Bananas, part 2

In Woody Allen’s “Bananas,” Fielding Mellish condemns his prosecution for treason as a “travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” Mellish’s condemnation applies with scientific precision to this Dartmouth College announcement:

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Michael Dorsey was recently awarded $300,000 from the Ford Foundation to launch the Climate Justice Research Project. The project is dedicated to studying the racial and social inequities that occur in addressing climate change.

“We are working to develop the tools and means of analysis to ensure that climate change mitigation will occur in an equitable and just manner, inclusive of marginalized, low-income communities and communities of color,” says Dorsey.

According to Dorsey, preliminary evidence shows that carbon cap and trade programs are having little effect on climate change, and this and other market-based environmental programs often exacerbate the vulnerability of poor and marginalized communities. Dorsey and his team at Dartmouth’s Climate Justice Research Project will study this phenomenon and work to identify policy options that address the needs and concerns of underrepresented populations in relation to climate change, energy policy, and the economy.

“The Environmental Studies Program is delighted that the Ford Foundation has chosen to fund Professor Dorsey’s research,” says Andrew Friedland, professor and chair of Dartmouth’s Environmental Studies Program. “We are glad to see he has received such recognition for his contributions in the field of global environmental justice and climate. We know the work will enrich our faculty and our students as well.”

The funding will allow Dorsey and his research team, made up of undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, to generate policy information that is informed by comparative data about the effect of climate change on the livelihoods of low income people in the U.S. and abroad. The research will include an analysis of the current social, political, and economic capacity to change and adapt to with regard to climate change policy.

“An important component of the Climate Justice Research Program is finding ways to build bridges between the scientists, the policy makers, and the people in low-income communities,” says Dorsey. “All stakeholders need to be part of the debate and the solutions.”

Professor Dorsey’s research project brings to mind the mock headline usually attributed to the New York Times: World to End Tomorrow, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit. A grain of truth may lie at the heart of Professor Dorsey’s project; carbon cap and trade programs are undoubtedly having no effect on “climate change.” In the Dartmouth variation of the New York Times joke it is unclear to me at whose expense the joke should be taken, but there is no shortage of candidates.

Via reader Greg Lesko.

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