As California and the nation seek to deal with climate change, many have proposed that the surest route to success is some version of cap-and-trade, a system under which some carbon emitters reduce pollution while others pay to keep polluting. The issue has generated controversy in California, particularly from environmental justice advocates concerned about the unequal impacts of such trades and the very efficacy of such a scheme. Among those inspiring and informing the critique has been Michael Dorsey, a remarkable globe-trotting scholar who has long been at the intersection of the academy and the community.
Dr. Michael K. Dorsey is an assistant professor in Dartmouth College's Environmental Studies Program. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (B.S. & Ph.D.), and Yale Universitys School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (M.F.S.), he is a co-contributor to the newest edition of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society (Rozenberg Press, The Netherlands & University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, South Africa, 2008). A long-time member, Michael served on the Sierra Club national board from 1997-2003. In Ecuador from 1999 to 2001, Dorsey co-led an initiative through Accin Ecolgica to monitor the commercialization of biodiversity within the Andean Pact. Most recently, he served as a member of President Obamas energy and environment Presidential campaign team. In January 2009 the Ford Foundation recognized Dr. Dorseys work with a grant to support his research on how emerging carbon markets shape justice-based climate policies.