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Climate Changing Small Islands

Considering Social Science and the Production of Island Vulnerability and Opportunity

Amelia Moore

This article argues that climate change has influenced the way in which small island nations are viewed and understood by the international climate community. Climate change has become an internationally recognized and specific language of vulnerability that is deployed in requests for international aid to fund adaptation and mitigation measures in some small islands, for population relocation plans and human rights advocacy in other islands, and for overhauling the 'tourism product' and creating new markets for travel in others. Vulnerability is a powerful idiom, especially in the contemporary climate context that has come to imply crisis, change, uncertainty, and immediacy. Importantly, vulnerability also gestures unambiguously toward seemingly limitless scientific and even commercial opportunity. These developments come with new forms of expertise in the natural and social sciences and the travel industry, as well as with new or reinstated forms of inequity. As the areas of small island expertise increasingly overlap, they come to reproduce the very context and form of small islands themselves.

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Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Perspectives from a Century of Water Resources Development

Clive Agnew and Philip Woodhouse

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the influential Stern Report both reinforce the warming of the earth's climate system. The alarming environmental, social, and economic consequences of this trend call for immediate action from individuals, institutions, and governments. This article identifies parallels between the problem of adaptive management presented by climate change and an earlier 'global water crisis'. It explores how adaptive strategies have successively emphasized three different principles, based on science, economics, and politics/institutions. The article contends that the close association between climate change and water resources development enables a comparative analysis to be made between the strategies that have been adopted for the latter over the last 100 years. It argues that the experience of water resources development suggests a strong interdependence between the three principles and concludes that conceptualizing them as different dimensions of a single governance framework is necessary to meet the challenge of climate change adaptation.

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Robert Eastwood

This article is a non-technical review of the economics of global policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Quite a lot is known about the likely physical consequences of anthropogenic climate change, but much uncertainty remains. In particular, account needs to be taken of possible catastrophes such as ice sheet melting. How are we to balance the known costs of taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the present against the uncertain benefits of such action for future generations? How convincing is the case for substantial measures to be undertaken now? If the case for such action is accepted, should emissions be controlled via Kyoto-style national emissions targets or by the imposition of carbon taxes? How can the challenges of burden sharing between developed and developing countries be addressed?

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David Hall

Climate action is conventionally framed in terms of overcoming epistemic and practical disagreement. An alternative view is to treat people’s understandings of climate change as fundamentally pluralistic and to conceive of climate action accordingly. This paper explores this latter perspective through a framework of philosophical psychology, in particular Bernard Williams’s distinction between internal and external reasons. This illuminates why the IPCC’s framework of ‘Reasons for Concern’ has an inefficacious relationship to people’s concerns and, hence, why additional reason giving is required. Accordingly, this paper recommends a model of truthful persuasion, which acknowledges the plurality of people’s motivations and sincerely strives to connect the facts of climate change to people’s subjective motivational sets.

Open access

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Climate Change

Expressions of Global Ecological and Societal Misbalances

Harry G. J. Nijhuis and Laurent J.G. van der Maesen

climate change, bio-degeneration, and the ongoing pollution of nature, new steps for bridging the natural and the human sciences are a conditio sine qua non for understanding the complexity of the multidimensionality of critical situations that demand

Open access

It's time to (climate) change the way we teach

Addressing anthropogenic climate change in social science classrooms

Eleanor Shoreman-Ouimet

For years at the large state university where I teach, I watched groups of students present to their peers information and research on specific aspects of climate change. Topics ranging from CO2 emissions to Coral Bleaching, Climate Refugees and

Open access

Susan Crate

Since the early 2000s anthropologists have begun investigating the cultural implications of anthropogenic climate change by tracking and analyzing local communities’ observations, perceptions, understandings, and responses ( Barnes and Dove 2015

Open access

Gilad Ben-Nun

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2018, the number of displaced people worldwide topped 70 million ( UNHCR 2018 ). With climate change now adding to the drive of forced human displacement, the 1951 Refugee

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Donna Houston, Diana McCallum, Wendy Steele, and Jason Byrne

Introduction Climate change sometimes figures as a site in which long-standing debates are re-enacted and sometimes as a problem the scale and character of which calls for really new ways of thinking. Meanwhile, climate change policy proceeds on the

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Rodanthi Tzanelli

often acted as drivers in climate change through their endorsement of environmental pollution. The featured folk myths establish a slower pace of “aesthetic travel”: their protagonists are birds facing extinction due to ingestion of marine debris and