Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Matthew SOENER (Ohio State University) – “Profiting in a Warming World: Specifying the Socio-Economic Relations at the Heart of Climate Change”

January 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Sociology Seminar: Thursdays

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm –
Date: 6th of January 2022
Place: Visio

Matthew SOENER (Ohio State University) – “Profiting in a Warming World: Specifying the Socio-Economic Relations at the Heart of Climate Change”

Abstract : Drivers of anthropogenic climate change from greenhouse gas emissions in popular and social scientific discussion often lack specific mechanisms. For example, the prominence of the “Anthropocene” framework points to humanities’ shared contribution. Yet, emissions data clearly show that contribution by personal income, country, sector, and even firm is anything but shared. Social scientists have also devoted considerable attention to the relationship between economic growth and emissions. Growth more directly accounts for uneven contributions and core drivers of climate change. However, what is too infrequently asked is what growth means and how it is perpetuated. Climate change ultimately maps onto familiar sociological hierarchies, power relations and institutional processes which need to be accounted for.
In this talk, I present several empirical and theoretical works on the sociology of greenhouse gas emissions. First, I draw on critical traditions in political economy to unpack the drivers of economic growth. I estimate the rate of profit and what I call the rate of exploitation on emissions in the OECD. I find evidence the profit and exploitation rates are correlated with emissions. This is theoretically meaningful and motivates a second part of my talk. Against the two dominant but opposing proposals of choosing either “green growth” or “de-growth,” I argue we should focus less with abstract notions of growth and more on the unequal social relationships driving it. In the last part of my analysis, I present new results on the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending and emissions in the Global South. I hypothesize that the terms of IMF lending would raise emissions over time. Together, my research draws us to more specific socio-economic relations at the heart of climate change. These concerns can help us think through the necessary mitigation steps we must take to prevent climate breakdown.

Organizers :
Sofian EL ATIFI, Etienne OLLION, Felix TROPF (Pôle de Sociologie du CREST)
Sponsors :
CREST