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Land Matters. Agrofuels, Unequal Exchange, and Appropriation of Ecological Space

Hermele, Kenneth LU (2012) In Lund Studies in Human Ecology 13.
Abstract
As a global society we are entering an era where land areas and land-based resources are coming to the fore once again for capital accumulation and economic growth, for the first time since the end of the 18th century when Malthus forecasted a contradiction between population growth and agricultural output. That constraint on economic growth, imposed by limited land areas, was overcome by the combination of fossil fuels (coal, oil) and appropriation of space overseas (colonialism, trade).



Today we are entering a period of peak oil, and this restraint on growth is accompanied by the recognition that mitigating climate change requires a veto on the use of other fossil fuels as well as on further deforestation; thus peak... (More)
As a global society we are entering an era where land areas and land-based resources are coming to the fore once again for capital accumulation and economic growth, for the first time since the end of the 18th century when Malthus forecasted a contradiction between population growth and agricultural output. That constraint on economic growth, imposed by limited land areas, was overcome by the combination of fossil fuels (coal, oil) and appropriation of space overseas (colonialism, trade).



Today we are entering a period of peak oil, and this restraint on growth is accompanied by the recognition that mitigating climate change requires a veto on the use of other fossil fuels as well as on further deforestation; thus peak oil co-exists with peak soil, at least this is the assumption on which I build my argument.



Agrofuels cannot - not even in Brazil, my case study - help but intensify this conflict as each increase in land use has a tendency to lead to direct and indirect land use changes in the global system.



The centrality of land areas and land-based resources results in a systematic appropriation of ecological space by the Centre from the Periphery, resulting in an unequal exchange of ecological resources, and a displacement of ecological loads from the Centre to the Periphery. In this way, the colonial pattern of appropriation of land areas is replicated today. At the same time, new powerful actors are entering the global scene, and Europe, Japan and USA now compete with China, South Korea and India for the limited land areas available.



Conflicts over land-areas and land-based resources are what the future most likely holds in store, both in the form of resource wars, and in the shape of land grabbing. Thus I postulate a new agro-regime,where the appropriation of fungible land-areas for the production of food, feed, fibres and fuels, as well as for the mitigation of climate change, are highly conflictual processes. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Röpke, Inge, Aalborg University, Denmark
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Land, Agrofuels, Ecologically unequal exchange, Environmental load displacement, Land grabbing, Malthus, Brazil, Ethanol, Resource wars, Land Use change, Indirect land use change
in
Lund Studies in Human Ecology
volume
13
pages
239 pages
publisher
Human Ecology Division, Lund University
defense location
Världen, Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan 10, Lund
defense date
2012-09-22 10:15
ISSN
1403-5022
ISBN
978-91-7473-349-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9d47df84-cfc9-432e-bdee-50394f85f9c8 (old id 2969351)
date added to LUP
2012-08-10 11:53:04
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:50
@phdthesis{9d47df84-cfc9-432e-bdee-50394f85f9c8,
  abstract     = {As a global society we are entering an era where land areas and land-based resources are coming to the fore once again for capital accumulation and economic growth, for the first time since the end of the 18th century when Malthus forecasted a contradiction between population growth and agricultural output. That constraint on economic growth, imposed by limited land areas, was overcome by the combination of fossil fuels (coal, oil) and appropriation of space overseas (colonialism, trade). <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Today we are entering a period of peak oil, and this restraint on growth is accompanied by the recognition that mitigating climate change requires a veto on the use of other fossil fuels as well as on further deforestation; thus peak oil co-exists with peak soil, at least this is the assumption on which I build my argument. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Agrofuels cannot - not even in Brazil, my case study - help but intensify this conflict as each increase in land use has a tendency to lead to direct and indirect land use changes in the global system. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
The centrality of land areas and land-based resources results in a systematic appropriation of ecological space by the Centre from the Periphery, resulting in an unequal exchange of ecological resources, and a displacement of ecological loads from the Centre to the Periphery. In this way, the colonial pattern of appropriation of land areas is replicated today. At the same time, new powerful actors are entering the global scene, and Europe, Japan and USA now compete with China, South Korea and India for the limited land areas available. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Conflicts over land-areas and land-based resources are what the future most likely holds in store, both in the form of resource wars, and in the shape of land grabbing. Thus I postulate a new agro-regime,where the appropriation of fungible land-areas for the production of food, feed, fibres and fuels, as well as for the mitigation of climate change, are highly conflictual processes.},
  author       = {Hermele, Kenneth},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-349-5},
  issn         = {1403-5022},
  keyword      = {Land,Agrofuels,Ecologically unequal exchange,Environmental load displacement,Land grabbing,Malthus,Brazil,Ethanol,Resource wars,Land Use change,Indirect land use change},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {239},
  publisher    = {Human Ecology Division, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Human Ecology},
  title        = {Land Matters. Agrofuels, Unequal Exchange, and Appropriation of Ecological Space},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2012},
}