In addressing the urgent questions raised by climate change, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the anthropology of climate change, guided by a critical political ecological framework. It examines the emergence and slow maturation of the anthropology of climate change, reviews the historic foundations for this work in the archaeology of climate change, and presents three alternative contemporary theoretical perspectives in the anthropology of climate change.
This second edition is fully updated to include the most recent literature published since the first edition in 2014. It also examines a number of new topics, including an analysis of the 2014 American Anthropological Association’s Global Climate Change Task Force report, a new case study on responses to climate change in developed societies, and reference to the stance of the Trump administration on climate change.
Not only does this book provide a valuable overview of the field and the key literature, but it also gives researchers and students in Environmental Anthropology, Climate Change, Human Geography, Sociology, and Political Science a novel framework for understanding climate change that emphasizes human socioecological interactions.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Climate turmoil: introducing a socioecological model of human action, environmental impact, and mounting vulnerability 2. The emergence and maturation of the anthropology of climate change 3. The archaeology of climate change 4. Theoretical perspectives in the anthropology of climate change 5. Case studies in the anthropology of climate change 6. Applications of anthropological research on climate change 7. What are other social scientists saying about climate change 8. Conclusion: toward a critical integrated social science of climate change
Hans A. Baer is Principal Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Merrill Singer is Professor at the Departments of Anthropology and Community Medicine, University of Connecticut, USA.
"Up until now discussions of climate change have been dominated by physical scientists. Yet, Hans Baer and Merrill Singer argue in their invaluable book The Anthropology of Climate Change that global warming is to be understood first and foremost a social problem. It therefore requires a critical social science that will revolutionize how we view our relations with the environment. Building on the work of many other thinkers, particularly in anthropology, they take us a considerable way down the path that we must all travel, if we are to find the necessary solutions to the most daunting problem of the twenty-first century." — John Bellamy Foster, professor of sociology, University of Oregon, USA author of Marx’s Ecology
"Clearly these are inspired social scientists with a vision of what we need to do to get to a ‘more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world’. The book does two things – asserts and exhorts social scientists to join in social activism against climate change and global capitalism; and provides an overview of work in anthropology and other social sciences within this framework. I heartily recommend it for classrooms and discussions with colleagues and friends in civic organizations." — Shirley Fiske, professor of anthropology, University of Maryland, USA and Chairperson of the American Anthropological Association Task Force on Climate Change
"Only connect…! From Earth archaeology and the origins of human agriculture to the 21st century corporate race for profit at any cost, Hans Baer and Merrill Singer’s eco-social analysis draws on world system theory, political ecology, and critical health anthropology to explain how the power of the 1% leads to a global climate turmoil threatening the very survival of the 99%. We ourselves, our politicians, and not least scientists on the Intercontinental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) need to read this book and to reckon with the authors’ democratic eco-socialist agenda for healing climate and saving life-on-Earth." — Ariel Salleh, University of Sydney, Australia, climate activist and author of Ecofeminism as Politics
"The first edition of Baer & Singer's book The Anthropology of Climate Change was vital, the second edition is fully updated and even better. It provides an excellent, easily readable and critical summary of anthropological, archaeological and sociological research, suitable for both beginners and for experts. It is an exciting text book, but it also conveys wide reading and an integrated theoretical approach which is illuminating and practical at all levels of expertise. If we don't understand the social, economic and political bases of power and profit then we will not understand climate change and its likely effects, and this book delivers on its promise. It is both a call for understanding and for informed action." — Jon Marshall, Public Communication Program, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia