1st Edition

Seeking Justice in an Energy Sacrifice Zone Standing on Vanishing Land in Coastal Louisiana

By Julie K. Maldonado Copyright 2019
    190 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Seeking Justice in an Energy Sacrifice Zone is an ethnography of the lived experience of rapid environmental change in coastal Louisiana, USA. Writing from a political ecology perspective, Maldonado explores the effects of changes to localized climate and ecology on the Isle de Jean Charles, Grand Caillou/Dulac, and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribes. Focusing in particular on wide-ranging displacement effects, she argues that changes to climate and ecology should not be viewed in isolation as only physical processes but as part of wider socio-political and historical contexts. The book is valuable reading for students and scholars in the fields of anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies and disaster studies as well as public policy and planning.


    1. A Climate of Change

    2. Entrée into Coastal Louisiana: Seeing the Unexpected

    3. Co-occurring and Accumulating Disasters

    4. A Legacy of Atrocities: Establishing an Energy Sacrifice Zone 

    5. Corexit to Forget It: The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster

    6. Adaptation and Resistance

    7. Community-led Resettlement: Obstacles, Challenges, and Opportunities

    8. A Call to Action: “We Have Got to Slow the Rising Tide”


    Appendix: Additional Resources


    Julie K. Maldonado is Director of Research for the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) and a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California-Santa Barbara, USA. She works with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and co-facilitates "Rising Voices: Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions". Her work focuses on climate adaptation, disasters, displacement, resettlement, and environmental and climate justice.

    "A tour de force of big oil, climate change, fresh oysters, and family ties. […] Students are going to love it, and anyone who loves Louisiana or is curious about climate change is going to be motivated to act."
    Elizabeth Marino, Oregon State University - Cascades, USA

    "A journey to the Louisiana bayous that illustrates how global and historical processes trap local communities between the rock of fossil fuel extraction and the hard place of deteriorating local environments. […] Through her compassionate attention to people’s stories and experiences, Maldonado provides a compelling analysis of communities enmeshed in broader processes of climate change, energy production, community resettlement, and justice."
    Heather Lazrus, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA