Panel 3.1: Curating Climate: New Projects in the Environmental Arts & Humanities

Persephone Pearl, Alison Sperling, Min Hyoung Song, and Nicole Seymour

This panel will showcase four arts/humanities curatorial projects regarding climate change, reflecting on the tools and outcomes they offer. First, ONCA gallery co-director Persephone Pearl (Brighton, UK) will walk viewers through _Extracting Us_, an online exhibition that considers the political ecologies of extractivism across different geographical contexts from a feminist perspective. The exhibition includes contributions from artists/activists/scholars working in contexts of extractivism, and is accompanied by responses and invitations for solidarity actions from frontline communities. Ali Sperling (Berlin, Germany) will introduce viewers to the new issue of _Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres_, which she edited with the special topic of “Climate Fictions.” This 464-page issue presents 15 essays and 14 dialogues with artists, writers, and activists across areas including performance, video and board games, seed architecture, philosophy, climate modeling, music, and more. Nicole Seymour (Munich, Germany) will highlight specific resources that she helped curate for the NXTerra project’s “Cli-Fi” and “Climate Change Emotions” pages, and describe how she plans to bring them together for her Spring 2021 course on “Literature and the Environment.” Finally, Min Hyoung Song (Boston, U.S.) will reflect on the process of developing cli-fi reading lists for his blog, his courses, and his forthcoming book _Climate Lyricism_ (Duke University Press). The latter considers how contemporary poetry and fiction, especially by BIPOC writers, can help readers develop a reading practice that allows them to focus on climate change as an everyday phenomenon. (Song has already contributed materials to NXTerra, and Sperling and Pearl plan to do so.)

Persephone Pearl is co-director of ONCA, an arts charity in Brighton, England that bridges social and environmental justice issues through creative projects.

Alison Sperling is an International Postdoctoral Initiative Fellow (IPODI Fellow) at the Technische Universität Berlin in the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies.

Min Hyoung Song is Professor of English and Director of the Asian American Studies Program at Boston College.

Nicole Seymour is Associate Professor of English and Graduate Advisor for Environmental Studies at California State University, Fullerton.


Panel 3.2: The Politics of Climate Activism

“Reworlding — With an Ecofeminist New Deal”

Ariel Salleh

In universalising itself, the eurocentric imaginary has diminished ‘others’ and destroyed the life-world given by nature. Nothing matches the compound oppressions of modernity – class, race, age, ableness, species – each exploitation a debt extracted by an old capitalist patriarchal profit machine. The system is clearly beyond repair. Is Earth System Governance the answer? EcoSocialism? A Green New Deal? Or is it Time for a Pluriversal New Deal?

Today we see a new political generation of people who care about Life-on-Earth, and they are leading a worldwide groundswell towards systemic alternatives. This emerging radical ecological democracy is worldwide and focuses on securing the materiality of food, water, and energy sovereignty in a sustainable way. Hopefully, it will soon fomalise the sovereign right to air, free of chemical and electromagnetic emissions too. This pluriversal politics recognises and honours the regenerative ‘holding labours’ of women workers and indigenous communities at the domestic and geographic margins of the global monoculture. The new template is clear: indigenous science for lessons in ecological sustainability; subsistence economies for nurturing equality; and a pluriversal politics to celebrate the beauty and autonomy of cultural differences. The future of Life-on-Earth must be post-capitalist, post- colonial, post-patriarchal, in short, eco-centric. Only people who know themselves as nature- in-embodied-form can design a civilisation for generations to come.

Ecofeminist Ariel Salleh taught Social Ecology in Sydney for many years, is a Founding Member of Global U for Sustainability, and former Fellow in Post-Growth Societies, Friedrich Schiller University. She is a longtime activist and widely published:


“Voluntary Local Reviews of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Strategies for Movement-Building Centering People & Communities”

Clara Weibel

As the climate crisis continues, the need for systemic alternatives to our world order has become ever apparent. Attempts to address these challenges are taking place locally, as frameworks such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) become operationalized by cities and even universities. Recently, Pittsburgh’s mayor announced that the city would become the second in the US to conduct a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of the SDGs, allowing Pittsburgh to assess its progress and contribute to the global community’s collective impact. For Pittsburgh, this is an opportunity to examine its legacy of industrial pollution. The poor air quality and other environmental factors affect the health of all residents, but as is true elsewhere, residents of color and low-income residents are most impacted. Despite these environmental deficits, policy makers have supported a long-term plan of petrochemical development that will cause more environmental harm, resulting in some designating southwestern Pennsylvania the next “Cancer Alley.” Similar contradictions are seen throughout the “livable city” rhetoric Pittsburgh has adopted. As the VLR presents a framework to reckon with these longstanding issues, urban sociology students at the University of Pittsburgh will work to see if the VLR’s findings align with reality. This panel will showcase student projects relating to public transportation, housing, health, and environmental justice, as they explore people-centered approaches to the way cities are shaped. Because Pittsburgh has declared itself a “human rights city,” a human rights framework will orient our research, as will organizers involved in Pittsburgh’s Human Rights City Alliance. Since the VLR is conducted by government entities rather than the community, this panel hopes to provide insight as to what a bottom-up review of Pittsburgh would entail.

Clara Weibel is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. After interning with the Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance, Clara stayed on board and continues to work on related projects and programming.


“Toward an Ethics of Decolonizing Allyship in Climate Organizing: Reflections on Extinction Rebellion Vancouver”

Dana James and Trevor Mack

Since launching in the UK in 2018, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has become a global social movement that uses mass civil disobedience to pressure governments to take immediate action on the climate and ecological crises. While XR has shifted the conversation on climate change, it has also been critiqued for its lack of attention to privilege and oppression, and for its ‘apolitical’ approach to climate organizing. In this article, we argue that XR must develop an intersectional approach in order to address the climate crisis. In particular, we reflect on our experiences as former participants in XR-Vancouver, located on unceded Indigenous territory in the settler colonial state of Canada. Settler colonialism in Canada is intertwined with the climate and ecological crises, as Canada’s status as a petrostate is built on the dispossession of Indigenous Peoples through a strategy of racialized extractivism. To attend to these dynamics, we build on Kyle Powys Whyte’s concept of ‘decolonizing allyship’ and suggest three ethics — of relational accountability, care, and incommensurability — that settler-led movements like XR can cultivate. We conclude by inviting XR to (re)engage with a ‘politics of refusal’ that subverts the state and allows XR to collectively enact what different systems (rooted in intersectional, decolonizing allyship) could look like.

Dana James is a settler of German, Dutch, and Polish descent, currently based on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) (Vancouver, Canada). She is a PhD Candidate, Vanier Scholar, and Public Scholar at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. As a critical geographer, her research focuses broadly on food sovereignty, agroecology, climate justice, and settler colonialism. She also works with Mountain Protectors, an Indigenous-led anti-extractivist grassroots organization. You can follow her work on Twitter @dmjames_

Trevor Mack is a “person from rivers where the glacier stream mixes with the lake”, otherwise known as Tŝilhqot’in. Just as the waters where he is from mix, his own blood is mixed: He is of Tŝilhqot’in, Dakelh, Scottish, and Polish descent. He is the son of a residential school survivor and has made several award-winning films about his people’s defiance in the face of colonialism. He has also represented his community and nation in the Red Bull Crashed Ice World championships. He is now passionate about protecting the lands and waters of Tŝilhqoz Biny (Chilko Lake).


“Unifying Humanity/Horizontal Self-governance”

Tom Charles Osher

What is keeping us from responding fully to the climate crises are governments. Vertical top-down governments inevitable and almost instantly corrupt. Unfortunately, it is clear that they control humanity as the pandemic has revealed. We are confronting both these obstacles: 1. in the process of creating a gigantic network of millions of like-minded individuals and orgs. to be a force for good and highly interactive. 2. promoting horiz. governing, which is virtually incorruptible (we produced a 7 minute animation) and 3. localization.

Retired entrepreneur, long-time activist, founder of a mostly latino-artist, eco-community in Ecuador (, writer, artist, producer. But I prefer not to identify with anything, rather than being substantive, more a verb, the verb is love.


“Ecosocialism is an Imperative”

AJ Reed

Greta Thunberg said that our house is on fire. That cannot be more true than ever. However, what has been the response to putting out the fire? By making reforms within capitalism that will build a green economy. What the real Inconvenient truth is, that capitalism cannot put out this fire. No matter how green it can be. Which is why ecosocialism is an imperative at this moment. Many scholars from Ian Angus and Chris Williams to activists like Howie Hawkins and Robert Bullard. Have expressed the need to have a ecosocialist approach when it comes to the climate and environmental crisis we face on this planet. In this presentation, we will look at ecosocialists who have given us a framework to design and implement policy that would shift the current paradigm for the international stage.

AJ Reed (they/them) is a community organizer, political strategist, and international speaker from the Midwest for 20 years. Reed has fought for environmental justice and animal liberation, since their first action at a young age in the 80s. Reed has also taught environmental studies, with a focus in political ecology and public policy.


“Discursive politics of climate planning in Israel/Palestine: Territoriality, sovereignty, and statecraft”

Benjamin Weinger

Drawing on the State of Palestine’s and the State of Israel’s respective National Communication reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this paper comparatively examines the unstable production of national environmental discourses around climate change in Israel/Palestine. I question how climate planning, with its own set of immense uncertainties, operates within already uncertain political geographies of conflict amidst territorial struggles for statehood and sovereignty. While climate transcends political boundaries and invites cause for collective action, the assertion of territorial claims within the UNFCCC forum signals the highly calculated nature of climate planning—or rather future proofing statehood—in Israel/Palestine. Within an apparatus that privileges the sovereignty of nation-states, these climate reports and the non-sovereign status of the quasi-State of Palestine begin to unsettle and expose the institutional inadequacies and constraints of climate planning. Situated in (geo)political ecological, settler colonial, and Indigenous climate justice literatures, this analysis pays particular attention to the historical and ongoing structures of erasure and occupation that precondition adaptation to climate change and decolonial struggles for justice. Contesting a liberal politics of representation and recognition, I ultimately seek to locate the inherent exclusions, limitations, and conditions under which climate planning has been forged to bring forth a new space for political futures of climate justice. This presentation will engage with recent mass uprisings spurred by COVID-19 in Israel/Palestine which have begun to push the rather limited, nascent, and apolitical Israeli climate movement towards a more radical, anti-state politics that may define the future of climate justice in this precarious territory.

Benjamin Weinger is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, examining social movements of climate change and statist climate planning in Israel/Palestine. Their research is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Panel 3.3: Applying a Decolonial Lens to the Green New Deal

David Cobb and Meleiza Figueroa


David Cobb is a “people’s lawyer” who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. He believes we must provoke—and win– a peaceful revolution for a peaceful, just, sustainable and cooperative society if we are to survive. David was born in rural Texas and worked as a laborer before going to college and Law School. He maintained a successful law practice in Houston for almost a decade before devoting himself to full-time social change efforts. In 2002 David ran for Attorney General of Texas, pledging to use the office to revoke the charters of corporations that repeatedly violate health, safety and environmental laws.  In 2004, he ran for President of the United States on the Green Party ticket and forced a recount in Ohio that helped launch the Election Integrity movement. In 2010 he co-founded Move To Amend, a campaign for a constitutional amendment to abolish the illegitimate, court-created doctrines of “corporate constitutional rights” and “money equals speech.” In 2016 he served as the Campaign Manager for Jill Stein’s presidential campaign. David is the Co-Coordinator of the US Solidarity Economy Network, and serves on the Collaborative Design Council of Transition US. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the California Progressive Alliance, and is active with the California Public Banking Alliance.


Panel 3.4: The Price of Carbon Fantasies: Understanding, Resisting, and Seeking Justice Beyond Neoliberal Climate Policy Delusions

Richard Widick, Patrick Bond, Tracey Osborne, Tamra Gilbertson, and Larry Lohmann

Speakers will analyze aspects of the history, theory, and performance of carbon pricing schemes; their current status and role in the Paris process (UN climate talks); the Climate Justice movements and their resistance to such schemes; and their combined effects on both the emergent regime of global climate governance and the unfolding climate crisis.  Speculating on future conflicts over market-based solutions: what does the future hold for UN Climate Policy and the Climate Justice movements?


“Neoliberal Dreaming — from Globalization to Climate Crisis”

Richard Widick


“When carbon pricing becomes ‘Privatization of the Air’ — An introduction to emissions trading, seen from South Africa”

The carbon offset market and Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme are back in vogue, as the world’s main financial markets have bubbled up in speculative ebbs and flows, thanks to central banks’ Covid-19 Quantitative Easing (injections of easy money into otherwise stagnant economies). Not only are such funds flowing to fictitious climate finance, Google is leading corporates to a mythical, so-called carbon ‘net neutrality’, including offset investments in renewable energy, forestry and waste disposal – notwithstanding that its preferred ‘voluntary market’ has been justly ridiculed for scamming over the years. Not only are there ‘false solution’ dangers of Dr.Strangelove-style technical fixes. The price levels in most of these schemes (as well as recent carbon taxes) are stuck at pricing carbon well below $20/ton, far less of an incentive than needed to allow a market-switching route to decarbonization. (South Africa’s carbon tax is a shameful $0.43/ton.) Moreover, the underlying ‘economic logic’ behind pollution trading, plus the Paris Climate Agreement, have been soundly criticized for environmental injustices due to their pro-corporate character. Dating to 2004, the fatal flaws of carbon trading were clear in Durban, South Africa, when durable critiques were articulated in a seminal conference of activists – the Durban Group for Climate Justice. There, the main pilot project (landfill methane-capture), opposed by the late Sajida Khan and her community, ultimately failed even on its own limited terms. So instead of a financial-capitalist strategy of “internalizing externalities” through inadequate pricing and malfunctioning market mechanisms, a strong state – and even stronger climate-justice activists – should address the climate catastrophe with the direct interventions required at local, national and global scales.

Patrick Bond is professor at the University of the Western Cape School of Government. From 2015-19, he was distinguished professor of political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand Wits School of Governance.  Before that, from 2004, he was senior professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he directed the Centre for Civil Society.  His research interests include political economy, environment, social policy, and geopolitics.  (link)


“Decolonizing Carbon: Indigenous-led Climate Change Mitigation in the Amazon Rainforest”

Tracey Osborne

Climate change is the most urgent environmental issue of our time and forests represent an effective nature-based solution.  Tropical forests, among the top 5 solutions for addressing climate change in Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown, hold enormous potential for mitigating climate change because of their dual benefit. Avoided deforestation prevents the release of carbon dioxide and as trees grow they are a powerful carbon sink that sequesters and stores carbon in biomass and soils. The primary strategy for climate change mitigation in tropical forests is the mechanism REDD+, which stands for Reducing emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries and includes sustainable forest management, conservation and the enhancement of carbon stocks (the plus). However REDD+ has been highly controversial for its failure to address the main drivers of deforestation and constraining the access of local and Indigenous communities to forest resources. In this presentation I will share the conceptual framework of an innovative climate change mitigation project being developed in collaboration with an Indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This project is based on Indigenous worldviews and adopts decolonial methods that privilege research frameworks respecting both western and Indigenous forms of knowledge. This project supports the University of California’s carbon neutral goals and includes a diverse collaborative team of researchers, Indigenous forest technicians, NGOs staff, a technology data team, and students in various aspects of the project. Our intention is to develop a model for Indigenous-led climate change mitigation that is viable for the larger Amazon Rainforest.

Tracey Osborne is Associate Professor, Vice Chair and Presidential Chair in the Management of Complex Systems Department and the Management of Innovation, Sustainability and Technology Program at the University of California, Merced. She is also the Director of the Center for Climate Justice. Her research focuses on the social and political economic dimensions of climate change mitigation in tropical forests and the role of Indigenous Peoples, the politics of climate finance (with particular emphasis on carbon markets), global environmental governance, and climate equity and justice. She has worked on these issues globally with extensive field experience in Mexico and the Amazon (Peru, Ecuador and Guyana). She also leads the Climate Alliance Mapping Project, a collaborative effort between academics, environmental non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous organizations working for a socially-just response to climate change through research, maps and digital stories. Her work has been published in high-impact geography, social science and interdisciplinary journals, and she has been invited to share her research internationally in academic and non-academic venues such as Conference of the Parties climate change meetings. She received her PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.


“Neoliberal Legacies and Current Trends in Climate Change Policy”

Tamra L. Gilbertson

At the heart of carbon pricing policies are dominant power structures operating squarely within a neoliberal capitalist political economy. The primary responsibility of these institutions is to maximize profit over the short term. In this way, carbon pricing systems are entirely compatible with achieving this goal within neoliberal capitalism. This talk explores the current trends in carbon pricing systems through case studies and exploring how carbon pricing systems will likely function within Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. 

Tamra L Gilbertson is a Lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Department of Sociology in Knoxville, TN, US. She mainly works on environmental and climate justice, social movements, and extractive industry research, as well as carbon pricing, forests, and land policies related to development policies. Tamra is the carbon pricing education coordinator and climate change policy advisor of the Indigenous Environmental Network.


“Is White Innocence Holding Back Climate Movements?”

This presentation suggests that worldwide climate movement-building can benefit by striving toward more critical and historically-informed understandings of climatology, thermodynamics, green energy theory and dominant types of apocalypse thinking. None of these four currents of thought, it argues, can form part of a realistic basis for global climate movement-building until the whiteness of each is better understood and worked on, particularly by middle-class climate activists from the global North.

Larry Lohmann ( works with The Corner House, a Dorset-based solidarity and research organization. He is a founding member of the Durban Group for Climate Justice and chairs the advisory board of the World Rainforest Movement, with which he has been associated for 25 years. He spent much of the 1980s with Thailand’s Project for Ecological Recovery and more recently has been working with movements in Ecuador and other countries. Among his books are Pulping the South: Industrial Tree Plantations in the Global Paper Economy (1996, with Ricardo Carrere), Mercados de carbono: La neoliberalizacion del clima (2012), Energy, Work and Finance (2014, with Nicholas Hildyard) and Cadenas de bloques, automatizacion y trabajo: Mecanizando la confianza (2020). His articles have appeared in professional journals of political economy, environment, geography, accounting, Asian studies, law, science studies, sociaism, anthropology and development and have been translated into many languages. Most are available at



Panel 3.5: Climate Finance Justice: International Perspectives on Climate Policy, Social Justice, and Capital

Lauren Gifford, Chris Knudson, and Laura Sauls

We plan to share a discussion on the power and complexity of financial tools used to address climate and environmental management, as framed in a new special issue of the journal Climatic Change. The special issue highlights several cross-cutting themes, including the reproduction of uneven development, the ongoing influence of increasingly weak institutions like the UNFCCC and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the continued reliance on problematic financial mechanisms to address climate change, like trust funds, carbon offsets, the Clean Development Mechanism, and REDD+, and the problems that arise when local oversight and expertise are devalued or excluded. Through this, we explore the multiple and contested intersections of climate justice and finance, including framing climate finance as a reaction to historical and ongoing injustice that needs to be interpreted through justice frameworks. We ask: What kinds of justice and injustice do we see in climate finance? And how does climate justice influence flows and constructions of capital? This contribution is a conversation between special issue co-editors Dr. Lauren Gifford and Dr. Chris Knudson, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai’i, Hilo, and contributing author Dr. Laura Sauls, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at The University of Sheffield

Dr. Lauren Gifford, Visiting Researcher at the EJ/CJ Hub at UCSB

Dr. Chris Knudson, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai’i, Hilo

Dr. Laura Sauls, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at The University of Sheffield


Panel 3.6: Transforming Education to Confront the Climate Crisis

Vasna Ramasar, Manolo Callahan, Alessandra Pomarico, Udi Mandel, Andrew Szasz, and Mithika Mwenda

This session consists of individual talks by Andrew Szasz and Mithika Mwenda, and a conversation among five scholar-activists.  All are deeply engaged in the co-creation of systemic alternatives to the climate crisis and other crises of our times, now exacerbated greatly by the Corona crisis.

The talks take up the issue of supporting the development of a better sociology of climate justice and the establishment of an innovative summer school for climate justice in Nairobi, Kenya.  In the longer conversation, four radical teachers from various parts of the world – Vasna Ramasar, Manolo Callahan, Alessandra Pomarico, and Udi Mandel – respond to three questions posed by facilitator John Foran:  1) to briefly introduce themselves and their work and to comment on their experiences during the pandemic, 2) to offer analyses of the nature of the crises humanity faces today, with a special focus on education, and 3) most importantly, to discuss the best ways and examples they know of to construct new spaces for learning based on imagination, radical activism, and alternative worlds.

Alessandra Pomarico (PhD, USA/Italy) is an independent curator, writer and educator working at the intersection of arts, pedagogy, social issues, and nano-politics. Steering committee member of the global Ecoversities Alliance ( dedicated to reimagining higher education, Alessandra is the co-founder of Free Home University, artistic and pedagogical experiment on commoning and knowledge sharing (, social practice hub Ammirato Culture House, and residency program Sound Res. Editor of, she curated: Pedagogies Otherwise, The Reader; co-edited What’s there to learn; and When the Roots Start Moving: On displacement and belonging (2021).

Udi Mandel Butler’s work focuses on enlivened learning practices for regenerating ecologies and communities and for reimagining higher education to offer hopeful futures. This has included a collaboration with social and ecological movements and indigenous communities across the globe. Udi has co-founded with Kelly Teamey and others the Enlivened Learningproject and the Ecoversities Alliance– an international alliance of places of learning and higher education committed to social and ecological justice and regeneration. Udi’s work combines social research, historically contextualized and critically ethnographic, with more co-creative and collaborative methods of inquiry. In addition to published articles and books Udi experiments with creative forms of communication, such as documentary filmmaking and collaborative exhibitions. Udi received a PhD in social anthropology from Goldsmiths College (University of London), an MScin International Development from the University of Bristol, and an MFA from the University of Edinburgh and has held faculty appointments at the School of International Training (USA), EARTH University (Costa Rica), the University of Bristol (UK), and the University of Oxford.

Manuel Callahan is an insurgent learner and convivial researcher with the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy. Callahan’s work explores three interwoven areas: the US/Mexico border and borderlands historically and in the present; struggles for autonomy across the Americas including moments of Zapatismo in and beyond Chiapas; and convivial research and insurgent learning, a community-based horizontal research approach that engages autonomous struggles throughout Greater Mexico. He also participates in the Universidad de la Tierra Califas and the several autonomous learning spaces it convenes.


“A Climate Change Module for Introduction to Sociology Classes”

Andrew Szasz

Introduction to Sociology courses are meant to show students the relevance and the power of Sociological thought, and to help them better understand the important issues of our time.  Today (in spite of the current, obvious importance of the covid19 pandemic), climate change looms, in the long run, as the greatest threat to the wellbeing of human societies.  However, a content analysis of today’s bestselling Introduction to Sociology textbooks finds that climate change is largely missing from them.  Here I display and explain a teaching module that I created for professors and instructors who would like to add climate change content to their Intro to Sociology courses.  In this presentation I emphasize, especially, how the impacts of climate change will fall unequally, both between nations and by class and by race/ethnicity in United States.  The teaching module is live on line at: and UC-CSU NXTerra

Andrew Szasz received his BA from Harvard College (1969), his MA from the University of Chicago (1971) and his PhD, in Sociology, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1982).  He has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz since 1986, first as Professor of Sociology, later as Professor of Environmental Studies, including courses on Social Theory, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Justice, the American Environmental Movement, and the Sociology of Climate Change.  Szasz has written articles on environmental regulation, grassroots toxics movements, green consuming, environmental justice and the sociology of climate change; two books, EcoPopulism:  Toxic Waste and the Movement for Environmental Justice and Shopping Our Way to Safety:  How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves; and he co-edited How the World’s Religions are Responding to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations. 


“Building NXTerra”

John Foran, Daniel Fernandez, Richard Widick, and Mark Stemen

This session is a conversation among four scholar-activists among the fifteen University of California and California State University faculty from across the disciplines who co-created the NXTerra digital platform and knowledge action network for Transforming Education for Climate Action.  The topic is the future of this project in the current context of deepening crisis and the increasingly precarious futures faced by our students, ourselves, and our communities.

Daniel Fernandez has been a professor at CSUMB where he has taught physics since his arrival in 1996.  He also teaches classes in systems thinking, sustainability, and infrastructure as well as a capstone class in Environmental Studies.  He is an advocate for sustainability and sustainable practices on campus and a regular presenter and attendee at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, where he has been part of the team that received three best practice awards over the past decade.  He is the founder and coordinator of the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) at CSUMB, which fosters partnerships between CSUMB and local municipalities to address sustainability-related topics.  He is also engaged with research in fog and water collection from fog.

Richard Widick is Project Leader for UC-CSU NXTerra; Sociologist and Visiting Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara at UCSB; member of the Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Studies Research Hub (EJ/CJ) at UCSB; and director of the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory (IICAT).  He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCSB, where he lectured on theory, culture, media, globalization, social movements and environment before moving to the Orfalea Center.  He is the author of Trouble in the Forest: California’s Redwood Timber Wars (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), an ethnography, cultural analysis and 150 year social and environmental history of the US colonization and industrialization of California’s north coast Humboldt Bay redwood region.

Dr. Mark Stemen is a professor of Geography and Planning at CSU, Chico, where he teaches environmental courses in sustainability and civic engagement. Known to his students as ‘Dr. Mark,’ he is well recognized on the campus for his work with students and the community on issues of sustainability. Under his direction, students completed a campus sustainability assessment, as well as greenhouse gas inventories for CSU, Chico, Butte Community College, and the City of Chico. He and his students recently assisted in preparing a climate vulnerability assessment for the City of Chico and Butte County that will allow them to integrate future climate scenarios into their respective General Plans.  He is currently working with Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) and their Climate Corps Program to bring climate adaptation planning into area high schools.