Cool Heads for a Hot World – Social Sciences Under a Changing Sky
Global Environmental Change 22(2):329-331, May 2012
Posted: 29 Mar 2013
Date Written: 2012
Three decades of debates related to the urgency of climate change and the dearth of preventive and effective action to adapt to these changes have led to a growing recognition of the need for social-scientific analyses to inform public opinion, motivate decisions, and strengthen climate adaptive and mitigative capacities (IPCC, 2009; Stern, 2007; World Bank, 2010). Researchers and decision makers have come to accept that the ensemble of problems associated with a changing climate cannot be understood, analyzed, or addressed without the vital contributions of the social sciences. The heterogeneity and contested nature of climate stresses for different groups and ecosystems, debates about how to understand and communicate risks and threats associated with climate change, and the need for multiple stakeholders to join forces to craft effective responses highlight the unusually important role of social science in the analyses of climate change and potential responses to climate threats (Adger and Barnett, 2009).
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