Energy Anthropology Network - EAN (European Association of Social Anthropologists - EASA)
Although renewable energies are to be supported during the course of the German energy transition, lignite is still presented as an important partner and transitory technology in this mix. However, the consequences of a constant energy supply for thousands of people in lignite areas, in particular resettlement, are often disregarded.
EASA 2018 conference in Stockholm was the occasion for the EAN Network’s first fully fledged energy panel. A strong line up of papers reflected the quality of current anthropological research in the field, and the growing interest in an expanding range of topics.
During my research visits at Nordic companies in the Gulf in 2018 it did not take long to realize that before turning to business cooperation within smart and sustainable technologies, be it among Emiratis or Norwegians, it is necessary to understand local perceptions of sustainability, energy, oil, and well-being.
Climate change produces problems for anthropology. Like other global phenomena, its scale is both difficult to comprehend and challenging for the immediate methods of anthropology. Insofar as climate change is anthropogenic (human-made), humans–or, rather, certain forms of human existence–have become a geological force at the planetary level. How can humans, as anthropology ethave claimed, be both cultural beings (more-than-mere-nature) bound to place, yet a global geological force of “nature”?