Richard Widick (IICAT:9/22/16)
In 2011, we created IICAT with the publication of this mission statement: “In a world beset by climate change, everything, including environmental, media, social and literary theory, must be revised and reconsidered.”
Our mission includes contributing to this transformation by practicing the craft of public sociology.
This website is the core medium by which we make our investigations public, but we also publish our work in the standard academic journals as well as participate in the public sphere Climate Justice Movement and in the political sphere of the UN climate talks.
Widick’s page doubles as an archive of digital sources for his research, which he presents in a way that maps out how he sees the challenge of climate change (science), what’s driving it (fossil fueled economic globalization), who is trying to fairly mitigate it (the climate justice movement), and who is doing what to govern it (global environmental governance).
Founding IICAT scholars John Foran and Richard Widick have represented the University of California as official Observer Delegates to the UNFCCC at COPs 17 – 21, from Durban to Doha, Warsaw, Lima, and crucially to Paris in 2015.
That year, the nations adopted the first ever truly universal climate treaty, at a conference taking place in Paris in the middle of crisis in French society-the terror attacks of November 13 that provoked the Hollande government to declare a state of emergency and ban the large scale environmental protests planned to converge with the UN climate talks.
No Seattle in Paris this time around.
Once again, the Spectacle of Terrorism reigns.
In this way, the outcome, the treaty, the processes constitutive of emergent global environmental governance, and thus the fate of the climate system, the species, the nations and indeed the world reveal their truly mediated dimension.
At IICAT we foreground this role of media by dialing in on the technological conditions of possibility of the economic, public and political spheres and the individual and variously collective social actors that animate them.
And in 2011 we created this Institute for the purpose of entering this media fray and inserting our climate-focused social science research into the wider public debate.
It is our tool for institutionally participating in and contributing to the production and implementation of the new treaty, which will go into effect in 2020.
We have since added two additional scholars who each in their own way use media inventively to participate in, learn about and shape the unfolding climate crisis.
We met Dr. Michael K. Dorsey at 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, convened in Durban, South Africa, December 2011 — the birth site of the Paris Agreement — and since that time he has generously brought us inside his decades long study of climate politics in general, and UN the climate negotiations in particular.
Over the years Dorsey has represented several organizations as an official Observer Delegate to the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COPs), which he has attended nearly every year since since they began in 1995 at COP 1 in Berlin.
At the Rio Earth Conference in 1992, Dorsey left an early mark on the process when security forcefully removed him for publicly insisting on better representation for the least powerful and most affected members of society. At the Rio +20 Conference in 2012, Dorsey again left his mark, as evidenced in his interview on Free Speech TV.
Dorsey is currently on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club.
Dr. Adrian Nel is Professor of Development Studies at KwaZulu Natal University, South Africa.
Dr. Nel brought deep experience from the horizon of carbon sequestration debates in sub-Saharan Africa, where he studies the transformation of rural life ways in the context of encroaching global mandates for carbon sequestration in the African forestry and agricultural sectors.
Dr. Nel coordinated the Biosphere Defense Project (2014-2016).
Dorsey, Foran, and Widick are presently designing the second phase of IICAT’s mission, which will focus on the social forces constitutive of the crucial Paris Agreement on Climate Change and its effects on human rights and climate justice in the new policy domains into which the Agreement is promising to pump hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years and decades.
>> READ MORE about the IICAT Logo, our mission and methods, and our roots in critical theory …