Prof will discuss climate deniers and political beliefs

A University of Oregon professor with deliver this year's Oregon Humanities Center's Clark Lecture, "'Surplus' White Nationalism and GOP Climate Obstruction," on Thursday, April 4, at 4 p.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

Laura Pulido is the Collins Chair and professor of Indigenous, race and ethnic studies and geography at the University of Oregon where she studies race, environmental justice and cultural memory.

Pulido will focus on three historical moments — the Tea Party movement, the Trump Presidency and the war on "wokeness" — as a way to analyze how the relationship between U.S. white nationalism and the Republican Party has contributed to climate denial and obstruction on climate progress. 

Though the fossil fuel industry's campaign of disinformation has been well-documented, less understood are the politicians who do its bidding, Pulido said. While many assume the state is simply implementing the desires of the fossil fuel industry, a form of corruption called regulatory capture, this assumes a nonracial state. 

Pulido argues that regulatory capture does not fully explain the current GOP's commitment to blocking climate action. Instead, she suggests that "surplus" white nationalism has contributed to both climate denial and obstruction. She defines surplus white nationalism as the excessive energy and power of white nationalism that cannot be contained or selectively controlled. Because it spills over onto seemingly unrelated areas with sometimes unanticipated consequence — it is surplus.

The talk is free and open to the public. Registration is requested to attend in person. The lecture will be livestreamed on YouTube.