The Will to Drill. Revisiting Arctic Communities
This book has investigated current and future mining projects in several communities in three arctic countries: Norway, Greenland and (Northwest) Russia. Complex processes related to planning and operating arctic mines are taking place at a time when low-carbon transitions are at the top of the political agenda. While there’s a need for minerals in the transition to renewable energy – which means that mining could be seen as a necessary activity for global sustainable development – mining operations also challenge environmental, social and economic sustainability where they take place. Local and national environmental activists have applied the term ‘sacrifice zones’ to describe particular areas heavily (and negatively) influenced by the consequences of excessive mining, including landscape encroachments and pollution of ecosystems. The “will to drill” in arctic communities, as described and analyzed in this book, is intriguing in that it reveals multiple ways of interpreting sustainability in relation to mining. In this final chapter we elaborate upon the cases described in the earlier chapters. We consider how particular narratives might explain the way that trade-offs are made between developments that are considered sustainable and notions of sacrifice at the local level. These explanations include ways that legitimacy is secured (or not secured) through the use of scientific knowledge and other knowledge traditions, and how such knowledge, if used successfully, can provide legitimacy for both supporters and opponents of mining. The chapter also identifies knowledge gaps and unanswered questions that point towards a future political and academic mining agenda – in the Arctic and for the extractive industries as a whole.
KeywordsSustainable development Mining Arctic Legitimacy Sacrifice zones Knowledge based management regimes
- Bjørst, L. R. (2016). Saving or destroying the local community? Conflicting spatial storylines in the Greenlandic debate on uranium. The Extractive Industries and Society. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2015.11.006.
- Davis, M. (1993). The dead west: Ecocide in Marlboro County. New Left Review, 1(200).Google Scholar
- de Rosa, M. (2014). Mining in Greenland: The science-policy nexus in valuing the environment. (Master of Science). Norway: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås.Google Scholar
- Douglas, M., & Wildavsky, A. (1982). Risk and culture: An essay on the selection of technical and environmental dangers. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Isaeva, L., & Masloboev, V. (2015). Poster: Research support of mining projects in the Arctic. Paper presented at the In the spirit of the Rovaniemi process, Rovaniemi, Finland.Google Scholar
- Jasanoff, S. (1990). The fifth branch: Science advisers as policymakers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Jasanoff, S. (Ed.). (2004). States of knowledge: The co-production of science and social order. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Leach, M., Scoones, I., & Stirling, A. (Eds.). (2010). Dynamic sustainabilities. Technology, environment, social justice. Sussex: Earthscan Routhledge.Google Scholar
- Lerner, S. (2010). Sacrifice zones. The front lines of toxic exposure in the United States. Cambridge, MA: The MIT press.Google Scholar
- Nenasheva, M., Bickford, S., Lesser, P., Koivurova, T., & Kankaanpää, P. (2015). Legal tools for public participation in the environmental impact Assessment application in the countries of tha Barents Euro-Arctic region. Barents Studies, 1(3).Google Scholar
- Reinert, H. (2016). On the shore: Thinking water at a prospective mining site in Northern Norway. Society & Natural Resources, 1–14. doi: 10.1080/08941920.2015.1132352.
- Scott, R. R. (2010). Hillbillies and coal miners: Representations of a National Sacrifice Zone. In R. R. Scott (Ed.), Removing mountains: Extracting mountains and indentity in the Appalachian coalfields. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Storm, A. (2014). Post-industrial landscape scars: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Suchman, M. C. (1995). Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches. The Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 571–610.Google Scholar
- Wilson, D. C. (2010). Paradoxes of transparency: Science and the ecosystem approach to fisheries management in Europe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
- Wilson, E. (2015). Energy and minerals in Greenland. Governance, corporate responsibility and social resilience. London: International Institute for Environment and Development.Google Scholar
- Wilson, E., Best, S., Blackmore, E., & Ospanova, S. (2016). Meaningful community engagement in the extractive industries: Stakeholder perspectives and research priorities. Retrieved from LondonGoogle Scholar