Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes

Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes

by Julie Michelle Klinger

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Rare Earth Frontiers is a work of human geography that serves to demystify the powerful elements that make possible the miniaturization of electronics, green energy and medical technologies, and essential telecommunications and defense systems. Julie Michelle Klinger draws attention to the fact that the rare earths we rely on most are as common as copper or lead, and this means the implications of their extraction are global. Klinger excavates the rich historical origins and ongoing ramifications of the quest to mine rare earths in ever more impossible places.

Klinger writes about the devastating damage to lives and the environment caused by the exploitation of rare earths. She demonstrates in human terms how scarcity myths have been conscripted into diverse geopolitical campaigns that use rare earth mining as a pretext to capture spaces that have historically fallen beyond the grasp of centralized power. These include legally and logistically forbidding locations in the Amazon, Greenland, and Afghanistan, and on the Moon. Drawing on ethnographic, archival, and interview data gathered in local languages and offering possible solutions to the problems it documents, this book examines the production of the rare earth frontier as a place, a concept, and a zone of contestation, sacrifice, and transformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501714603
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 340
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Julie Michelle Klinger holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware.  

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. What Are Rare Earth Elements?
2. Placing China in the World History of Discovery, Production, and Use
3. "Welcome to the Hometown of Rare Earths"
4. Rude Awakenings
5. From the Heartland to the Head of the Dog
6. Extraglobal Extraction

What People are Saying About This

Ryan Kiggins

"Rare Earth Frontiers could easily become the go-to reference for policymakers concerned with the global politics of rare earths. I could envision this book being adopted in courses offered in the disciplines of material science, political science, economics, political anthropology, geography, and sociology. I very much became engrossed in the fieldwork stories, which helped to put a human face on this topic."

Customer Reviews