Not all glitters in the black gold: Uncertainties and environmental threats of the Brazilian Pre-salt

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Abstract

Technologies used for offshore oil exploration, in increasingly remote and extreme environments, potentiate new environmental threats in contemporary societies. In this context and from a theoretical-analytical perspective associated with Environmental Sociology, based on qualitative research results developed between 2013 and 2016, this article aims to comprehend the treatment of Pre-salt environmental threats in Brazil, a sociotechnical enterprise considered as strategic for national development from the governmental point of view. The researchers argue that the possible environmental consequences, even in face of unquantifiable uncertainties, were addressed, mainly from a perspective of measurable and controllable risks, in two of the main stages of the Pre-salt environmental arena: media and environmental licensing process. This treatment did not encourage a consistent public debate on the issue nor any governmental actions about possible unpredictable and uncontrollable consequences that characterize the technological systems, as represented by the Pre-salt.

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Viglio, J. E., Di Giulio, G. M., & Ferreira, L. D. C. (2017). Not all glitters in the black gold: Uncertainties and environmental threats of the Brazilian Pre-salt. Ambiente e Sociedade, 20(3), 21–38. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4422ASOC58R3V2032017

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