Huber's teaching and research focus on the politics of energy and climate change. His new research examines the ecological impacts of industrial fertilizer production and connections to food and climate politics. Huber is co-coordinator of the Labor Studies Working Group in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University that mixes research and activism on labor policy. There, Huber has organized activism and public events around academic labor, immigrant rights, climate change, and the corporatization of higher education.
Argues we need to theorize fossil fuels as a central aspect of the capitalist mode of production. It focuses on the role of coal and steam in the rise of industrial capitalism.
Argues the scarcity of oil is not natural, but a product of social forces attempting to prevent overproduction and market gluts. It examines the case of the 1930s oil boom when the governors of Texas and Oklahoma declared ‘martial law’ to stop rampant oil production.
Suggests we need to make visible (and politicize) the immense ecological impacts from often hidden industrial spaces. It examines the case of a massive nitrogen fertilizer facility in southern Louisiana.
Advocates a Marxist class approach focused on the role of industrial capital in producing climate change and other ecological problems. It provides the nitrogen fertilizer industry as a case.
Argues oil is central in powering a particular form of privatized suburban life (what it calls ‘entrepreneurial life’). The book historically traces the interplay of state policies and capital accumulation in making this form of life in the 1930s, its crisis in the 1970s and the continued politics of “oil addiction” today in relation to war, climate change, and ecological crisis.