Extreme Energy Initiative

Project Summary

This project is hosted by: Human Rights Consortium

Research interests:
Communities, Classes, Races, Human rights
Africa, Asia, Australasia, North America, United Kingdom
Project period:
01-Oct-2012 - 17-Mar-2014
Project summary:

 As conventional fossil fuels become exhausted governments and corporations are turning to progressively more extreme methods to secure energy supplies with increasingly severe social and environmental consequences, for the growing numbers of people affected. While, until recently, the Athabasca tar sands in Canada was the poster child for such practices, a whole raft of new techniques such as shale oil and gas, coal-bed methane and underground coal gasification are now threatening to become ubiquitous throughout large parts of the globe. Energy extraction is already a major driver of human rights abuses worldwide but the scope and severity of these impacts seem set to massively increase in the near future.

The Extreme Energy Initiative is the only academic forum in the world to concentrate specifically on the effects of unconventional fossil fuel extraction on society and the environment. The methods and practices of extreme energy extraction are necessarily fast changing as resources deplete and new more extreme methods are developed to try to replace them. This poses challenges for research in terms of the timely dissemination of information. To this end, the Extreme Energy Initiative will host conferences, workshops, seminars and short courses, and initiate and facilitate publishing. The initiative will bring together scholars, practitioners, policy makers and activists working on issues related to extreme energy production and its human rights implications in order to stimulate discussion and collaboration and enhance relevant policy impact nationally and internationally.

Management Details

Lead researcher & project contact:

Name Position Institute Organisation Contact
Dr Damien Short Director Human Rights Consortium School of Advanced Study damien.short@sas.ac.uk


Other collaborative organisations:

Name URL Contact
Aidan Ricketts http://aidanricketts.com/
Chip Northrup http://www.scribd.com/northrup49
Dr. Jannette Barth http://www.catskillcitizens.org/learn_one.cfm?t=2&c=22
Paul Mobbs http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml


Related Activities

Related events:

Title Details Date
Extreme Coal in the UK: Fracking for Coalbed Methane and Underground Coal

 Discussion, films and short presentations by:

Aidan Ricketts: author of the recently released Activists' Handbook and activist with the Lock the Gate alliance, the massively successful Australian anti-coal seam gas campaign.

Coal Action Network: talking open-cast mining and resistance. What can we learn from the fight against open-cast?

Frack Off: giving a brief overview of the extreme coal situation in the UK. Fracking for coalbed methane amd underground coal gasification: why this is happening, where it is happening, and what the technologies involve.

Extreme Energy in the UK

 The Government in Westminster is pressing ahead with support for a new set of "unconventional" fossil fuel technologies in an attempt to boost the UK economy. These technologies – shale gas (also known as "fracking"), coalbed methane and underground coal gasification – have a problematic safety record, and are known to risk serious environmental contamination as a result of their operation. In this lecture we'll examine the technical details of these "extreme" energy technologies, what ecological risks they present, and the flaws in the reasoning behind the UK Government's support for these technologies.



Related websites:

Title Details
Extreme Energy Initiative website

 The Extreme Energy Initiative is a unique academic forum that concentrates specifically on the effects of unconventional fossil fuel extraction on society and the environment. The initiative focuses particularly on the role of extreme energy production in driving violations of rights to land, water, food, health, life, indigenous peoples’ rights and freedom of expression.