1st Edition

Limits to Terrestrial Extraction

Edited By Robert Kirsch Copyright 2020
    92 Pages
    by Routledge

    90 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on the social, cultural, and ecological consequences of a political economy of energy.

    A political economy of energy holds that an enduring hallmark of the current context is a reorganization of human society toward energy extraction and production. Limits to Terrestrial Extraction looks at the construction of society itself as an energy-harvesting “megamachine,” the ecomodernist project of the latter half of the twentieth century and its disastrous environmental record, and mining Near Earth Objects to extract extraterrestrial resources. Each chapter explores a limit to terrestrial extraction – spatially, economically, or socially – finding that business as usual cannot yield a different world. The authors eschew easy answers of natural resource management or discourses of wise use, instead offering critiques of market society and its constitutive drive to produce and waste energy. Overall, this volume establishes the existential stakes and scope of change that will be required to build a better world.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental political theory, as well as social scientists and humanities scholars who study the intersection of energy and society.

    List of Contributors

    1. Introduction

    Robert E. Kirsch

    2. Mumford and Bataille: Towards a Political Economy of Energy Consumption

    Robert E. Kirsch

    3. Climate Change and Decarbonization: The Politics of Delusion, Delay, and Destruction in Ecopragmatic Energy Extractivism

    Timothy W. Luke

    4. Star Power: Outer Space Mining and the Metabolic Rift

    Emily Ray and Sean Parson

    5. Conclusion

    Robert E. Kirsch and Emily Ray



    Robert E. Kirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Leadership and Integrative Studies at Arizona State University, USA.