Advertisement

Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 68, Issue 5, pp 529–546 | Cite as

Entangling carbon lock-in: India’s coal constituency

  • Emma LecavalierEmail author
  • Cameron Harrington
Article

Abstract

This article investigates how energy security in the Anthropocene is entangled in diffuse ways with materiality. In particular we examine the social-material entanglement of humans and coal in India and how coal manifests itself differently across social life in the country. Focusing on a single material allows us to study how the Anthropocene creates, and is created by, particular appropriations of the material world. It offers a corrective to some Anthropocene literature that avoids discussing the complex, “everyday,” social impacts that fossil fuels have, particularly in the developing world. These intertwined impacts add to the complexity and difficulty in the process of decarbonizing societies, or in transitioning to a sustainable energy future.

Keywords

Carbon lock-in India Materialism Coal crime Anthropocene 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Both authors would like to thank colleagues at the Centre International de Criminologie Comparée at Université de Montréal for their helpful comments and insights on an earlier version of this work. We would also like to thank Nchimunya Hamukoma for her research assistance.

References

  1. 1.
    Ahmad, N. (2014). Colonial legislation in postcolonial times. In K. Lahiri-Dutt (Ed.), The coal nation: Histories, ecologies, and politics of coal in India (pp. 257–275). Surrey: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ahmad, N., & Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2006). Engendering mining communities: Examining the missing gender concerns in coal mining displacement and rehabilitation in India. Gender, Technology and Development, 10(3), 313–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ahn, S.-J., & Graczyk, D. (2012). Understanding energy challenges in India: Policies, players and issues. Paris: IEA. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/6115311e.pdf?expires=1493147346&id=id&accname=ocid177151&checksum=60972247FB236BA8B79E5B6FDF9E7CAC. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  4. 4.
    Bennett, J. (2004). The force of things: Steps toward an ecology of matter. Political Theory, 32(2), 347–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bennett, J. (2009). Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Braun, B., & Whatmore, S. (2010). The stuff of politics: An introduction. In B. Braun & S. Whatmore (Eds.), Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life (pp. x–xxxix). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Clark, N., & Yusoff, K. (2014). Combustion and society: A fire-Centred history of energy use. Theory, Culture & Society, 31(5), 203–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Coady, D., Parry, I., Sears, L., & Shang, B. (2015). IMF Working Paper: How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies? (no. WP/15/105).Washington DC.: IMF. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2015/NEW070215A.htm. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  10. 10.
    Coal India Ltd. (2017). Coal India Ltd Company Profile. https://www.coalindia.in/career/careerwithus.aspx. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  11. 11.
    Connolly, W. (2013). The fragility of things. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Coole, D. (2013). Agentic capacities and capacious historical materialism: Thinking with the new materialisms in the political sciences. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, 41(3), 451–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Coole, D., & Frost, S. (Eds.). (2010). New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Das, K. N. (2015). India douses century-old coal fires as Modi seeks output boost. Reuters. http://in.reuters.com/article/india-coal-mines-modi-idINKBN0OG01R20150531. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  15. 15.
    Das, K. N. (2016). Coal India plans biggest tech overhaul to check rampant theft. Reuters. New Delhi. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-coal-idUSKCN0UR01V20160113. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  16. 16.
    Erickson, P., Kartha, S., Lazarus, M., & Tempest, K. (2015). Assessing carbon lock-in. Environmental Research Letters, 10. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/8/084023.
  17. 17.
    Fox, N. J., & Alldred, P. (2014). New materialist social inquiry: Designs, methods, and the research-assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18(4), 399–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ghose, M. K. (2007). Opencast coal mining in India: Analyzing and addressing the air environmental impacts. Environmental Quality Management, 16(3), 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ghose, M. K. (2012). Sustainable Technologies for Energy Management to meet the coal demand in the Indian context. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy, 7, 213–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    ICC. (2012). The Indian coal sector: Challenges and future outlook. Kolkata: ICC https://www.pwc.in/assets/pdfs/industries/power-mining/icc-coal-report.pdf. Accessed 18 May 2017.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    IEA. (2015). India energy outlook. Paris: IEA. https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/IndiaEnergyOutlook_WEO2015.pdf. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  22. 22.
    Jena, M. (2014). Coal likely to remain India's energy focus as country battles for jobs. Thomson Reuters Foundation. http://news.trust.org//item/20141007135757-bi2zg. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  23. 23.
    Johnson, K. (2015). Green gamble: Can India avoid repeating China's dirty-energy mistakes? Foreign Policy, Nov-Dec, 215, 94–97.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2014). Between legitimacy and illegality: Informal coal Mining at the Limits of justice. In K. Lahiri-Dutt (Ed.), The coal nation: Histories, ecologies, and politics of coal in India (pp. 39–62). Surrey: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2016). The diverse worlds of coal in India: Energising the nation, energising livelihoods. Energy Policy, 99, 203–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lahiri-Dutt, K., & Williams, D. J. (2005). The coal cycle: Small-scale illegal coal supply in eastern India. Resources, Energy, and Development, 2(2), 93–105.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lechner, A. M., Baumgartl, T., Matthew, P., & Glenn, V. (2016). The impact of underground longwall mining on prime agricultural land: A review and research agenda. Land Degradation & Development, 27(6), 1650–1663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lovell, H. (2014). The making of low carbon economies. Milton Park: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mehdudia, S. (2011). CIL to install GPD to check coal pilferage. The Hindu. http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/cil-to-install-gps-to-check-coal-pilferage/article2729258.ece. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  30. 30.
    Miller, D. (1998). Material cultures: Why some things matter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ministry of Coal. (2014a). Coal reserves. Kolkata: Ministry of Coal http://coal.nic.in/content/coal-reserves. Accessed 23 November 2016.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ministry of Coal. (2014b). Provisional coal statistics 2013–2014. Kolkata: Ministry of Coal http://www.coal.nic.in/sites/upload_files/coal/files/coalupload/provisional1314_0.pdf. Accessed 23 November 2016.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ministry of Coal. (2016a). Annual Report 2015–16. Chapter 7: Coal Distribution and Marketing New Delhi: Ministry of Coal. http://coal.nic.in/sites/upload_files/coal/files/coalupload/chap7AnnualReport1516en.pdf. Accessed 18 May 2017.
  34. 34.
    Ministry of Coal. (2016b). Provisional Coal Statistics 2015–16. Kolkata. Coal Controller's Organisation, Ministry of Coal. http://www.coalcontroller.gov.in/writereaddata/files/Provisional Coal Statistics 2015–16.pdf. Accessed 19 May 2017.
  35. 35.
    Mitchell, T. (2011). Carbon democracy: Political power in the age of oil. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Morton, T. (2013). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and ecology at the end of the world. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Pearce, F. (2016). The human cost of India's push to Produce More Coal. Yale Environement 360. http://e360.yale.edu/features/on_burning_ground_human_cost_indias_push_produce_more_coal. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  38. 38.
    Ramesh, T., Prakash, R., & Shukla, K. K. (2010). Life cycle energy analysis of buildings: An overview. Energy and Buildings, 42(10), 1592–1600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Salter, M. (Ed.). (2015). Making things international Vol. 1: Circuits and motion. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Saraf, S. (2015). India coal: Transport bottlenecks as demand is expected to rise. S&P Global Platts. http://www.platts.com/news-feature/2015/coal/india-coal-transport/index. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  41. 41.
    Sen, A. (1977). Rational fools: A critique of the Behavioural foundations of economic theory. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 6(4), 317–344.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Seto, K. C., Davis, S. J., Mitchell, R. B., Stokes, E. C., Unruh, G., & Urge-Vorsatz, D. (2016). Carbon lock-in: Types, causes, and policy implications. The Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41, 425–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Sheller, M. (2014). Global energy cultures of speed and lightness: Materials, Mobilities and transnational power. Theory, Culture & Society, 31(5), 127–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Singh, N. (2013). India's coal cycle wallahs: “People have no alternative but to steal from mines.” The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/06/india-coal-cycle-wallahs. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  45. 45.
    Sugden, J. (2013). Why India Has a “Sand Mafia.” The Wall Street Journal. https://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/08/06/why-india-has-a-sand-mafia/. Accessed 24 April 2017.
  46. 46.
    Tiakaba, J. T. (2016). Impact of coal mining on water quality in Mangkolemba region under Mokokchung District Nagaland, India. Journal of Environmental Research and Development, 10(3), 436–444.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Unruh, G. C. (2000). Understanding carbon lock-in. Energy Policy, 28(1), 817–830. doi: 10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00070-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Unruh, G. C. (2002). Escaping carbon lock-in. Energy Policy, 30(4), 317–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Unruh, G. C., & Carrillo-Hermosilla, J. (2006). Globalizing carbon lock-in. Energy Policy, 34(10), 1185–1197. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2004.10.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    World Energy Council. (2017). Top coal producing countries. London: World Energy Council. https://www.worldenergy.org/data/resources/resource/coal/. Accesssed 25 April 2017.
  51. 51.
  52. 52.
    Yusoff, K. (2013). Geologic life: Prehistory, climate, futures in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31, 779–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Global Risk Governance Programme, Institute for Safety Governance and CriminologyUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations