Katelyn Friesen is currently a master’s student at the University of Manitoba. She is working on her thesis entitled ‘Environmental Justice and Human Health: A Sociological Case Study of the Alberta Tar Sands.’ Her research interests include environmental sociology, environmental justice, and the sociology of health.
By Mark Hudson, Katelyn Friesen, Transnational Institute
In order to understand power, we have to look not just to the fields of extraction and their ruined landscapes, nor only at the immediate effects on water, air, wildlife, and the nearby communities that rely on all three. We also have to look up and down the commodity chain. Attention is currently fixed downstream, at the politics and power manifesting in decisions about who and what is expendable in order to get the bitumen to market.