Geography Grad Student Paper Wins Award
Geography PhD candidate, Gave Schwartzman, has been awarded the Krishna Bharadwaj and Eric Wolf Prize in the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) for his paper "Climate rentierism after coal: forests, carbon offsets and post-coal politics in the Appalachian coalfields." He shares the award this year with Tanya Matthan.
Gabe's paper examines the drivers and consequences of carbon forestry offsets in Central Appalachia. In the wake of coal industry decline and resultant economic devastation, Gabe shows how investments in degraded forest land spurred by California’s carbon market reproduce longstanding forms of natural resource enclosure and exclusion and amount to a form of neo-rentierism. While these dynamics generate grievances that could be articulated by the Left, so far they have only strengthened the right-wing populism that has become entrenched in the region over the past decade. In this way, Gabe deploys an agrarian political economy lens to demonstrate the contradictions of green capitalist solutions to the climate crisis.