Roopali Phadke, Macalester College; Kirk Jalbert, Arizona State University; Javiera Barandiaran, UC Santa Barbara;
Demand for critical minerals is predicted to soar in coming decades to support the energy transition, particularly for solar, wind, and batteries (for electric vehicles and beyond). In tandem with this rapid growth is an emerging body of scholarship in STS investigating how demand for and supply of critical minerals are co-produced within political, economic, cultural, and technoscientific systems.
This open panel invites paper proposals exploring these interdependencies. Specifically, we welcome contributions that examine how innovations for 'climate smart mining' are producing new techno-science models and techniques, risk assessments, financialization, corporate social responsibility, as well as the double-binds of securing lands for resource extraction in support of green economies.
We are interested in papers that explore questions such as: How does the climate change framing produce new rationales and platforms for expanding mining geographies? Who gets to define what minerals are deemed most critical? Who will bear the environmental, social, and health impacts of the global race for critical minerals? How do knowledge and its gaps about the critical minerals industry contribute to these inequalities? What opportunities are there for democratizing climate solutions that depend on critical minerals? And how can STS concepts, methods, and engagements provide foundational tools and resources for groups and communities seeking to make sense of their relationship with critical minerals industries?
The answers to these questions are necessary to heed this conference's call to center struggles over land, water, and bodies in our understanding of oppression and marginalization.