Renewing Destruction examines how wind energy projects impact people and their environments. Wind energy development, in Mexico and most countries, fall into a ‘roll out’ neoliberal strategy that is justified by climate change mitigation programs that are continuing a process of land and wind resources grabbing for profit. The result has been an exaggeration of pre-existing problems in communities around land, income-inequality, local politics and, contrary to public relations stories, is devastating traditional livelihoods and socio-ecological relationships. Exacerbating pre-existing social and material problems in surrounding towns, wind energy development is placing greater stress on semi-subsistence communities, marginalizing Indigenous traditions and indirectly resulting in the displacement and migration of people into urban centers.
Based on intensive fieldwork with local groups in Oaxaca Mexico in 2015, the book provides an in-depth study, demonstrating the complications and problems that emerge with the current regime of ‘sustainable development’ and wind energy projects in Mexico, which has wider lessons to be drawn for other regions and countries. Put simply, the book reveals a tragic reality that calls into question the marketed hopes of the green economy and the current method of climate change mitigation. It shows the variegated impacts and issues associated with building wind energy parks, which extends to recognizing the destructive effects on Indigenous cultures and practices in the region. The book, however, highlights what to consider or, more importantly, what to avoid if one is working with industrial-scale wind energy systems.
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Istmo: A Brief History of Politics, Conflict and Development
Chapter 2: ‘We are surrounded:’ Living under Wind Turbines in La Ventosa
Chapter 3: Counterinsurgency for Wind Energy: The Bíi Hioxo Wind Park
Chapter 4: Insurrection for Land, Sea and Generational Integrity in Álvaro Obregón
Chapter 5: The Theatrics and Violence of Consultations: The Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Consultation in Juchitán
Chapter 6: Renewing Destruction: Colonization, the Genocide-Ecocide Nexus and Wind Energy Development
Conclusion: The Grid System Spreads, Dependency Consolidates
About the Author
Renewing Destruction lays bare the structural violence that underpins the imposition of industrial-scale wind energy projects in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Accessible, historically rooted, and attuned to popular resistance, Dunlap's writing blows apart the myths of clean power and green capitalism.
Renewing Destruction is a fascinating and disturbing account of social injustice, protest and resistance. After a period of courageous field research to investigate the social impact of wind energy development, Dunlap reveals how neocolonial takeover and significant cultural and ecological degradation can come about in the name of economic prosperity, mitigating climate change and sustainable development.
Renewing Destruction is a systematic analysis of wind parks in Oaxaca, Mexico. Combining critical thought and engaged anthropological research, the author unveils the complex territorial and cultural implications of green energies for indigenous peoples. The book presents not only a strong critic of “green capitalist solutions” to climate change broadly but also how these “green” solutions are violent and generate dispossession and displacement as expressions of extractive capitalism.
Alexander Dunlap is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo.