10/03/21: GOSSIP seminar- Mette High (Centre for Energy Ethics)

Monday 25 January 2021
This Wednesday at 3pm we will be joined by Mette High from the Department of Social Anthropology at St Andrew’s and Founder/Director of the Centre for Energy Ethics. Dr. High will be delivering a paper based on her ethnography of oil and gas industries in Colorado (abstract below). 
All are welcome – hope to see you there!
This paper examines how oil and gas industry participants in Colorado reflect on the potential energy mix of the future. As producers of energy that is considered to be cheap, abundant, dense and reliable, they position themselves as responsible for what can be achieved through decades of concerted scientific experimentation and innovation. For them, petromodernity is a techno-scientific wonder that crystalizes the successful conjoining of wildcatter risk taking, geoscientific knowledge and engineering endeavour. As an evolving industry that brings to market a product on which we have come to depend, these industry participants regard oil and gas as resources that are destined to enjoy great longevity. However, other forms of energy production, especially from renewable sources, now increasingly appeal to politicians, publics and investors. As climate change concerns mount and energy transitions become a reality, many oil and gas industry participants dismiss and reject renewable energy imaginaries. They mock and ridicule these energy sources, scorning them for being irresponsible and ‘factually impossible’. While oil and gas industry participants see their own industry as a responsible harbinger of innovation, they thus deem other industries completely void of such potential. Exploring these mocking dismissals, I will show how crude’s excesses that seep from the industry’s history and epistemes inform energy imaginaries and hinder the oil and gas industry’s own potential for innovation.