In this episode, we learn about some of the ways that climate change is being experienced by people locally and across different contexts. Drawing on their experiences working with communities from Senegal, Ghana, the Himalayas, the Arctic, and Australia, Professors Petra Tschakert (University of Western Australia) and James Ford (University of Leeds) introduce us to some of the key concepts behind climate change adaptation. We learn that ‘vulnerability does not just fall from the sky’ (Jesse Ribot, pp 47-74), rather they are baked into society and predispose certain people and groups to be more susceptible to the same level of exposure from the same climate hazard. For example, while everyone in the same region will be exposed to a heatwave, people who live in cities, older persons, or homeless people will be more vulnerable to the impacts of that same heatwave.
This episode transports us to different parts of the world where communities are using their place-based ways of knowing to adapt to the different ways in which climate change is manifesting in their daily lives. Our guests share insights from anticipatory and collective forms of learning—how communities and researchers learn from each other—as well complexities of adaptive decision making, climate-related migration and displacement, and what happens to social cohesion in the context of climate change. We also hear examples of how local experiences of place-based and value-based adaptation are informing local and national policy agendas.
Critically, this episode highlights the need to consider the ‘baked-in’ vulnerabilities and entrenched inequalities—that are independent of a changing climate—when transitioning towards a future where no one is left behind. We hope you enjoy listening to this vibrant episode and learning about the human dimensions of climate change adaptation across different local contexts.