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Suzanne Graham and Victoria Graham

English abstract: Apart from Mauritius, five of the six African small island developing States (ASIDS) are relatively new to democracy with several only transitioning from one-party states to multiparty states in the early 1990s. Goals 13 and 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are priority goals for the ASIDS. Given that one of the key tests of a healthy democracy is the depth of civil society, this article seeks to examine the quality of political participation in the ASIDS in relation to these two priority SDGs. In so doing, this article considers conventional and nonconventional forms of participation and the potential impact these different avenues for a public “voice” might or might not have on the ASIDS’ government management of climate change and marine resources.

Spanish abstract: Excepto Mauritius, los otros cinco pequeños estados insulares africanos en desarrollo (ASIDS en inglés) recién incursionan en la democracia; algunos de ellos transitan de estados con un solo partido a estados múlti-partidistas a principios de los años noventa. Los objetivos 13 y 14 de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sustentable (ODS) son prioritarios para los ASIDS. Considerando que una prueba de democracia sana es una sociedad civil robusta, este artículo examina la calidad de la participación política en los ASIDS en relación con estos dos ODS. El artículo considera las formas convencionales y no convencionales de participación y el impacto potencial que estas distintas vías de “voz” pública pueda tener en el manejo del cambio climático y los recursos marinos de las ASIDS.

French abstract: A l’exception de l’île Maurice, cinq des six petits états îles en dévelopement (PEID) d’Afrique sont relativement nouveaux en matière de démocratie dans la mesure où certains ont uniquement transité du parti unique au multipartisme au début des années 90. Treize des quatorze ODD sont prioritaires pour les PEID. En partant du constat qu’une des preuves clefs d’une démocratie saine réside dans l’amplitude de la société civile, cet article cherche à examiner la qualité de la participation politique dans les PEID en relation avec deux ODD prioritaires. Ainsi, l’article considère des formes de participation conventionnelles et non conventionnelles ainsi que leur impact potentiel sur une expression publique en particulier, à savoir l’existence d’une gestion gouvernementale des PEID d’Afrique en matière de changement climatique et de ressources marines.

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Arlene M. Rosen

Burroughs, William James. 2005. Climate Change in Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 336 pp., $30.00 (UK£19.99). ISBN 0-521-82409-5 (Hardback).

Ruddiman, W. F. 2005. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 272 pp., $24.95 (UK£15.95). ISBN: 0-691-12164-8.

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Leigh Raymond

Hulme, Mike. 2009. Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction, and Opportunity. Cambridge University Press.

Malone, Elizabeth L. 2009. Debating Climate Change: Pathways through Argument to Agreement. Sterling, VA: Earthscan.

Stehr, Nico and Hans von Storch. 2010. Climate and Society: Climate as Resource, Climate as Risk. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific.

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From Paris to Poland

A Postmortem of the Climate Change Negotiations

Tim Cadman, Klaus Radunsky, Andrea Simonelli and Tek Maraseni

This article tracks the intergovernmental negotiations aimed at combatting human-induced greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from COP21 and the creation of the Paris Agreement in 2015 to COP24 in Katowice, Poland in 2018. These conferences are explored in detail, focusing on the Paris Rulebook negotiations around how to implement market- and nonmarket-based approaches to mitigating climate change, as set out in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and the tensions regarding the inclusion of negotiating text safeguarding human rights. A concluding section comments on the collapse of Article 6 discussions and the implications for climate justice and social quality for the Paris Agreement going forward.

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Afterword

Speaking Scientific Truth to Power

Charles F. Kennel

This article takes up three issues associated with connecting knowledge with social action. First, we discuss some of the pitfalls of communication and perception that are always there when natural or social scientists present their versions of truth to decision-makers. Next we review how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deals with these pitfalls in producing its global assessments. While there is only one global assessment, there will be thousands helping local communities adapt to climate change. Each will need its own analogue of IPCC, its own 'knowledge action network'. Social Anthropology will play a key role in such networks, and so will have to devise its own ways to cope with the same issues that face climate scientists when they provide advice to action leaders. The way assessments are done at the regional and community levels, especially in the developing world, will necessarily differ from IPCC practice, but the considerations that brought the IPCC into being will still apply.

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Participation, Process and Partnerships

Climate Change and Long-term Stakeholder Engagement

Carrie Furman, Wendy-Lin Bartels and Jessica Bolson

As awareness of the potential threats posed by climate change increases, researchers and agricultural advisors are being called upon to determine the risks that different stakeholder groups will likely confront and to develop adaptive strategies. Yet, engaging with stakeholders takes time. It also requires a clear and detailed plan to ensure that research and outreach activities yield useful outputs. In this article, we focus on the role of anthropologists as researchers and conveners in stakeholder engagement and provide a generalised overview of a long-term engagement process proceeding in three stages: (1) fact-finding and relationship- building; (2) incubation and collaborative learning; and (3) informed engagement and broad dissemination. We conclude with a discussion of perspectives and challenges that were encountered during two engagement experiences in the south-eastern United States.

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Elemental Imagination and Film Experience

Climate Change and the Cinematic Ethics of Immersive Filmworlds

Ludo de Roo

In an age of ecological disasters and increasing environmental crisis, the experience of any cinematic fiction has an intrinsic ethical potential to reorient the spectator’s awareness of the ecological environment. The main argument is that the spectator’s sensory-affective and emphatically involving experience of cinema is essentially rooted in what I call “elemental imagination.” This is to say, first, that the spectator becomes phenomenologically immersed with the projected filmworld by a cinematic expression of the elemental world, and second, much like there is no filmworld without landscapes, the foundational aspect of elements are revealed as preceding and sustaining the narrative and symbolic layers of film experience. While suggesting the existential-ethical potential of this fundamental process of film experience, the second aim of this article is to show that this form of elemental imagination complements more mainstream “environmentalist” films, such as climate change documentaries and blockbuster apocalyptic genre films.

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Changes in the Weather

A Sri Lankan Village Case Study

Mariella Marzano

As the impacts of climate change are expected to increase, there is growing concern in development contexts over how best to assist the poor and vulnerable to adapt to such changes whilst ensuring environmental and livelihood security. Climate variability is a persistent and progressively more worrying feature in the everyday lives of individuals and communities in rural areas around the world and there is a pressing need for comprehensive knowledge of the complex relationships between humans, and between them and their environment. Thus there is a growing movement towards bridging the gap between top-down decision-making and more grassroots approaches that encompass local knowledge and experiences. Drawing upon fieldwork in Sri Lanka, this article examines the potential of taking an indigenous knowledge research (IKR) approach to understanding local adaptation to climate change, specifically how local people are adapting their livelihood strategies to what they perceive to be increasing variability in weather patterns. It also explores the prospect of indigenous knowledge networks as vehicles for rapidly sharing information and building links between policy making and local reality.

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Jeroen P. van der Sluijs

Uncertainty complexity and dissent make climate change hard to tackle with normal scientific procedures. In a post-normal perspective the normal science task of "getting the facts right" is still regarded as necessary but no longer as fully feasible nor as sufficient to interface science and policy. It needs to be complemented with a task of exploring the relevance of deep uncertainty and ignorance that limit our ability to establish objective, reliable, and valid facts. This article explores the implications of this notion for the climate science policy interface. According to its political configuration the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopted a "speaking consensus to power" approach that sees uncertainty and dissent as a problematic lack of unequivocalness (multiple contradictory truths that need to be mediated into a consensus). This approach can be distinguished from two other interface strategies: the "speaking truth to power approach," seeing uncertainties as a temporary lack of perfection in the knowledge (truth with error bars) and the "working deliberatively within imperfections" approach, accepting uncertainty and scientific dissent as facts of life (irreducible ignorance) of which the policy relevance needs be explored explicitly. The article recommends more openness for dissent and explicit reflection on ignorance in IPCC process and reporting.

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Silke Beck

This article explores how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has dealt with growing public scrutiny of its workings. It reviews recent initiatives set up to respond to the Climategate controversy. An independent review of the IPCC undertaken by an international scientific umbrella body—InterAcademy Council—can be shown to have triggered one of the turning points in the debate, placing the focus of attention on the IPCC's transparency and accountability. However, the council's recommendations have been implemented by the IPCC in such a way that the issue of public trust is treated as one of effective communication. The article then explains how IPCC's responses to Climategate can be traced back to the linear model of expertise. The article concludes with a discussion why the challenge of producing policy-relevant knowledge under conditions of heightened public scrutiny also requires new forms of scientific appraisal aimed at wider publics.