Oil in the Caribbean
Comparative Studies in Society and History, a leading history and anthropology journal, has published an article by David Bond called “Oil in the Caribbean: Refineries, Mangroves, and the Negative Ecologies of Crude Oil."
The article shows how oil spills in the Caribbean instigated a new ecological appreciation of mangroves. It draws on ethnographic and archival research Bond conducted in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, both of which were home to some of the world's largest refineries and petrochemical plants in the 1970s, as well as to some of the largest oil spills of that decade. The article tracks the long reach of these disasters into our present, describing how they fundamentally altered both the living landscape of the Caribbean and the scientific understanding of its value.