Wind power! Marketing renewable energy on tribal lands and the struggle for just sustainability
Using a case study approach and employing the critical framework of just sustainability, this article examines the ambivalent intersections of marketing and social/environmental justice as articulated through the public rhetoric of corporate entities that promote renewable energy generated on American Indian tribal lands. Because of its critical interest in the empowerment of disenfranchised communities through a shift away from traditional ways of valuing environmental sustainability and economic activity, just sustainability provides a valuable frame through which to interrogate not only articulations of economic development but also the use of popular American Indian archetypes like "the Ecological Indian" in the marketing of sustainable energy. We suggest that both our corporate case studies, NativeEnergy, which markets carbon offsets to clients, and the public utility company San Diego Gas and Electric, demonstrate efforts to advance many of the goals of just sustainability, and are successful in some respects, but fall short in others. We argue that shifts towards just sustainability in renewable energy projects on tribal lands, from management to the ways in which they are communicated to the public, will lead to more equitable economic, representational, and environmental conditions for participants.
|Keywords||American Indian, ecological Indian, just sustainability, marketing, tribal lands|
Brady, M, & Monani, S. (Salma). (2012). Wind power! Marketing renewable energy on tribal lands and the struggle for just sustainability. Local Environment, 17(2), 147–166. doi:10.1080/13549839.2011.646966