Accepted Paper:

Our houses may be cracked but we are cracked too! Gas legacies and energy futures in the Netherlands  

Author:

Elisabeth Moolenaar (Regis University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the socio-cultural context of earthquakes induced by natural gas extraction in Groningen. It unpacks local meanings of gas extraction and ideas about natural resources, energy, and region/nation, and places those within debates about justice, climate change, and energy futures.

Paper long abstract:

Earthquakes induced by conventional natural gas extraction in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands, are rapidly changing the (built) landscape, as well as affecting identities, relationships, and subjectivities. Once considered the nation's treasure, in the minds of many people from Groningen the gas has become associated with a loss of security regarding landscape, government & nation, and conventional technology.

Drawing on four years of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper unpacks altered meanings of gas extraction, and natural resource extraction in general, in the wake of these seismic events. Furthermore, it examines ideas regarding natural resources, citizenship, and energy practices in the context of the gas extraction and addresses the complex interweavings of economic interests, social justice, and environmental concerns. Finally, the paper considers to what extent these indigenous understandings and experiences of the earthquakes and the gas extraction resonate with and further propel larger debates about justice, climate change, and energy futures, and how they inform energy policies and political platforms.

Panel P025
Energy in motion [Energy Anthropology Network]