1st Edition

Climate, Science and Society A Primer

Edited By Zeke Baker, Tamar Law, Mark Vardy, Stephen Zehr Copyright 2024
    342 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    342 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Climate, Science and Society: A Primer makes cutting-edge research on climate change accessible to student readers.

    The primer consists of 37 short chapters organized within 11 parts written by Science and Technology Studies (STS) and other social science scholars. It covers a range of key topics including communication, justice and inequality, climate policy, and energy transitions, situating each one within the context of STS studies. Each reading translates a focused area of climate change research into short, accessible, and lively prose. Chapter authors open debates where relevant, consider policy implications, critique existing areas of research, and otherwise situate their reading within a larger body of research relevant to climate change courses.

    Designed as a jumping-off point for further exploration, this innovative book will be essential reading for students studying climate change, STS, environmental sociology, and environmental sciences.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Table of Contents

    List of Contributors



    Zeke Baker, Tamar Law, Mark Vardy, and Stephen Zehr


    PART I: Climate Change Science as a Social Issue: Introduction

    Zeke Baker

    1: Future Times and Spaces: Tracing Objectivity, Scale, and Politics in the Social Life of Climate Science

    Zeke Baker

    2: Meteorology, Climate Science, and Empire: Histories and Legacies

    Martin Mahony

    3: Rethinking Our Histories and Relations with Climate Change

    Candis Callison


    PART II: Theorizing Climate, Science, and Society: Introduction

    Stephen Zehr

    4: We Cannot Afford Not to Perform Constructionist Studies of Mainstream Climate Science

    Myanna Lahsen

    5: Political Economies of Climate Science: Beyond Technological Villains and Scientific Saviors

    Zeke Baker


    PART III: Media and Public Communication about Climate Change: Introduction

    Stephen Zehr

    6: Climate Change Communication: Simple, Right?

    Stephen Zehr

    7: Public Communication and Perceptions of Climate Change in Brazil

    Eloisa Beling Loose and Anabela Carvalho

    8: News and Social Media Imagery of Climate Change: Analyzing the Role and Impact of Visuals in Public Communication

    Mike S. Schäfer and Xiaoyue Yan


    PART IV: NGOs, Civil Society, and Social Movements: Introduction

    Mark Vardy

    9: Non-Governmental Organizations and the Environmental Movement: Challenges in Climate Change Framing

    Steven Yearley

    10: Expert Activists and NGOs: Understanding and Acting on Global Climate Change

    Adam Fleischmann

    11: Skirting the Frame: Prepping and the Conservative Politics of Climate Change

    Allison Ford


    PART V: Climate Justice: Introduction

    Tamar Law

    12: Postcards from Small Town India: Situated Climate Justice, Science, and Technology

    Ankit Bhardwaj

    13: Solar Affordances and the Struggle for Climate Justice in Southwest Asia

    Kendra Kintzi

    14: Upstream Engagement in the Era of Climate Change

    Roopali Phadke

    15: Climate Justice: Taking Back the Commons

    Shangrila Joshi


    PART VI: Climate Governance: Introduction

    Mark Vardy

    16: Climate Change as Ontological Unsettling: A View from the City

    Hannah Knox

    17: The IPCC as a Body of Expertise

    Reiner Grundmann

    18: Consensus, National Self-Interest, and the Shaping of Climate Knowledge in IPCC Assessment Processes

    Mark Vardy

    19: Trust at the Climate Science-Policy Interface

    Tiago Ribeiro Duarte


    PART VII: Energy, Sustainability, and Sociotechnical Transitions: Introduction

    Stephen Zehr

    20: Energy Transitions in a World of Polarized Politics

    David J. Hess

    21: Configuring Markets and Transactions for Energy System Transition: A Role for STS Research

    Daniel Breslau

    22: The Role of Users in the Energy Transition

    Marianne Ryghaug, Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, and Robert Næss

    23: STS and the Design of Futures

    Clark A. Miller


    PART VIII: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: Introduction

    Tamar Law

    24: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: Sociotechnical and Knowledge Dimensions

    Tim Forsyth

    25: Rethinking Climate Change Adaptation

    Marcus Taylor

    26: Farming in Climate Crisis: Agricultural Adaptation(s) in Central New York State

    Tamar Law

    27: Climate Adaptation, Methodology, and the Case Study

    Sarah E. Vaughn


    PART IX: Art, Infrastructure, and Climate: Introduction

    Mark Vardy

    28: Amphibious Cities

    Dominic Boyer

    29: Aesthetic Encounters with the More-Than-Human

    Désirée Förster

    30: Averted Vision

    Karolina Sobecka


    PART X: Climate Engineering: Introduction

    Zeke Baker

    31: The Politics of Climate Engineering Research

    Julia Schubert

    32: The Intervention of Climate Science

    Stefan Schäfer

    33: Making the 1.5oC Aspirational Climate Target Tangible with Carbon Dioxide Removal and Boundary Work

    Anders Hansson

    34: Boundary Work in Solar Geoengineering Assessment and Experiments

    Sean Low


    PART XI: Climate Futures: Introduction

    Zeke Baker

    35: Futuring in Climate Politics: Activism and the Politics of the Imagination

    Jeroen Oomen

    36: The World Ocean and Climate Connectivities

    Cymene Howe

    37: From Controlling Global Mean Temperature to Caring for a Flourishing Climate

    Andy Stirling



    Zeke Baker is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, USA. His research investigates how changes in climate knowledge relate to political dynamics, especially over the historical long term, in the United States and comparative contexts.

    Tamar Law is a PhD student at Cornell University in Development Studies and holds an MPhil in Human Environmental Geography from the University of Oxford. Her research in the United States and Southeast Asia examines the knowledge and land politics of climate adaptation and mitigation, centering questions of climate justice.

    Mark Vardy is a faculty member of the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada. He is interested in drawing from STS to contribute to discussions of climate justice in green criminology.

    Stephen Zehr is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Southern Indiana, USA. His past research focused on climate change scientific expertise and its representation in the media. He is currently researching maple syrup producers and their adaptation to technological changes, climate change, and labor supply and allegiances.