Dunningham Suite, Dunedin Public Library

Sunday 23 April 2017

Hosted by OIL FREE OTAGO and SEA (Students for Environmental Action)

10am – Dr Terrence Loomis presents: 

Petroleum Development and Environmental Conflict in Aotearoa New Zealand

Shortly after the National government came to power in 2008, it set out a policy framework called the Business Growth Agenda in response to the global financial crisis to boost economic growth.  The Agenda included major expansion of the oil and gas industry in the hope of a ‘game changing’ discovery.  In hindsight National may not have fully appreciated the challenges it was buying into.

States seeking to grow their economies through expansion of resource extraction face more complex dilemmas than a few short decades ago.  Besides the increasing influence of transnational corporations on domestic politics and democratic institutions and the need to prevent or mitigate the environmental damage from increased extraction activities, there is mounting evidence that unconventional oil and gas technologies and riskier ‘frontier’ exploration activities are harming communities, local environments, and human health.  In addition international accords and growing citizen concerns over climate change are compelling states to review their energy policies and plan how to transition to a low-carbon economy.

In the case of New Zealand, the government chose to undertake a number of orchestrated steps in collaboration with the petroleum industry to remove perceived impediments to industry expansion, promote the petroleum industry to ‘middle New Zealand,’ and defuse, co-opt or subvert environmental opposition.  The petroleum industry developed its own set of strategies, or borrowed them from overseas, to help achieve their mutual aims.

Economic anthropologist Dr Loomis has researched these developments over the past several years. In this book he examines the government’s maneuvers and oil industry strategies more closely.  He reveals how criticism and resistance activities by environmental activists, concerned citizens’ groups and even some local authorities not only disrupted government/industry efforts and highlighted National’s contradictory energy and climate policies, but had far-reaching effects on institutional relations and values between the state and the community sector.

Published by Lexington Books, Lanham, MD

11am – Dr Sophie Bond presents:

Debating deep sea oil: dissent, disdain and solidarity

Sophie Bond, lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Otago, teaches and researches in areas of social and environmental justice. In particular, she is interested in how dissent, open public debate, and social action are enabled as a crucial part of democratic engagement. Her current work explores how action for climate justice is enabled or constrained by neoliberalism and contemporary forms of governance.

Research authors: Amanda Thomas, Gradon Diprose and Sophie Bond

12:00 – 3pm – Stay for a shared lunch, discussion and play GO MINE

Dunedin artist and activist Ruth Evans developed the subversive table top card game Go Mine for her Master of Fine Art programme at Otago Polytechnic.

Based on New Zealand’s mineral extraction industries, Go Mine allows players to act as corporate tycoons intent on mining the planet for resources. Action cards attack or defend against opponents. Shipments are created and exported, allowing players to gain the points needed for further mining and future bribing of officials. Players can establish conference calls where they can attempt to actively reform the entire system or “make their own rules”.

In order to win Go Mine, a player must own 5 bribe cards at the end of their turn. However, should the planet be exhausted before this is achieved, everyone loses.

Go Mine is available for purchase by individuals, schools or groups.

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