Andrea Nightingale: "Climate change adaptation: Reimagining our place in the world"

In this article published in Research Features, Andrea Nightingale argues that the global community should be debating key political questions such as, ‘who ought to govern change’, and ‘what knowledges do we need to understand uncertainty and change?’.

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Abstract

How society can adapt to climate change is an urgent challenge for the global community. Yet what exactly is that challenge? How can we imagine new ways to respond? Climate change adaptation has long been defined as society’s response to an external, changing environment. Dr Andrea Nightingale at the University of Oslo, however, shows that this framing constrains our imagination and puts too much emphasis on technological solutions and managing hazards.

When instead climate change is understood as simultaneously a social and environmental problem, the focus shifts to how and when change can occur. Dr Nightingale argues that the global community should be debating key political questions such as, ‘who ought to govern change’, and ‘what knowledges do we need to understand uncertainty and change?’

These questions put issues of power, politics, and inclusion at the centre of concerns around governance of climate change. Possibilities for transformative change can emerge out of these debates, particularly if they help people understand better our interconnectedness and become emotionally invested – not just cognitively aware – of how their everyday lives are connected to the global climate problem.

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Published Dec. 1, 2021 12:58 PM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2021 12:58 PM