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Synopsis

"Sustainable development is, for government and industry at least, primarily a way of turning trees into lumber, tar into oil, and critique into consent; a way to defend the status quo of growth at any cost." —from the Introduction In Unsustainable Oil: Facts, Counterfacts and Fictions, Jon Gordon makes the case for re-evaluating the theoretical, political, and environmental issues around petroleum extraction. Doing so, he argues, will reinvigorate our understanding of the culture and the ethics of energy production in Canada. Rather than looking for better facts or better interpretations of the facts, Gordon challenges us to embrace the future after oil. Reading fiction can help us understand the cultural-ecological crisis that we inhabit. In Unsustainable Oil, using the lens of Alberta’s bituminous sands, he asks us to consider literature’s potential to open space for creative alternatives.

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