Pollution Is Colonialism

224 pages

English language

Published May 7, 2021 by Duke University Press.


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5 stars (1 review)

In Pollution Is Colonialism Max Liboiron presents a framework for understanding scientific research methods as practices that can align with or against colonialism. They point out that even when researchers are working toward benevolent goals, environmental science and activism are often premised on a colonial worldview and access to land. Focusing on plastic pollution, the book models an anticolonial scientific practice aligned with Indigenous, particularly Métis, concepts of land, ethics, and relations. Liboiron draws on their work in the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR)—an anticolonial science laboratory in Newfoundland, Canada—to illuminate how pollution is not a symptom of capitalism but a violent enactment of colonial land relations that claim access to Indigenous land. Liboiron's creative, lively, and passionate text refuses theories of pollution that make Indigenous land available for settler and colonial goals. In this way, their methodology demonstrates that anticolonial science is not only possible but is …

2 editions

Practical and generous

5 stars

I'm really glad I read this before going into a PhD program in an environmental sciences school. Max does a wonderful job of laying out the colonial assumptions baked into a lot of even well-intentioned environmental science and examples of how her lab at Memorial University works to challenge those assumptions while still engaging in rigorous, peer-reviewed research. One of the most accessible academic books I've read in a while.