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Past Events

2012-2013 Climate & Society Seminars

Don Nelson - From Client to Citizen: The Role of Technology in Changing Social Relations in Northeast Brazil

Martin Bunzl - Rational choice, climate risk perception, and poverty

Howard Latin - Climate Policy Failures: Running out of Time

Nikolay Shiklomanov - Arctic Urban Development and Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future of Urban Infrastructure in Permafrost Regions

Lawson Brigham - The New Maritime Arctic: Responding to Change at the Top of the World

Galya Morrell - Expedition Avanaa: Vanishing Ice and Culture in Northern Greenland

Timothy Heleniak - Polar Peoples: Population and Migration in the Arctic

Pamela McElwee - Payments for ecosystem services in Vietnam: balancing equity and efficiency in market approaches to forest conservation

Allen Frei - Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and extreme hydrological events in the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley

 

 

September 14, 2012

From Client to Citizen: The Role of Technology in Changing Social Relations in Northeast Brazil

Dr. Don Nelson, Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia

Abstract

Clientilism has characterized the social relations within Northeast Brazil since the time of colonization. These relations developed as a social adaptation within a natural environment marked in large part by variation in the availability of water resources. Throughout this time, technologies were applied to resolve specific challenges -- e.g. drought tolerant maize and seasonal climate forecasting, among others. The application of these technologies did little to reduce the vulnerability of the population and helped secure the power base of the patrons. Since the signing of the Brazilian Constitution in 1988 there has been a significant focus on the emergence of a citizenry. However, citizenry is not something mandated through legislation; rather it must evolve through changes in social practice and personal expectations. Here we offer an example of technology use that provides individuals the opportunity to explore different modes of social interaction and to help overcome some of the tensions that arise as social institutions shift to encompass a more open sense of citizenry and democracy.

Projeto MAPLAN (Participatory Mapping for Long-Term Local Planning) is an approach that encourages the expression of citizenship within the process of long-term development planning. The work began as a partnership between universities and the state government in Ceará and is now the centerpiece of a MA degree in Public Administration and Sustainable Development at the state university. While outcomes such as community access to reliable water sources, access to electricity and others are significant, we argue that the real benefit of this methodology is the long-term change in the way that citizens and government officials perceive and interact with one another.

Co-sponsored by Technologies Without Borders (GAIA) and Department of Geography, as part of the Geography Speaker Series

 

September 28, 2012

Rational choice, climate risk perception, and poverty

Dr. Martin Bunzl, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University. Former director of Climate & Society.

"Like it or not, the world faces a choice between foregoing economic growth and increasing the risk of climate change. In this paper I examine this calculus through the eyes of the world’s poor drawing (in part) on the literature of behavioral economics."

 

October 12, 2012

Climate Policy Failures: Running Out of Time

Dr. Howard Latin, Rutgers University Law School at Newark

Professor Latin discusses key themes from his book, Climate Change Policy Failures: Why conventional mitigation approaches cannot succeed, published in May 2012 by World Scientific Books.  Professor Latin explains why economic incentives and weak targets do not promise to adequately reduce CO2 concentrations and suggests technological changes that could tackle climate change effectively.

To learn more about this book, you can visit Professor Latin's website. You can view the table of contents, read a summary of policy mistakes discussed in the book, and read a condensed version of the chapter on cumulative effects of greenhouse gas accumulation.

 

October 19, 2012

Arctic Urban Development and Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future of Urban Infrastructure in Permafrost Regions

Dr. Nikolay Shiklomanov, Department of Geography, George Washington University

Part of the polar speaker series sponsored by GAIA.

 

November 16, 2012

The New Maritime Arctic: Responding to Change at the Top of the World

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Part of the polar speaker series sponsored by GAIA.

Abstract

The 'New Maritime Arctic' is experiencing a complex mix of globalization, climate change, and geopolitics not seen in this once remote region at the top of the world.  The Arctic is understood to be a large storehouse of natural resources (hydrocarbons, hard minerals, fisheries, freshwater, and more), and exploration and development have accelerated to where the region can be a player in the global economy.  Marine access is also changing in unprecedented ways with a profound transformation of Arctic sea ice. Substantial and continuing increases in marine access will present real challenges to the existing legal and regulatory structures that address marine safety and environmental protection, and pose new regional security challenges. The ongoing UN Convention on the Law of the Sea process for delimitation of the outer continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean also presents unique policy issues and geopolitics to an already uncertain future for the marine time Arctic. The Arctic Council has produced one major study, the Arctic Maine Shipping Assessment, which provides a framework and strategic guide for the Arctic states to advance measures for the protection of Arctic people and the marine environment. In addition, new actors and non-Arctic stakeholders are showing their many interests in the region's natural resource wealth.  All of these challenges will require historic levels of cooperation among the Arctic states, and broad engagement of the Arctic community with the rest of the world.

Read Dr. Birgham's related 2011 article in Nature

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478157a.html

Global economics, not declining sea ice, is driving ships to the Arctic Ocean. Only international regulation will protect the region, says Lawson Brigham.

 

December 7, 2012

Expedition Avanaa: Vanishing Ice and Culture in Northern Greenland

Galya Morrell, journalist and artist

Part of the polar speaker series

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March 29, 2013

Polar Peoples: Population and Migration in the Arctic

Dr. Timothy Heleniak, Department of Geography, University of Maryland

Part of the Polar Speaker Series within the climate and society seminars. Series sponsored by Technology Without Borders at the Global Advancement and International Affairs centers (GAIA).

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April 5, 2013

Payments for ecosystem services in Vietnam: balancing equity and efficiency in market approaches to forest conservation
Dr. Pamela McElwee, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

- Co-sponsored by Department of Geography as part of the geography speaker series

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April 26, 2013

Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and extreme hydrological events in the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley

Dr. Allen Frei, Department of Geography, Hunter College - CUNY

Co-sponsored with Department of Geography as part of the Geography Speaker Series

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