Memorial University

Stephanie Sodero’s (Memorial University, Ph.D. student) research centres on the intersection of mobility and climate change, with a focus on severe storm events.

Oil, tourism and climate change: Petrocapitalist mobility networks in Newfoundland, 1992-2010
(with Mark Stoddart)

This paper explores how the government of Newfoundland mediates tensions between environmentalism and mobilities. Specifically, we describe the role of extractive and attractive development, analyzing the political ecology of the oil and tourism sectors since the 1992 cod moratorium. Both sectors are embedded in petrocapitalist mobility networks: the energy sector through withdrawing fossil fuels, and the tourism sector as part of a global, fossil-fueled transport system. Further, the oil and tourism sectors fall within Newfoundland’s two most greenhouse gas intensive sectors, stationary combustion and transport, and are consequently at odds with provincial greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. While the spheres of oil development, tourism and climate change run into, spill over and indeed, in large part, constitute one another, they are addressed by the province as discrete development pathways, resulting in the pursuit of paradoxical policy goals. From a neo-Gramscian perspective, Newfoundland’s focus on oil and tourism, combined with incremental environmental measures in the area of mobility, constitute a neoliberal climate change project. This paper highlights the differential treatment of environmental considerations within global, petrocapitalist and tourist mobility networks.