Graduate Students

Carlo Sica

carlo sica 2016   

How can we solve climate change and inequality at the same time? Around the world, unprecedented amounts of wealth seek profitable investment, yet wind and solar energy face steep competition for investment in fossil fuels. Along our coasts, cities plan for retreat in advance of rising seas and to prevent catastrophic warming most known fossil fuel reserves can never be burned. The state is the only institution that can marshal the legitimate organizational power to intervene in markets to prioritize the climate over profits. However, politics that avoid addressing economic inequality are no longer acceptable to the US electorate, as the 2016 election results made clear.

I analyze energy policy’s effect on workers, especially organized labor. I use historical methods because a policy solution for a clean energy transition must learn from past missteps that deepened economic inequality. As a geographer I study the effects of energy policy on regional politics and economics like how mid-20th century natural gas regulation allowed US Sunbelt capital to encroach on markets for coal from the Rustbelt. I am currently interested in deepening my investigation of natural gas in US capitalism and starting a new project on the political ecology of steel.

My goals in teaching are to inform and incite critical thinking about nature-society relations.

Interests: resource, critical, historical, and energy geographies

Adviser: Matthew T. Huber

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