The project considers climate change and ecological balance from the perspective of democracy and human rights, and more broadly, human security. One part of this consideration involves concern about the tendency of governments under pressures to move toward more authoritarian models of governance. Another part involves exploring whether an accelerated program of development of alternate energy might reduce, or even eliminate, these pressures. This kind of project depends on a combination of knowledge about the underlying material circumstances and informed, enlightened assessment, as well as wide public discussion of the spectrum of anticipated policy responses, given the unevenness of national and regional circumstances.
The project was formally launched on March 8, 2010 and its first substantive event was a workshop with the title “Geopolitics and Global Climate Change,” held at UCSB, June 24-25, 2010, in collaboration with the United Nations University and the Orfalea Center. It is administered under the auspices of the Orfalea Center, and its initial funding has been secured from a private donor.