A Line in the Bit-Sands

  • Geo Takach
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)


This chapter introduces the book’s multipronged, arts-based case study, focusing on how the identity of a place is constructed and contested in the face of environmental concerns around fossil-fuel extraction in a globalized, visual society. It examines the rising, international public-relations war over Alberta’s environmental stewardship of the world’s third-largest source of oil and its largest source of synthetic oil, the bituminous (‘tar’/‘oil’) sands. As a symbolic epicentre of the rising clash between the economic-development imperatives of extractive capitalism and its unsustainable costs, the project epitomizes what the Canadian theorist, Harold Innis, described as a struggle for balance between societies whose values are based on opposing axes of time and space. The chapter concludes with notes on the theory and research methods grounding this work.


Environmental communication Environment Arts-based research Alberta Tar sands/oil sands Critical theory Harold Innis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geo Takach
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Roads UniversityVictoria, BCCanada

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