Work In Progress Seminar with Dr. Jerome Whitington


Topic: Business Knowledge for Climate Change Policy - Social and Critical Implications
Speaker: Dr. Jerome Whitington

Social scientists have long studied forms of scientific and governmental knowledge as a way to understand the organization and political structures of society. Increasingly, business knowledge has come to dominate actual practices relevant to these structures and the policy debates for social problems with economic implications. A striking example is climate change policy, in which policy makers must ask what the private sector is willing and able to provide, and adapt politics to the ‘realities’ of the market. My research begins by asking what the private sector has been doing to push this process forward, with particular emphasis on greenhouse gas accounting and management techniques.

The presentation will review this new field of business consulting, showing the dynamism of the way in which it apprehends climate change as a social problem. I will then discuss some possible implications for how society and environment are organized, and some possible future orientations. Since climate change policy is actually meant to re-design basic social practices, the results of this form of business knowledge will be highly relevant.

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.