ABSTRACT In this article, I explore what a critical environmental perspective would look like in Melanesia, where the distinction between nature and culture, and the expectation that science interprets the former in terms of the latter, may not apply. I consider changes in scientific knowledge production and the shift from cultural ecology to political ecology in Melanesian anthropology, including the argument that Melanesians are neither conservationists nor environmentalists. In contrast, I show how people exposed to pollution from the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea mobilize their understandings of difference in a green critique of capitalism. I examine a strategy session of local activists, a public meeting about their campaign against the mine, and a sorcery tribunal. Finally, I suggest that Melanesian ideas about social relations provide a useful ethnographic analogy for thinking about the mobility and short temporal horizons of contemporary capitalism.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.