Mauritian Energyscapes

Compromise and Contestation

May 3, 2017

Jessica Caporusso

“I went there. You don’t want to go, trust me. You can’t breathe. [There’s a] heavy smell of petrol in the air that can’t be good.”

In the early morning hours of 21 June 2016, disaster struck just off the shoreline of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius. MV Benita, a Liberian bulk carrier en route to southern India, ran aground on a sandy atoll just shy of the village of Le Bouchon on the island’s southeast shore.[1] For a small island developing state such as Mauritius, any sort of large-scale environmental event becomes cause for alarm. The scale of ecological destruction and the fallout of MV Benita were catastrophic.

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The Trouble with Bats

Valuing Urban Naturecultures

April 21, 2016

Jessica Caporusso

This post is presented in this week’s series recognizing Earth Day, Friday, April 22.

“Qu’est-ce qu’on va faire à propos des chauves-souris?”

What are we going to do about the bats?

I sit among a small cluster of locals and expats as we sip on coffee and soft drinks sweetened by locally grown sugarcane. We are crowded around a collection of bistro tables pushed together in the center of a busy café. The tropical sky overhead is clear, with not a single cloud in sight. No birds. No bats either.

They came for the bats—not to kill them. No, we are here to discuss ways of relocating the unwelcome creatures elsewhere. Elsewhere could be anywhere—just as long it was away from the towns, away from the orchards. In short, away from humans.
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