The Energy in COVID-19 bi-weekly research briefs collect the latest news read by our working group members. The overall aim of the briefs is to showcase how disasters can shore up policy changes, particularly around economic crises.
Reports continue to range in coverage and topic, as the pandemic’s impacts continue to unfold and continue to be felt, already stressed systems’ vulnerabilities are increasingly brought to light. For this week’s brief, reports and news articles focus on varied topics that do, however, continue to take into consideration the economic repercussions of the pandemic. Topics of discussion range from discussions of the pandemic’s impact in rural communities to large-scale projects unfolding or being dismantled by the pandemic. This second series of the research brief continues to build upon theories of black feminist thought on the interlocking systems that reproduce relations of power and create the conditions favorable for a disaster like the one that continues to unravel (Collins, 1990; Fortun, 2012). Readers should pay attention to discussions of vulnerabilities across the digital, the utility, and the energy production sectors, as well as vulnerabilities that are worsened as the virus’ contagion increases and as safeguarding policies are relaxed. While not explicitly cited, several articles presented in this brief do covertly reveal stressed, racially unequal and segregated systems and infrastructures that contribute to disparate health outcomes.