Home Events Past Events Academic Year 2014-2015 Global Climate Change and Inequality: Local to Global Perspectives, Friday, April 10, 2015

Global Climate Change and Inequality: Local to Global Perspectives, Friday, April 10, 2015

Addressing global climate change and related socio-environmental disasters is among the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. A changing climate will affect all life on the planet, but the effects will not be shared equally. Some regions, nations, communities, individuals and natural ecosystems will likely experience greater or lesser levels of threat, and will have greater or lesser vulnerabilities. As one noted scholar has written: "[G]lobal warming is all about inequality, both who will suffer most of its effects and in who created the problem in the first place" (Roberts 2001). While we understand fairly well who is responsible for climate change (although its solutions are not), the more difficult and frankly demanding questions surround those who will suffer the most and how best to mitigate such threats and address the vulnerabilities of those most at risk.

On Friday April 10, 2015, Rutgers hosted this symposium which explored across disciplines the state-of-the-art thinking and research on the problem of inequality linked to expected global climate change and related environmental disasters that occur in different locations and cultures. Since some groups, communities, and nations will be much more vulnerable than others to a changing climate, a fundamental task ahead for scientists and others rests on better understanding who is likely to be affected by a changing climate and related disasters, in what ways they will be most vulnerable, and how might those vulnerabilities be addressed through various social actions, including policies and planning. Also relevant are the social consequences of mitigation policies and other efforts to reduce climate change. If communities and nations are to remain vibrant and resilient, conscious and concerted efforts will be needed to make sure everyone is valued and no one is left behind.
The event was free and open to the public.

The following Rutgers initiatives, departments, centers, and institutes made this symposium possible:

  • First 100 Days Initiative
  • Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs
  • Rutgers Climate Institute
  • Rutgers Department of Geography (School of Arts and Sciences)
  • Rutgers Department of Human Ecology (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences)
  • Rutgers Department of Sociology (School of Arts and Sciences)

Program

9:00 Welcome Address

Steven Brechin (Rutgers Sociology, Rutgers Climate Change Institute)

9:15 Session I: Global and Cross-National Perspectives: The Big Picture

Robin Leichenko (Rutgers Geography, Rutgers Climate Institute): Climate change and inequality: Exploring the linkages
Stephane Hallegatte (Senior Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank): Climate change and poverty: A review of the evidence.
Powerpoint presentation document here (9.22 MB)

10.30 Coffee Break

10.45 Session I: Global and Cross-National Perspectives: The Big Picture (Continued)

Tom Rudel (Rutgers Human Ecology/Sociology, Rutgers Climate Change Institute): Climate change funds go to the organized: A least likely case in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Powerpoint presentation document here (22.69 MB)

Karen O'Brien (Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway): Transformations to sustainability: Why equity matters

12:00 Lunch Break

1:00 Session II: USA National Experiences: The Inequality of Global Climate Change and Related Disasters

Roland Anglin (Director, Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University)

Lori Peek (Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis, Colorado State University): Children in a changing climate
Powerpoint presentation document here (23.36 MB)

Sabrina McCormick (Sociology/Filmmaker, George Washington University): The Challenge of Justice in Communicating Climate Change

3:00 Light Refreshments Break

3:15 Session III: Panel Hurricane Sandy: New and Re-Emerging Inequalities in a Changing Climate

Karen O'Neill (Rutgers Human Ecology, Rutgers Climate Change Institute)

Ana Baptista (The New School for Social Research)
Powerpoint presentation document here (2.38 MB)

Mauro Baldanza (Former Chief, Long Branch Fire Department, NJ)
Powerpoint presentation document here (13.45 MB)

Adelle Thomas (College of the Bahamas)
Powerpoint presentation document here (1.77 MB)

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