Conference: Ontario Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAGONT) @ York University, Toronto​
October 24 & 25, 2014

Organizers: Yvonne Rollins (yrollins@uwo.ca), PhD Candidate, Geography Department, Western University and Dr. Christina Hoicka (cehoicka@yorku.ca), Assistant Professor and PowerStream Chair in Sustainable Energy Economics, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

Purpose: This paper session seeks to contrast and problematize the linked notions of resourcefulness and wastefulness by exploring how they are enacted in a range of communities.

Issue: Communities are increasingly being asked to participate in promoting resourcefulness and reducing wastefulness. This may be achieved via a number of strategies, such as:

  • promoting behavioural change (e.g. source separation of waste, energy management practices)
  • adoption of new infrastructure (e.g. wind turbines, waste incinerators, localized energy production technologies)
  • increasing efficiency or elimination of existing products or services (e.g. transportation, home heating and cooling)

Resources for consideration may include, but are not limited to, natural phenomena such as wind, water, solar radiation, tides and waves or human produced / modified phenomena, such as waste and biofuels.

Content: For this session we seek papers concerned with, but not necessarily limited to, addressing the following questions:

  • Can resourcefulness lead to wastefulness? For example, does deriving power from renewable sources decrease motivation to conserve energy?  Does recycling allow consumption levels to remain high?
  • What challenges / tensions / unintended consequences attend the adoption of a particular resourceful behavior or infrastructure to address linked challenges? For example, biofuels’ purported contribution to climate change mitigation, energy security and rural development or incineration’s purported contribution to waste diversion, energy security, climate change mitigation and resilience of communities and cities.
  • In instances where competition between resources occurs, what factors (e.g. efficiency of process or scale of infrastructure) affect the balance that is ultimately implemented?  Examples may include, “food versus fuel” (biofuels); “recycling versus incineration” (waste management), “service versus efficiency” (energy usage).
  • What is the link between waste management systems and production systems? For example: nuclear waste disposal may affect decisions regarding nuclear power generation; extended producer responsibility enacted through waste legislation may affect how producers manufacture consumer goods.
  • What is the influence of discourse or symbolic imagery in molding public acceptance of resourceful behaviours or infrastructure? Particularly those that seek to address uncertainty and doubt via positive promotion (e.g. recycling symbol).
  • How do different actors (e.g. from government, non-government and private sector organisations) influence communities’ perceptions of resourcefulness and wastefulness?
  • How has the role of communities in producing, managing throughput and end of life of resources changed over time?
  • Who controls / owns / benefits from resourcefulness or wastefulness?
  • Which theoretical constructs and / or methodological positions are used by researchers to deepen understanding of such phenomena?

Joining Instructions:

  • E-mail your abstract to the session organizers by September 17, 2014, ensuring that it conforms to CAGONT guidelines as specified at: http://www.yorku.ca/laps/geog/cagont/
  • Session organizers will submit abstracts on behalf of authors and notify authors by September 19, 2014.
  • Register for CAGONT, noting “early bird” deadline of September 12, 2014, by following instructions at: http://www.yorku.ca/laps/geog/cagont/
  • Authors should submit their paper presentations to session organizers by October 23, 2014.