This book and I have grown together for some time. We share an itiner-
ary through Santa Cruz, Hong Kong, Columbus, Ithaca, Davis, and the San
Francisco Bay Area, and we owe our form to many people, collectives, and
institutions in these and other places.
Wonderful mentors advised me in graduate school as I developed this
project. Anna Tsing encouraged slow thinking and pressed assumptions of
scale. Donna Haraway helped me glimpse how ecology, ethnography, and
theory could shape one another. Lisa Rofel reminded me of the critical func-
tions of nonfiction and argument. David Hoy taught me to see philosophies
as toolkits. Hugh Raffles reminded me to write. I hope they will recognize
my gratitude to them throughout this work.
This book could not have been written without the generosity of those
who welcomed me into their professional and personal lives in Hong Kong.
I am especially grateful to the staff of Greenpeace, Hong Kong, particularly
Chan Yiu Kwong, Rupert Yu, Fan Wing Hung, and Maria Deng, for allow-
ing me to observe and participate in their actions and meetings. I thank the
many people in Tai O, Lung Kwu Tan, and Ha Pak Nai who spoke frankly
with me about their predicaments and about politics. I owe special thanks
to Wong Wai King, as well as to Kuo Chun Chuen, Rosanna, and Jenny at the
Tai O YWCA Community Center, for facilitating my research in Tai O. Though
I must keep their names and affiliations confidential, I also thank the envi-
ronmental engineers and consultants with whom I worked, as well as the
officials in the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department and Plan-
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