Mary Witlacil

Sustainability Leadership Fellow Cohort: 2022-2023

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science

Research Summary: Our contemporary political moment is rife with governmental antipathy for systemic problems. There are countless intractable structural obstacles and an equal number of politically unpalatable solutions. There are solutions humanity has the technological capacity to entertain, but not the political initiative to pursue. While this may be evident, it is challenging to effectively frame environmental problems for successful political outcomes. How we think about climate change and environmental politics matters for how we conceptualize solutions to environmental problems. My dissertation focuses on developing a theory of ecopessimism to think through governmental recalcitrance to address climate change, sustainability, and ecosystemic destruction.

Advisor: Bradley Macdonald