Contested geographies of adaptation 2: United States

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Organizers: Michael Mikulewicz
Chairs: Catherine Day


The next few decades will see a global proliferation of policies, programs and projects focused on adaptation to climate change. While these initiatives are certainly needed, critical scholars have noted that the urgency of climate change and the concomitant need to adapt to its impacts – recently underscored by the IPCC Global Warming of 1.5 °C report – has led to adaptation that is explicitly anti-political, techno-managerial and top-down by nature (Kamat, 2014; Mikulewicz, 2018; Swyngedouw, 2011). Recreating the fallacies of ‘business-as-usual’ development, adaptation initiatives have as a result often failed to meet their objective of decreasing local vulnerabilities to climate impacts (Taylor, 2014). More importantly, however, they have also started to encounter various kinds of local opposition, either in the form of general apathy, disapproval, and passive or even active resistance from the recipients of adaptation assistance. This is a serious issue for the long-term viability of local livelihoods, especially given the projected increase in the number and intensity of extreme weather events in the future (Niang et al., 2014). However, little is known with regard to local resistance to efforts focused on preparing local people for the vagaries of weather and climate despite emerging critical scholarship on the politics of adaptation and mitigation, particularly in the context of the Global South (Eriksen et al., 2015; Faye et al., 2018; Khatri et al., 2018; Nightingale, 2017; Tschakert et al., 2016).

This session will therefore focus on the ‘constested’ geographies of adaptation to climate change in the United States. It will feature examples of empirically-grounded research exploring various kinds (physical, material, discursive, etc.) of localized resistance to external adaptation interventions analyzed through the lens of political ecology, eco-feminist theory, Marxian approaches, anthropology or critical social theory, in general.


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Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Paul Adams*, University of Texas at Austin, How to Talk about Climate Change in the High Plains 20 5:00 PM
Presenter Rachael Carrell*, University of Vermont, Targeting the Roots of Disaster: Community Work Dismantling Vulnerability in Mariana, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Janee Petersen*, Ohio University, The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Power and Environmental Justice and Scales of Resistance 20 5:40 PM
Presenter Catherine Day*, Stetson University, Listening to the Wrong Signal: Exploring Climatic Subjectivities, Identities, and Agency among Farmers in New Mexico 20 6:00 PM

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