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Sustainability 2012, 4(12), 3180-3205; doi:10.3390/su4123180
Article

Wind Farm Siting and Protected Areas in Catalonia: Planning Alternatives or Reproducing 'One-Dimensional Thinking'?

1,*  and 1,2
Received: 22 August 2012; in revised form: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 8 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
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Abstract: Wind energy is an emblem of sustainability with the potential to promote a qualitative alternative to current energy systems and nuclear options for CO2 reduction. However, wind farm siting often conflicts with aspirations to conserve traditional landscapes and wildlife habitats. In this paper we adopt a Critical Theory perspective, informed by Herbert Marcuse`s work, to study the discourse concerning wind energy siting in Catalonia, Spain. We give particular attention to how tensions between potentially conflicting sustainability objectives are addressed and by whom. Based on a review of this siting discourse and the application of Marcuse’s theory, we find that the Catalan wind energy siting discourse is both influenced by and reproducing what Marcuse referred to as the ‘one-dimensional thinking’ of technology as ideology: erasing the possibility of critical dialectical thought by subsuming the question of “what should be” under the question of “what is”. This has implications both for how these conflicts are investigated and for the sustainability of decisions taken. We conclude that closer attention to the role of ‘one-dimensional thinking’ in wind energy siting discourses could improve not only the understanding of their logic but might also have the potential to help make them more democratic.
Keywords: wind energy; protected areas; one-dimensional thinking; wicked problems; discourse analysis; post-normal science wind energy; protected areas; one-dimensional thinking; wicked problems; discourse analysis; post-normal science
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ariza-Montobbio, P.; Farrell, K.N. Wind Farm Siting and Protected Areas in Catalonia: Planning Alternatives or Reproducing 'One-Dimensional Thinking'? Sustainability 2012, 4, 3180-3205.

AMA Style

Ariza-Montobbio P, Farrell KN. Wind Farm Siting and Protected Areas in Catalonia: Planning Alternatives or Reproducing 'One-Dimensional Thinking'? Sustainability. 2012; 4(12):3180-3205.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ariza-Montobbio, Pere; Farrell, Katharine N. 2012. "Wind Farm Siting and Protected Areas in Catalonia: Planning Alternatives or Reproducing 'One-Dimensional Thinking'?" Sustainability 4, no. 12: 3180-3205.


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