Presenter/Author Information

J. I. MacLellan

Keywords

climate change, adaptation, reflexivity, policy, planning, counterfactuals

Start Date

1-7-2010 12:00 AM

Description

Although climate change adaptation can occur over various political, social, and institutionalscales, the majority of adaptation decisions take place at the local level where an intimate understanding ofthe particularities of local circumstances (i.e. successful responses to past extremes events) exist alongsidea lack of formalised expertise in projecting and analyzing future possibilities. The relationship between theexperts who produce counterfactual knowledge, and the individuals who apply it, is thus central to thechallenge of responding to climate change successfully. I present a deliberately polarized caricature of thisrelationship in an attempt to facilitate knowledge exchange (i.e. to identify barriers to knowledgeexchange). Through bibliometric analysis I am able to identify various traits\characteristics of the abstractknowledge associated with the climate change adaptation literature. This “knowledge” is then placedbefore local stakeholders in a way that highlights its apparent implications for future economic, societal andenvironmental impacts, as well as its limitations and uncertainties. In this context, as derived from aphilosophy, history and sociology of knowledge perspective, a framework for discussion is initiated thatallows localised knowledge to be recognised and valued more explicitly in the planning process. Impactsin Northern Canada will be used as a case study for such analysis.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

The Northern-Global Climate Change Adaptation Dialogue

Although climate change adaptation can occur over various political, social, and institutionalscales, the majority of adaptation decisions take place at the local level where an intimate understanding ofthe particularities of local circumstances (i.e. successful responses to past extremes events) exist alongsidea lack of formalised expertise in projecting and analyzing future possibilities. The relationship between theexperts who produce counterfactual knowledge, and the individuals who apply it, is thus central to thechallenge of responding to climate change successfully. I present a deliberately polarized caricature of thisrelationship in an attempt to facilitate knowledge exchange (i.e. to identify barriers to knowledgeexchange). Through bibliometric analysis I am able to identify various traits\characteristics of the abstractknowledge associated with the climate change adaptation literature. This “knowledge” is then placedbefore local stakeholders in a way that highlights its apparent implications for future economic, societal andenvironmental impacts, as well as its limitations and uncertainties. In this context, as derived from aphilosophy, history and sociology of knowledge perspective, a framework for discussion is initiated thatallows localised knowledge to be recognised and valued more explicitly in the planning process. Impactsin Northern Canada will be used as a case study for such analysis.