Special Issue "Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Thomas Beery
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Man and the Biosphere Research Group, Kristianstad University Elmetorpvägen 15, 231 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
Interests: environmental social science; specifically climate adaptation; connectedness to nature; environmental education; landscape science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ongoing social science understanding of climate change is critical for addressing the complexity and seriousness of the climate crisis. While the study of climate change is inherently interdisciplinary, we wish to acknowledge that the drivers of greenhouse gas emissions are rooted in human behavior. Further, we can also acknowledge that the solutions to this enormous problem are primarily social, requiring political, economic, and educational foci. This Special Issue will provide a forum for social science research to demonstrate how the social sciences can contribute useful methods and data, critical perspectives, and creative insight into climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Dr. Thomas Beery
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Climate is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • social science
  • climate change
  • climate change mitigation
  • climate change adaptation
  • human behavior

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
What Drives Climate Action in Canada’s Provincial North? Exploring the Role of Connectedness to Nature, Climate Worry, and Talking with Friends and Family
Climate 2021, 9(10), 146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9100146 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Despite widespread calls to action from the scientific community and beyond, a concerning climate action gap exists. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of the role of connectedness to nature in promoting individual-level climate action in a unique setting where climate research [...] Read more.
Despite widespread calls to action from the scientific community and beyond, a concerning climate action gap exists. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of the role of connectedness to nature in promoting individual-level climate action in a unique setting where climate research and action are lacking: Canada’s Provincial North. To begin to understand possible pathways, we also examined whether climate worry and talking about climate change with family and friends mediate the relationship between connectedness to nature and climate action. We used data collected via postal surveys in two Provincial North communities, Thunder Bay (Ontario), and Prince George (British Columbia) (n = 628). Results show that connectedness to nature has a direct positive association with individual-level climate action, controlling for gender and education. Results of parallel mediation analyses further show that connectedness to nature is indirectly associated with individual-level climate action, mediated by both climate worry and talking about climate change with family and friends. Finally, results suggest that climate worry and talking about climate change with family and friends serially mediate the relationship between connectedness to nature and with individual-level climate action. These findings are relevant for climate change engagement and action, especially across Canada’s Provincial North, but also in similar settings characterized by marginalization, heightened vulnerability to climate change, urban islands within vast rural and remote landscapes, and economies and social identities tied to resource extraction. Drawing on these findings, we argue that cultivating stronger connections with nature in the places where people live, learn, work, and play is an important and currently underutilized leverage point for promoting individual-level climate action. This study therefore adds to the current and increasingly relevant calls for (re-)connecting with nature that have been made by others across a range of disciplinary and sectoral divides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Article
Orchestrating the Participation of Women Organisations in the UNFCCC Led Climate Finance Decision Making
Climate 2021, 9(9), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9090135 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
The study applies orchestration as a conceptual framework to provide early evidence on the engagement of women organisations in UNFCCC-led climate finance governance and reflect on the quality of their mobilisation. Women organisations are one of the non-state stakeholders, whose role is acknowledged [...] Read more.
The study applies orchestration as a conceptual framework to provide early evidence on the engagement of women organisations in UNFCCC-led climate finance governance and reflect on the quality of their mobilisation. Women organisations are one of the non-state stakeholders, whose role is acknowledged in the UNFCCC Decision 3/CP.25 for improving gender-responsiveness of climate finance. Within the UNFCCC, orchestration is used as a governance approach to enhance the mobilisation of non-state actors for facilitating the implementation of policy goals. The study utilises mixed methods including document review and interviews with key informants. The findings of the study indicate that the quality of orchestration has been low, i.e., the engagement of women organisations in the UNFCCC-led climate finance decision making has, so far, been limited. This is due to the lack of policy convergence on the purposes of orchestration, as well as the newness, and complexity of the issues at the intersection of climate finance and gender. While the concept of orchestration is intended to enhance decision making practices, the study suggests that in the case of the engagement of women organisations in the UNFCCC-led climate finance governance, orchestration is used only for symbolic purposes. To make the engagement of women organisations more meaningful, there is a need to diversify the existing orchestration practices and improve consistency in policy framing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Article
(How) Does Diversity Still Matter for the IPCC? Instrumental, Substantive and Co-Productive Logics of Diversity in Global Environmental Assessments
Climate 2021, 9(6), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9060099 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
To what extent has the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) succeeded in its ambition to shape a more diverse environmental expertise? In what ways are diversity important to the IPCC? What purposes does diversity serve in the IPCC’s production of global environmental [...] Read more.
To what extent has the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) succeeded in its ambition to shape a more diverse environmental expertise? In what ways are diversity important to the IPCC? What purposes does diversity serve in the IPCC’s production of global environmental assessments and thus environmental knowledge in general? These questions are explored by analyzing quantitative demographic data of the latest two assessment cycles (AR5 and AR6) and qualitative data from a semi-structured interview study with IPCC experts. The analysis shows that there have been improvements in diversity in recent years across measures of gender (women comprising 34% of authors in AR6 compared to 21% in AR5), regional representation and the proportion of authors from developing countries (35% in AR6 compared to 31% in AR5). These improvements have not, however, been distributed evenly when looking at the seniority of authors, nor when comparing across working groups, with WGI (the physical science) remaining much less diverse (28% female authors) than WGII (impacts) (41% female authors) and WGIII (mitigation) (32% female authors). The interviews suggest that rather than viewing diversity as a challenge it should be viewed as an opportunity to build capacity. Distinctions between scientific expertise and ‘diversity of voice’ need to be reconsidered in terms of both the substantive and instrumental value that a diverse range of knowledge, experience and skills add to the process of the scientific assessment of climate knowledge. In the concluding discussion, three points are raised: (i) the issue of diversity will probably grow in importance due to the fact that the complex task of transforming society has increasingly come into focus; (ii) the issue of diversity will be crucial for IPCC to maintain and develop its capacity to make assessments; (iii) the issue of diversity should not be reduced to simply a means for improving the process of making assessments, but should also improve the outcomes of the assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Article
Costs and Distributional Effects of Climate Transformation of the Vehicle Fleet in the EU
Climate 2021, 9(6), 88; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9060088 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 880
Abstract
This study estimates the minimum total cost and distributional effects among countries transforming the car fleet in the EU to reduce emissions of carbon dioxides by 2050 by switching from fossil fuel-driven passenger cars to hybrid and electric-driven cars. Minimum cost is estimated [...] Read more.
This study estimates the minimum total cost and distributional effects among countries transforming the car fleet in the EU to reduce emissions of carbon dioxides by 2050 by switching from fossil fuel-driven passenger cars to hybrid and electric-driven cars. Minimum cost is estimated using a dynamic optimization model in which costs are calculated as decreases in consumer surplus in the demand for vehicles under given annual increases in travel demand, carbon efficiency and technological improvement of electric cars. Distributional effects are calculated for the cost-effective allocation of costs among the EU member states and UK. Calculations are made for different emission reductions, and the cost for achieving a 60% reduction from the 1990 emission level ranges between 0.13% and 0.61% of the EU’s GDP depending on assumptions about development of travel demand and carbon efficiency. The results indicate a slightly regressive allocation in most scenarios, where the cost share is relatively high for low income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Article
Climate Change in the 2019 Canadian Federal Election
Climate 2021, 9(5), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9050070 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1867
Abstract
In the weeks before the 2019 federal election, climate change strikes occurred in Canada and across the globe, which may have increased the salience of this policy issue. We use two data sources to examine the role of climate change in the 2019 [...] Read more.
In the weeks before the 2019 federal election, climate change strikes occurred in Canada and across the globe, which may have increased the salience of this policy issue. We use two data sources to examine the role of climate change in the 2019 federal election: a representative survey of 1500 Canadians and 2109 Facebook posts from the five major party leaders. After accounting for political ideology and region, we find that concern about climate change was a strong positive predictor of liberal support. We triangulate these findings by analyzing Facebook posts. We find that left-wing politicians were more likely to post about climate change and that posts about climate change received more likes, comments, and shares than other posts. This higher level of user engagement did not differ depending on which political party posted the climate change message. The combination of sources offers news insights into citizen-elite interactions and electoral outcomes. Climate change was important in the election, whether this importance was measured through survey data or user engagement with leaders’ climate change posts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Article
The Politics of Maladaptation
Climate 2021, 9(5), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9050069 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
An emerging component of the adaptation discourse, embracing theory, practice and review, is that of the negative assessment of adaptation, namely, maladaptation. Political theories and concepts have been applied as one of these assessment tools, giving rise to a political critique of maladaptation. [...] Read more.
An emerging component of the adaptation discourse, embracing theory, practice and review, is that of the negative assessment of adaptation, namely, maladaptation. Political theories and concepts have been applied as one of these assessment tools, giving rise to a political critique of maladaptation. Such a critique contrasts with the more conventional scientific and technical assessments of adaptation policies, programs and practices. Key political themes in studies of maladaptation include resource management and allocations, decision making processes, equity and fairness, gender, power and influence, and Nature and ecology. Within the scholarship on the politics of maladaptation, overlapping frameworks can be identified. Critiques of adaptation have been applied to the preconditions of adaptation, adaptation decision making processes and institutions, and to adaptation outcomes. There are a number of conceptual challenges in undertaking political analyses of adaptation. In this article, we outline the origins of the adaptation and maladaptation concepts, we describe the key political issues, we identify the application of politics in the maladaptation discourse and identify the major political perspectives. Finally, we draw conclusions on the state of the maladaptation discourse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
Article
Exploring Associations between Attitudes towards Climate Change and Motivational Human Values
Climate 2020, 8(11), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli8110135 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Climate change (CC) represents a global challenge for humanity. It is known that the impacts of anthropogenic actions are an unequivocal contribution to environmental issues aggravation. Human values are recognized as psychological constructs that guide people in their attitudes and actions in different [...] Read more.
Climate change (CC) represents a global challenge for humanity. It is known that the impacts of anthropogenic actions are an unequivocal contribution to environmental issues aggravation. Human values are recognized as psychological constructs that guide people in their attitudes and actions in different areas of life, and the promotion of pro-environmental behaviors in the context of CC must be considered a priority. The present work aimed to understand the contribution of attitudes towards CC and selected sociodemographic variables to explain Schwartz’s motivational human values. The sample consists of 1270 Portuguese answering the European social survey (ESS) Round 8. Benevolence and self-transcendence are the most prevalent human values among respondents. The majority believe in CC and less than half in its entirely anthropogenic nature. It was found that the concern with CC and education contributes to explain 11.8% of the conservation variance; gender and concern about CC explain 10.1% of the variance of self-transcendence; and age, gender and concern about CC contribute to explain 13% of the variance of openness to change. This study underlines the main human values’ drivers of attitudes towards CC, central components in designing an effective societal response to CC impacts, which must be oriented towards what matters to individuals and communities, at the risk of being ineffective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)

Review

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Review
Challenges and Opportunities for Climate Change Education (CCE) in East Africa: A Critical Review
Climate 2021, 9(6), 93; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9060093 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1293
Abstract
It is undoubtedly clear that climate change is happening, and its adverse impacts could reverse the progress made toward meeting sustainable development goals. The global crisis poses one of the most severe challenges to reducing poverty and existing inequalities, especially in developing countries [...] Read more.
It is undoubtedly clear that climate change is happening, and its adverse impacts could reverse the progress made toward meeting sustainable development goals. The global crisis poses one of the most severe challenges to reducing poverty and existing inequalities, especially in developing countries that are projected to be highly vulnerable to climate variability. However, the education sector provides an untapped opportunity for successful climate change adaptation and mitigation through knowledge and skill acquisitions, and consequently, positive behavioral change. Specifically, education can capacitate individuals and communities to make informed decisions and take practical actions for climate-resilient sustainable development. This study is focused on East Africa, a region whose economy heavily relies on climate-dependent activities. At present, East African governments are already embedding climate change in their school curriculum. However, they lack coherent approaches to leverage climate change education as a tool in their adaptation and mitigation strategies. Therefore, this review explores some of the critical barriers to climate change education and possible opportunities for leveraging learning to promote sustainable development in East Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Review
How Do the Cultural Dimensions of Climate Shape Our Understanding of Climate Change?
Climate 2021, 9(4), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9040063 - 10 Apr 2021
Viewed by 896
Abstract
Climatic events express the dynamics of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, but are profoundly personal and social in their impacts, representation and comprehension. This paper explores how knowledge of the climate has multiple scales and dimensions that intersect in our experience of the [...] Read more.
Climatic events express the dynamics of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, but are profoundly personal and social in their impacts, representation and comprehension. This paper explores how knowledge of the climate has multiple scales and dimensions that intersect in our experience of the climate. The climate is objective and subjective, scientific and cultural, local and global, and personal and political. These divergent dimensions of the climate frame the philosophical and cultural challenges of a dynamic climate. Drawing on research into the adaptation in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin, this paper outlines the significance of understanding the cultural dimensions of the changing climate. This paper argues for greater recognition of the ways in which cultures co-create the climate and, therefore, that the climate needs to be recognised as a socio-natural hybrid. Given the climate’s hybrid nature, research should aim to integrate our understanding of the social and the natural dimensions of our relationships to a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Review
Sociological Perspectives on Climate Change and Society: A Review
Climate 2021, 9(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cli9010007 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
Society is at an important intersection in dealing with the challenges of climate change, and this paper is presented at a critical juncture in light of growing recognition that the natural sciences are insufficient to deal with these challenges. Critical aspects of sociological [...] Read more.
Society is at an important intersection in dealing with the challenges of climate change, and this paper is presented at a critical juncture in light of growing recognition that the natural sciences are insufficient to deal with these challenges. Critical aspects of sociological perspectives related to climate change research are brought together in this review in the hope of fostering greater interdisciplinary collaboration between the natural and social sciences. We fervently argue for the need to inculcate interdisciplinary approaches that can provide innovative perspectives and solutions to the challenges we face from the impacts of climate change. As such, some critical sociological perspectives are addressed, with two objectives: (a) to provide a foundational opening for readers seeking an introductory perspective and potential core contributions of sociological insights on climate change; and (b) to explore opportunities and obstacles that may occur with increased interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. We lay out fundamental ideas by assembling a loosely connected body of sociological research, hoping to develop and advance the collaborative research agenda between sociology and other disciplines for the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Climate Change: Social Science Perspectives)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Not provided yet
Authors: Mikael Granberg; Leigh Glover
Affiliation: Karlstad university
Abstract: An emerging component of the adaptation discourse, embracing theory, practice and review, is that of the negative assessment of adaptation, namely maladaptation. Political theories and concepts have been applied as one of these assessment tools, giving rise to a political critique of maladaptation. Such a critique contrasts with the more conventional scientific and technical assessments of adaptation policies, programs and practices. Key political themes in studies of maladaptation include resource management and allocations, decision making processes, equity and fairness, gender, power and influence, and Nature and ecology. Within the scholarship on the politics of maladaptation, four overlapping frameworks can be identified, namely environmental justice, institutional reform, politics, political ecology and political economy. Critiques of adaptation have been applied to the pre-conditions of adaptation, adaptation decision making processes and institutions, and to adaptation outcomes. There are a number of conceptual challenges in undertaking political analyses of adaptation.In this article we outline the origins of the adaptation and maladaptation concepts, we describe the key political issues, we identify the application of politics in the maladaptation discourse and identify the major political perspectives. Finally, we draw conclusions on the state of the maladaptation discourse. Keywords: adaptation; environmental justice; institutional reform; maladaptation; politics; political ecology; political economy

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