Ecology, Politics and Hydroelectric Power in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor, Costa Rica

Author(s): Simon Luffman
Published: 2014
Type: M.E.S. Papers/Theses

Hydroelectric dam projects are ideal foci for examining ecology, conservation, privatisation, globalisation and water rights. Proposed construction of hydroelectric power projects in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (ASBC), Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, and in neighbouring areas, may have grave consequences for the local and watershed level ecology. Decisions to undertake these projects, or oppose them, must be understood contextually in regards to local issues, national economic agreements and supranational interests. While micro-level studies have a place in practicality, the ASBC will benefit from examination from a much wider lens that goes beyond the political economic forces that generate such projects; to examine greater philosophical connections between humans, technology and nature.If viewed from a holistic ecological viewpoint, the ecosystem called the ASBC is a form of cyborg supra- organism, a gestalt of human, non-human and technological elements working in simultaneity, if perhaps not in concert. The result is a schizophrenic state in which biological elements antagonistically interact thanks to technological evolution spurred by external stimuli of ideology. The "environmentalist" industry of the corridor cannot be conceptually separated from its dependence on electricity derived from the same sources as the one ostensibly poised to destroy it. These biological and technological elements are inextricably intertwined for the foreseeable future, making all local and foreign interactions with the Corridor dependent on understanding and consideration of this hybridstate.

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