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Storying Strata: Entangling Coal and Energy Futures in Australia and India

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This article argues that the storying of fossiliferous geological strata opens up geopolitical possibilities for climate justice and ethical energy futures. Our more-than-human approach to the fossil-fuel industry and more specifically coal trade is sparked by ongoing political controversies and protests that have erupted over the development of the Galilee coal Basin in central Queensland, Australia by Indian mining conglomerates. Through a focus on this case study, we first draw attention to toxic border thinking on development, fossil fuel energy futures and climate change enabled by state-corporate collusions. Second, we argue for opening up decolonial horizons by dwelling in the border���the border that alerts us to the distributed agency of geologic life and vitality of fossilised seed ferns. Thinking with deep time and geological strata we explore the geopolitics of ���clean coal��� and limitless groundwater that justifies mining in the Galilee basin and the establishment of new thermal plants on Adivasi lands in India. Attention to the materiality of fly ash and its transformation into cement for construction in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan highlights more sustainable energy use, but we argue that this carbonised cement would also linger as a future fossil from the Anthropocene that refuses extinction. Finally, by thinking with the artwork Towards a Glass Monument (2017���2019) by Tom Nicholson and Geoffrey Wallace we encounter a method for shifting viewer perspectives on coal from its identity as a homogeneous fuel source to a delicate historical record of past flora. The article demonstrates that even when worlds inhabited by racialised and marginalised peoples are silenced, the materiality of coal, ash, water and the visual echo of fossiliferous plant spores seed more-than-human framings of justice. We position both our case study exploration and Towards a Glass Monument as examples of how to story strata with the aim of opening up geopolitical possibilities for more-than-human climate justice.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Citation


  • Lobo, M., & Hine, A. (2022). Storying Strata: Entangling Coal and Energy Futures in Australia and India. Geopolitics. doi:10.1080/14650045.2022.2040485

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85126254273

Volume


Issue


Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • This article argues that the storying of fossiliferous geological strata opens up geopolitical possibilities for climate justice and ethical energy futures. Our more-than-human approach to the fossil-fuel industry and more specifically coal trade is sparked by ongoing political controversies and protests that have erupted over the development of the Galilee coal Basin in central Queensland, Australia by Indian mining conglomerates. Through a focus on this case study, we first draw attention to toxic border thinking on development, fossil fuel energy futures and climate change enabled by state-corporate collusions. Second, we argue for opening up decolonial horizons by dwelling in the border���the border that alerts us to the distributed agency of geologic life and vitality of fossilised seed ferns. Thinking with deep time and geological strata we explore the geopolitics of ���clean coal��� and limitless groundwater that justifies mining in the Galilee basin and the establishment of new thermal plants on Adivasi lands in India. Attention to the materiality of fly ash and its transformation into cement for construction in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan highlights more sustainable energy use, but we argue that this carbonised cement would also linger as a future fossil from the Anthropocene that refuses extinction. Finally, by thinking with the artwork Towards a Glass Monument (2017���2019) by Tom Nicholson and Geoffrey Wallace we encounter a method for shifting viewer perspectives on coal from its identity as a homogeneous fuel source to a delicate historical record of past flora. The article demonstrates that even when worlds inhabited by racialised and marginalised peoples are silenced, the materiality of coal, ash, water and the visual echo of fossiliferous plant spores seed more-than-human framings of justice. We position both our case study exploration and Towards a Glass Monument as examples of how to story strata with the aim of opening up geopolitical possibilities for more-than-human climate justice.

Publication Date


  • 2022

Citation


  • Lobo, M., & Hine, A. (2022). Storying Strata: Entangling Coal and Energy Futures in Australia and India. Geopolitics. doi:10.1080/14650045.2022.2040485

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85126254273

Volume


Issue


Place Of Publication