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Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics/CarolineBledsoe

From Complex Time

Notes by user Caroline Bledsoe (Northwestern Univ.) for Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group

With climate change, we appear to be entering into an era of partial and flawed awareness, on the parts of scholars as well as the public, of changes in natural forces bigger than we knew existed. Sociologist Ulrich Beck (2015) captures the dilemma this represents: "The idea that we are masters of the universe has totally collapsed and has turned into its opposite." How can we grasp the scale and character of these changes both in the environment and in the social world in categories we do not yet have, and at scales that are beyond our imagination?

Through what cultural frames – whether expressed through local, international, legal or scientific idioms – can we best grasp how people are responding to what we might see as dangerous climate change and the best solutions to it?  While easy answers to these questions are illusive, findings from analogous studies – child fosterage, Western contraceptive use, and migration from West Africa to Europe and the US – may be brought to bear to address some of the principles on which they seem to rest.

Among the biggest puzzles in debates about climate change is why so many people support policies and politicians that appear to undermine their own best interests.  These have been identified across the world, including in the US, where advocates for science in climate studies and action find themselves locked in battle with climate-change deniers.  While these things can be addressed under classic rubrics of rationality, questions of meaning, nature, and what we tend to take for granted are equally important.

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Reference Materials

Title Author name Source name Year Citation count From Scopus. Refreshed every 5 days. Page views Related file
Emancipatory catastrophism: What does it mean to climate change and risk society? Ulrich Beck Current Sociology 2015 69 0
Reproductive Mishaps and Western Contraception: An African Challenge to Fertility Theory 0 5
Chesapeake requiem earl swift chesapeake requiem 0 7

Presenter on the following Agenda items

Co-evolution of population and environment - perceiving climate change and its impacts on reproduction and migration

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