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Climate Change Mitigation: An Anthropological Analysis

Abstract:

This anthropological analysis will examine the structures and ideas that underlie both the causes of climate change and the mitigation/adaptation strategies envisioned to attend to it. Changing climate will bring with it dramatic changes to human social organization and it is toward these changes that Dr. Work directs her overarching research.

Social transformations ride along the rails of structures and ideas that are already present, altering bits and pieces of the original to accommodate new ideas, new environments, and new organizing structures. Dr. Work’s goal is to begin to critically examine the structures and ideas that underlie the dominant global system currently in transition.

For this presentation, she will limit her discussion to climate change mitigation strategies and present a brief overview of current climate change mitigation options and their global uptake. She will then cover some of the structures, ideas, and values that support the practices currently acknowledged to be causing climate change. A discussion of the successes and challenges of each mitigation option will bring the two earlier points together in conclusion.

Dr. Work will argue that it is time for a new way of thinking about what it means to be human in a living environment and that it is only by thinking about how human-ness is currently conceived that new ways can present themselves.

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