Contesting coal and climate change using scale: emergent topologies in the Adani mine controversy

Contesting coal and climate change using scale: emergent topologies in the Adani mine controversy Journal Article

Geographical Research

  • Author(s): Jolley, Connor, Rickards, Lauren
  • Published: 2019
  • Volume: n/a
  • ISBN: 1745-5863

Abstract: The Adani mine controversy is a significant new space of contestation in conflicts over coal mining and climate change in Australia. Proposed as one of the largest new coal mines in the world, the Adani (or “Carmichael”) mine has become a flashpoint between two broad coalitions—the pro-mine coalition, consisting of governments, elements of the media, and mining interests, and the anti-mine coalition, consisting of community groups, environmental non-government organisations, activists, Indigenous communities, and farmers. Based on thematic analysis of news media articles and interviews with environmental actors in the Adani mine controversy, this article demonstrates how each coalition employs discursive scale frames and counter-scale frames to represent and contest the controversy. We find that the pro-mine coalition remains situated within a topographical spatiality, with a backwards oriented temporality, that obscures emergent topologies from their view. In contrast, while retaining capacity for operating within traditional scalar topographies, the anti-mine coalition is more adept at negotiating topologies that increasingly define our social worlds. It is oriented towards a deep future horizon in which the Adani mine controversy represents an opportunity to reshape existing social and political orders. The sorts of scalar tactics documented here are likely at work in other resource extraction controversies, highlighting the need to attend to how scale may be being used to obscure irrationalities and injustices in extraction projects, and the potential for counter-scale frames to help destabilise fossil fuel regimes.

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Jolley, Connor, Rickards, Lauren, 2019, Contesting coal and climate change using scale: emergent topologies in the Adani mine controversy, Volume:n/a, Journal Article, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=16393.

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