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Video Now Available: Remapping Climate Justice with Thea Riofrancos

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 - 1:30pm

View the video here.

May 2, 2023 - As part of the Mitchell Center's Capitalism/Socialism/Democracy Series, you are invited to join THEA RIOFRANCOS for an in-depth conversation about environmentalism in an age of extraction. Drawing on Riofrancos's recent work on the mining of lithium — an essential component of electric batteries for electric vehicles — this conversation asks difficult questions about battery supply chains, which cause degradation of biodiversity and water systems in the Global South. As Riofrancos also shows, however, the lithium frontier is expanding and mutating, with new projects being proposed — and protest against them erupting — in the Global North as well. She also discusses her work on lithium extraction in Chile, the US, and Europe, and oil and mining in Ecuador, reframing the radical politics that arises out of the politicization of anti-extraction. Instead of accepting common narratives of tensions between labor movements, Indigenous resistance, and other liberatory politics, Riofrancos gives us a wider picture of how truly global climate justice takes Indigenous sovereignty, environmental policy, and transit justice into account. Ultimately, she shows that we can achieve zero emissions mobility while also reducing demand for harmful mining. Moderated by M. EDITH SKLAROFF.