Climate Change, Ethics and Human Security

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Karen O'Brien, Asunción Lera St. Clair, Berit Kristoffersen
Cambridge University Press, Jul 22, 2010 - Business & Economics - 231 pages
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Presenting human security perspectives on climate change, this volume raises issues of equity, ethics and environmental justice, as well as our capacity to respond to what is increasingly considered to be the greatest societal challenge for humankind. Written by international experts, it argues that climate change must be viewed as an issue of human security, and not an environmental problem that can be managed in isolation from larger questions concerning development trajectories, and ethical obligations towards the poor and to future generations. The concept of human security offers a new approach to the challenges of climate change, and the responses that could lead to a more equitable and sustainable future. Climate Change, Ethics and Human Security will be of interest to researchers, policy makers, and practitioners concerned with the human dimensions of climate change, as well as to upper-level students in the social sciences and humanities interested in climate change.

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About the author (2010)

Dr Karen L. O'Brien is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway and chair of the Global Environmental Change and Human Security (GECHS) project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). Her research focuses on climate change vulnerability and adaptation, on interactions between globalization and climate change, and on the role that values and worldviews play in responding to environmental change. She currently leads a large social-science based project on The Potentials of and Limits to Climate Change Adaptation in Norway (PLAN). She has recently published a book with Robin Leichenko on Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures (2008) that received the 2008 AAG Meridian Book Award for the Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography. She was a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report and the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. She is on the editorial board of Global Environmental Change, the Annals of the Association of American Geography, and Ecology and Society, and on the steering committee of the Comparative Research Program on Poverty (CROP), the Norwegian Global Change Committee, and Concerned Scientists-Norway.

Asunción Lera St. Clair is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bergen, Norway and Scientific Director of the Comparative Research Program on Poverty (CROP), one of the leading programs of the International Social Science Council (ISSC); co-leader (with Victoria Lawson) of the WUN Critical Global Poverty Studies Research group; Vice-President of the International Development Ethics Association (IDEA); board member of the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights and member of the editorial boards of various international journals and other international organisations. Her work is primarily interdisciplinary, focusing on ethical issues related to development and poverty with a special focus on human rights, and attempting to provide alternative perspectives on global poverty. St. Clair has also focused attention on the challenges posed by climate change in relation to poverty and development studies, aiming to offer holistic ethically grounded perspectives on both challenges. She has recently published in the journals of Global Governance, Global Social Policy, Globalisations, and Global Ethics. Her most recent publications are Global Poverty, Ethics, and Human Rights: The Role of Multilateral Institutions (2009, co-authored with Desmond McNeill) and Development Ethics: a Reader (2010, co-edited with Des Gasper).

Berit Kristoffersen is a political geographer and PhD student at the Department of Political Science, University of Tromsř, Norway. Her PhD research is on human and environmental security in Norway, in the context of the state and industry's strategies for petroleum development in Arctic territories. She is a research fellow in the research program The Potentials of and Limits to Climate Change Adaptation in Norway (PLAN) where she is also working on a project on values and climate change in Norway. Before starting a PhD she was involved in Norwegian organizations and social movements emerging in the post-Seattle globalization movement, and worked as a freelance writer and editor of several reports and book chapters for NGOs such as Forum for Environment and Development, Zero, Adbusters Norway, and Attac.

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