Advertisement

Ecuador and the Chevron Case: Spinning Risk, Hazard and Reward

  • Juliet Pinto
  • Paola Prado
  • J. Alejandro Tirado-Alcaraz
Chapter
  • 221 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on Ecuadorian press coverage of the Chevron legal case in Ecuador, which arose out of allegations that indigenous populations suffered health hazards from decades of living in lands contaminated by petroleum extractive activities. A case study of the nexus of news values and environmental and health risk and hazard, it offers an opportunity to better comparatively understand the mediated social construction of claims-making during one of the biggest environmental legal battles in the world. Legal arenas provide ground for study of disproportionate risks in terms of actors, responsibility and credibility, as claims are picked up by media and repeated over time. These iterations have significance for public engagement, agency and debate over issues associated with risks to environmental and human health.

Keywords

News Article Environmental Justice Indigenous Group Expert Testimony News Coverage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adam, B. (2000). The media timescapes of BSE News. In S. Allan, B. Adam, & C. Carter (Eds.), Environmental risks and the media (pp. 117–129). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Adam, B., & Van Loon, J. (2000). Introduction: Repositioning risk; The challenge for social theory. In B. Adam, U. Beck, & J. Van Loon (Eds.), The risk society and beyond: Critical issues for social theory (pp. 1–32). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alvarez, S., Dagnino, E., & Escobar, A. (1998). Cultures of politics/politics of cultures: Re-visioning Latin American social movements. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, A. (1997). Media, culture and the environment. Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Associated Press (AP). (2007, September 3) Chevron Texaco Dice que Juicio en Ecuador Está Viciado [Chevron Texaco says the Judgment in Ecuador is Corrupted]. eluniverso.com. Accessed September 28, 2012.
  6. Barrett, P. (2016, August 8). Chevron wins big in $9.5 billion oil pollution case. But it’s not over yet. bloomberg.com. Accessed August 20, 2016.
  7. Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Toward a new modernity. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  8. Bennett, W. L. (1990). Toward a theory of press-state relations in the United States. Journal of Communication, 40(2): 103–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennett, W. L., Pickard, V. W., Iozzi, D. P. et al. (2004). Managing the public sphere: Construction of the great globalization debate. Journal of Communication, 54(3): 437–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blumer, H. (1971). Social problems as collective behavior. Social Problems, 18(3): 298–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boykoff, M. (2007). Flogging a dead norm? Newspaper coverage of anthropogenic climate change in the United States and United Kingdom from 2003 to 2006. Area, 39(2): 470–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boykoff, M., & Boykoff, J. (2004). Balance as bias: Global warming and the US Prestige Press. Global Environmental Change, 14: 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cepek, M. (2012). The loss of oil: Constituting disaster in Amazonian Ecuador. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 17(3): 393–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cherry, M., & Sneirson, J. (2012). Chevron, greenwashing, and the myth of “green oil companies.” Journal of Energy, Climate & Environment, 3: 133–154.Google Scholar
  15. Chevron.com. (2016). Ecuador lawsuit: Background. https://www.chevron.com/ecuador/background/. Accessed December 23, 2016.
  16. Demeritt, D. (2006). Science studies, climate change and the prospects for constructivist critique. Economy and Society, 35(3): 453–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dessler, A., & Parson, E. (2010). The science and politics of global climate change: A guide to the debate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. El Comercio. (2003, June 17). El impacto de Texaco aún se siente en la Amazonia [Texaco’s impact is still felt in the Amazon]. elcomercio.com. Accessed May 5, 2011.
  19. El Comercio. (2008, April 1). USD 8300 millones en daños en Amazonia por petrolera Texaco [$8.3 billion in damages in the Amazon for Texaco]. elcomercio.com. Accessed September 28, 2012.
  20. El Universo. (2006, March 8). Denuncian contaminación de Texaco en selvas de Ecuador [They denounce Texaco’s contamination in the Ecuadorian jungles]. eluniverso.com. Accessed September 28, 2012.
  21. El Universo. (2007, April 27). Correa acusa a Texaco y respalda demanda [Correa accuses Texaco and backs lawsuit]. eluniverso.com. Accessed September 28, 2012.
  22. El Universo. (2009, July 1). Ecuador anuncia fallo a favor en demanda Chevron [Ecuador announces ruling in favor of the Chevron demand]. eluniverso.com. Accessed September 28, 2012.
  23. Finer, M., Jenkins, C., Pimm, S., Keane, B., & Ross, C. (2008). Oil and gas projects in the western Amazon: Threats to wilderness, biodiversity, and indigenous peoples. PLoS One, 3(8): 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Habermas, J. (1989). The structural transformation of the public sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hansen, A. (1993). The mass media and environmental issues. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hansen, A. (2000). Claims-making and framing in British newspaper coverage of the “Brent Spar” controversy. In S. Allan, B. Adam, & C. Carter (Eds.), Environmental risks and the media (pp. 55–72). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Hilgers, T. (Ed.). (2012). Clientelism in everyday Latin American politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  28. Hong, N. (2016, August 8). Chevron wins ruling blocking enforcement of $9.5 billion Ecuador judgement. wsj.com. Accessed August 20, 2016.
  29. Joseph, S. (2012). Protracted lawfare: The tale of Chevron Texaco in the Amazon. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 3(1): 70–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kasperson, R., Renn, O., Slovic, P., Brown, H., Emel, J., Goble, R.,…Ratick, S. (1988). The social amplification of risk: A conceptual framework. Risk Analysis, 8(2): 178–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kimerling, J. (2006). Lands, liberties, and legacies: indigenous peoples and international law: Regional issues in the international indigenous rights movement: Transnational operations, bi-national injustice: Chevrontexaco and indigenous Huaorani and Kichwa in the amazon rainforest in Ecuador. American Indian Law Review, 31: 445–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kimerling, J. (2012). Huaorani land rights in Ecuador: Oil, contact and conservation. Environmental Justice, 5(5): 236–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Major, A., & Atwood, L. E. (2004). Environmental risks in the news: Issues, sources, problems and values. Public Understanding of Science, 13: 295–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mazur, A. (2009). American generation of environmental warnings: Avian influenza and global warming. Research in Human Ecology, 16(1): 17–26.Google Scholar
  35. McAteer, E., & Pulver, S. (2009). The Corporate Boomerang: Shareholder transnational advocacy networks targeting oil companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Global Environmental Politics, 9(1): 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Murdock, G., Petts, J., & Horlick-Jones, T. (2003). After amplification: Rethinking the role of the media in risk communication. In N. Pidgeon, R. Kasperson, & P. Slovic (Eds.), The social amplification of risk (pp. 156–178). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nejamkis, G. (2013, January 30). Argentine Court upholds freeze on Chevron assets. Reuters.com. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-chevron-argentina-idUSBRE90T1AI20130130. Accessed December 23, 2016.
  38. Nisbet, M. C. (2009). Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 51(2), 12–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parloff, R. (2016, September 11). Here’s why Ecuador’s $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron is headed to Canada. Fortune.com. http://fortune.com/2016/09/11/chevron-pollution-amazon-ecuador-canada/. Accessed December 23, 2016.
  40. Radden-Keefe, P. (2012, January 9). Reversal of fortune. NewYorker.com. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/09/120109fa_fact_keefe?currentPage=all. Accessed September 27, 2012.
  41. Robinson, E. E. (2002). Community frame analysis in Love Canal: Understanding messages in a contaminated community. Sociological Spectrum, 22: 139–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sawyer, S. (2004). Crude chronicles: Indigenous politics, multinational oil, and neoliberalism in Ecuador. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sawyer, S. (2007). Empire/multitude—State/civil society: Rethinking topographies of power through transnational connectivity in Ecuador and beyond. Social Analysis, 51(2): 64–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Southgate, D., & Wasserstrom, R. (2009, June). Oil development, deforestation, and indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Paper presented at the 2009 Latin American Studies Association Meeting, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Google Scholar
  45. Singer, E., & Endreny, P. M. (1993). Reporting on risk: How the mass media portray accidents, diseases, other hazards. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  46. Vidal, J. (2016, April 4). Ecuador drills for oil on edge of pristine rainforest in Yasuni. guardian.co.uk. Accessed August 20, 2016.Google Scholar
  47. Waisbord, S. (2002). Journalism, risk and patriotism. In B. Zelizer & S. Allen (Eds.), Journalism after September 11 (pp. 201–220). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Waisbord, S., & Peruzzotti, E. (2009). The environmental story that wasn’t: Advocacy, journalism, and the asembleísmo movement in Argentina. Media, Culture & Society, 31(5): 691–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliet Pinto
    • 1
  • Paola Prado
    • 2
  • J. Alejandro Tirado-Alcaraz
    • 3
  1. 1.Journalism and Mass CommunicationFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA
  2. 2.Communication DeptRoger Williams UniversityBristolUSA
  3. 3.Dept. Politics & International RelationsRoger Williams UniversityBristolUSA

Personalised recommendations