Alexander Dunlap: More wind energy colonialism(s) in Oaxaca? Reasonable findings, unacceptable development
Published in Energy Research & Social Science, 2021
This Perspective article, offers a commentary intervention to the article, ‘Transactional Colonialism in Wind Energy Investments: Energy Injustices against Vulnerable People in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec’ by Jacobo Ramirez and Steffen Böhm. After the introduction, the first section highlights numerous issue with the term transactional colonialism, which relates to the poor use of ‘internal colonialism’. While the generality of their claims are agreeable, the authors’ argument implies that ‘unequal economic transactions and cognitive injustices’ are somehow different and/or new from ‘European colonialism’ and ‘internal colorization’, which—among other points—I believe is a mistake. The subsequent section, then, confronts how the article actively reduces the complexity of actors in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which is poorly justified—appearing arbitrary and politically self-serving. Thirdly, and common in energy research, speaks to the largely uncritical appraisal of wind energy technologies and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7. The conclusion then summaries the article, making the final points.