Recent Publications in the Faculty of Arts


Eaton, Emily (Department of Geography and Environmental Studies)
"Petro-Pedagogy: Fossil Fuel Interests and the Obstruction of Climate Justice in Public Education"
Abstract: The corporate control of energy production and the reach of fossil capital into civil and political society can be understood as a regime of obstruction that is preventing necessary action on climate change and blocking a just energy transition. In addition to overt forms of economic power and influence, hegemonic power is central to the fossil fuel industry’s regime of obstruction. Based on 29 interviews and an analysis of third-party teaching resources, this article shows how teaching practices and resources work to centre, legitimize, and entrench a set of beliefs relating to climate change, energy, and environmentalism that align with the interests of fossil fuel industry actors in Saskatchewan, Canada. We argue that these pedagogical practices promote student subjectivities consistent with neoliberal environmentalism centred on individual actions designed to insulate fossil fuel industries from criticism and dissuade young people from questioning or understanding the role of corporate power in the climate crisis. Furthermore, this petro-pedagogy intends to restrict the imagination of possible climate solutions to individual acts of conservation that fail to challenge the structural growth of fossil fuel consumption. This paper advances these teaching practices and resources as a ‘pedagogical arm’ of the regime of obstruction.