Kyle Whyte is Professor of Environment and Sustainability and George Willis Pack Professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, serving as a faculty member in the environmental justice specialization. Previously, Kyle was Professor and Timnick Chair in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. Kyle’s research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kyle has partnered with numerous Tribes, First Nations and inter-Indigenous organizations in the Great Lakes region and beyond on climate change planning, education and policy. He is involved in a number of projects and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. He has served as an author on reports by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and is a former member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science and the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group. Kyle's work has received the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and MSU's Distinguished Partnership and Engaged Scholarship awards, and grants from the National Science Foundation.
Lecture: The Timing of Climate Justice
There’s a growing concern that renewable energy solutions to climate change can be harmful in their own right. Indigenous peoples are among the communities, countries, and peoples who have stated this concern. Why are some renewable energy solutions enacted irresponsibility? Part of the reason why has to do with how some proponents of these solutions narrate climate change through linear time. When narrated like a ticking clock, the sense that swift action is needed obscures responsibilities to others who risk being harmed by solutions. This presentation will then offer four different Indigenous approaches to narrating climate change, "depth time," "seasonal time," "kinship time," and "dystopian time," showing how each offers an account of responsibility. While philosophical, the Indigenous approaches have implications for climate governance, allyship, policy, and the media.