Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis

As summer continues to heat up, this week's review looks at what we can learn from global responses to climate change and how to reframe our solutions

Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis

ed. by Steffen Böhm and Sian Sullivan Open Book Publishers, 2021
472p bibl index, 9781800642614 $56.53, 9781800642607 $41.23, 9781800642638 $9.16

Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis book cover. Background is a city sunset with a pipe emitting smoke in the left corner.

This open-access anthology offers a refreshingly non-US-centric look at the implications of decades of neglect for climate change concerns. The diversity of topics and contributing authors suggest that although there is much to criticize about successive failures to address climate change, there is also much to learn about the history of social, economic, and governmental responses to it. The idea of negotiation embedded in the title signals the perspective of urgency adopted throughout: readers must reframe not only their understanding of the problem but also their inventory of possible solutions. Authors tackle deep issues, including the historical structuring of responses by capitalism (emissions-trading) and protracted trend of development based on “extractivism.” As some authors argue, even the currently promoted solutions, such as green energy, involve unacknowledged costs. Humans seem unwilling to face the dramatic shifts that must occur. Part 4 focuses on human-wildlife conflicts, land-use impacts, and indigenous ontological risk in Namibia, a “climate change frontline country.” Böhm (Univ. of Exeter) and Sullivan (Bath Spa Univ.) have brought together a group of writers skilled at communicating the sense of imminent existential challenge, whose recommendations ask much of society. Every reader interested in facing current failures and discussing radically relevant solutions will find something of interest in this volume.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. General readers.
Reviewer: M. C. Stephan, Washington State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies, Environmental Studies
Science & Technology – Earth Science
Choice Issue: Aug 2022

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