The world faces political as well as environmental disruption. Academics tend to make rational-actor assumptions while bracketing the wilder, unpredictable aspects of politics. With short presentations and table discussions, we will explore implications for national and international politics of climate engineering of the Trump administration’s brand of climate denialism and other turns towards populism and authoritarianism.
A World Cafe discussion prefaced by brief remarks from Eduardo Viola, Holly Jean Buck, Simon Nicholson, Oliver Geden, Shinichiro Asayma, and Nnimmo Bassey.
Duncan McLaren is currently a freelance consultant and researcher, and part-time PhD student at Lancaster University investigating the justice implications of climate geoengineering. From August 2017 he will be working on the UK-research council funded 'Avoiding Mitigation Deterrence in Greenhouse Gas Removal’ project at Lancaster Environment Centre. His research interests extend from cities and sustainability, to climate change, energy and geoengineering, with particular focus on the interactions of technology and behavior, and on issues of justice arising in these areas and the consequences for policy. He is currently an advisor to the Virgin Earth Challenge, for the development of a commercially viable, scalable and sustainable form of carbon removal, and a member of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation International Advisory Board. Previously he worked for many years in environmental research and advocacy, most recently as Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland from 2003 until 2011, where he was influential in the adoption of world leading climate change legislation by the Scottish Parliament. In 2011 he moved to Sweden to spend more time with his children.
Eduardo Viola holds a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Sao Paulo (1982) and Post-Doctoral training in international political economy at the University of Colorado at Boulder (1990-91). He has been Full Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Brasilia, since 1993 and Senior Researcher of the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). He is the coordinator of the CNPq Research Group “The International System in the Anthropocene and Climate Change”. Dr. Viola has been visiting professor in several international universities, among them: Stanford, Colorado at Boulder, Texas at Austin, Notre Dame, Amsterdam, Campinas and Buenos Aires. Dr. Viola is member of various international scientific committees. Dr. Viola has published eight books, more than eighty peer review articles in journals and more than fifty book chapters in several countries and languages on issues of Globalization and Governance, International Environmental Policy and Politics, Brazilian Climate Policy, and, International Political Economy of Energy and Climate Change.
Holly Jean Buck is a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Her research interests include agroecology and climate-smart agriculture, energy landscapes, land use change, new media, and science and technology studies. She has written on several aspects of climate engineering, including humanitarian and development approaches to geoengineering, gender considerations, and the social implications of scaling up negative emissions. Her book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration (Verso Books, 2019) looks at best-case scenarios for carbon removal and solar geoengineering. She holds a doctorate in Development Sociology from Cornell University, and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Simon Nicholson is Assistant Professor and Director of the Global Environmental Politics Program in the School of International Service at American University. He is also co-Executive Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a research and public policy group committed to ensuring that the conversation about climate engineering technologies is inclusive and robust, with a focus on the needs of the most vulnerable people and populations. Simon's research and public engagement center around global environmental governance, global food politics, and the environmental and political implications of emerging technologies. His most recent book (edited with Sikina Jinnah) is, "New Earth Politics: Essays from the Anthropocene" (MIT Press, 2016).
Dr Oliver Geden is head of the EU/Europe Research Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP), which advises both the German Parliament and the German Federal Government. His work focuses on the European Union’s climate and energy policy, climate engineering, and the quality of scientific policy advice.
Oliver has been a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich and the University of Oxford. During his time at SWP he has been seconded to the Federal Foreign Office’s policy planning unit, and to the policy planning division of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Shinichiro Asayama is a JSPS research fellow at Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, Japan. Thorough interpretative social science analysis, his research focuses on studying the role of discourses, framings, narratives, imaginaries and worldviews in shaping public debates around the science-politics interface of climate change, such as the IPCC, CCS and geoengineering.
Nnimmo Bassey is a Nigerian environmental justice activist, architect, essayist and poet. He is the director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and coordinator of Oilwatch International. He was the chair of Friends of the Earth International (the largest grassroots environmental organisation in the world) from 2008-2012 as well as the co-founder and executive director of Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013) which is based in Nigeria (in Benin city, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa).He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award and in 2014 he was awarded Nigeria’s national honour as a Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism.Nnimmo Bassey is the author of the highly acclaimed book, To Cook a Continent, which details the destructive impacts of the extractive industries and the climate crises in Africa.