Anthropology of Climate Change

Anthropologists work in communities where climate change is already affecting local economies and people’s lives.  On the recommendation of the Anthropology & Environment section, the American Anthropological Association has formed a task force to explore the cultural impacts of global climate change.  The task force is headed by Prof. Shirley Fiske from the University of Maryland.

Anthropology Climate Change task force member Susie Crate interviews a Pacific Islander.

Anthropology Climate Change task force member Susie Crate interviews a Pacific Islander.

Prof. Fiske writes:

Anthropologists are working in communities and arenas where climate change is affecting the people with whom we work, either directly via the environment, or through institutions and programs as a result of global governance related to climate change.  As humans and cultures, we have been down some of these paths before (adjusting to swings in climate) with critical lessons, as archaeologists are showing us.

Climate change research by Shirley Fiske and task force member Sarah Strauss is profiled here.

In a related development, an important film currently in production will help bring home the impacts of climate change on indigenous communities around the world.  The Change, a documentary being filmed by Ironbound Films, follows research by Task Force member Prof. Susie Crate.  It also shows how her teenage daughter becomes engaged with a set of issues not on most teenagers’ radars.

Read more on the Task Force.

Soon to be a major motion picture: Prof. Susie Crate and her daughter Katie.

Soon to be a major motion picture: Prof. Susie Crate and her daughter Katie.

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