Explorative Strategies: What Happens After We Commodify the Waves?

Guernica Magazine  |  Boundaries of Nature Issue, September 11, 2015  |  Full Article

On a searing afternoon in June 2010, I sat with a team of professional surfers in a conference room inside the opulent Grand Hyatt Muscat. We had been invited by Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, which had gathered a junket of local journalists to hear us announce that we had discovered “world-class” waves along Oman’s seven-hundred-mile Arabian Sea coast, and that the sultanate could be the next great surfing destination. In an adjacent room, there was another conference being held by British Petroleum—the placard by the door read “Explorative Strategies.” To me, there seemed little difference between their mission and ours. Waves, oil—in Oman, they both meant money.

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