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Session Overview
RN12_03a_P: Sociology and Climate Change
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Filip M. Alexandrescu, Research Institute for the Quality of Life
Location: PC.2.14
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 2.

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Climate Change as a security issue in the case of Greece. An application of Q Methodology

Charis Gerosideris

Keele University, United Kingdom

Resource scarcity, environmental migration, land use and natural disasters, are only some of the examples which indicate the multi-dimensional effects of climate change and its impact on socio-political structures as well as on the everyday life and practices.

This study focuses on the on-going discussion on climate change as a security issue, which indicates that climate change should be understood as unsolved and threaten matter that seeks immediate and specific solutions in the security discipline. The examination of the issue developed focusing on the case of Greece, which is not only an indicative example of the south vulnerable EU countries.The paper develops an insight on the issue of climate change in Greece, pointing out the linkage to security/insecurity issues in regional level and its contemporary connections between environmental security, energy security, national and human security, in global level. Main consideration is given to the absence of approaching climate change as a security issue in Greece, not only in an institutional (state) level, but in a scientific level too.

The study examined four different stakeholders’ groups (Greek policy-makers, national NGOs, energy industry leaders, public/citizens) and their perceptions/opinions on the issue of climate change as a security issue by applying Q-methodology.The study critically examined the differences between the stakeholders’ perspectives and the existed academic ones on climate change as a security issue. This study points out a new and innovative research methodology in security studies, which, especially focusing in the climate change as a security issue in the case of Greece and the global recession context.

Environmental Citizenship and Climate Change Adaptation in Portugal: The case of ClimAdaPT.Local

Joao Mourato, Luisa Schmidt, Adriana Alves, Joao Ferrao

University of Lisbon, Portugal

Climate change deniers aside, it is widely acknowledged that alongside mitigation efforts, adaptation to climate change is of paramount importance.

However, adaptation efforts, through the design of specific policy instruments bring to the fore the complex, multi-level inter-relationships and coordination pitfalls between decision-makers, policy developers, scientific and local communities.

This paper reports on the ClimAdaPT.Local research project (2015-2017) designed to strengthen municipal capacity for adaptation to climate change in Portugal. Building on the existing and tested UKCIP methodology for adaptation-strategy-development, this projects spread out to 26 pilot-municipalities in both mainland Portugal and the islands of Azores and Madeira.

Adaptation policies are strongly context dependent. Thus, central to the chosen methodological framework a set of participatory workshops was put in place in order to fully engage local communities not only in the validation but also in the development of their municipal adaptation strategy.

Through the review of the project's development process and community engagement efforts this presentation discusses the challenges underpinning local adaptation governance solutions and the mainstreaming of adaptation into local planning tools.

In particular, we expand on the role of knowledge co-production as an institutional mechanism to strengthen community capacitation and mobilization concerning climate change.

We illustrate how local actors are learning to learn through uncertainty and environmental change. In other words, how they are collectively learning to be adaptive. In sum, we illustrate how through the inclusive development of climate adaptation policies environmental democracy and citizenship can be promoted.

Climate Change, a new metanarrative for Humanity?

João Camargo

Instituto de Ciências Sociais - Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Climate change might be the occasion, not the cause, of the biggest challenge in the history of Humanity. But despite the scientific consensus not only on the human origin of climate change but also on its impacts (global, regional, national and local), the necessary measures to deter this phenomenon are still far from the speed and range necessary for the challenge.

The planet has finite resources, it is confined in its space and the infinite expansion of economic growth crashes against this reality. The approach of trying to address the problem through minor adjustments to the current productive system is a recipe for disaster. The emergence of a metanarrative of climate change will be imposed by reality, but there will be a major dispute. Narratives prepare and arm groups and populations for an uncertain future, and they will either be survival of the fittest or civilizatory tools in the exact moment when human civilization will be in its most dangerous moment.

Mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation policies on climate change is an important tool to recognize how this is evolving. We’ve analysed public climate policy in three Mediterranean – Portugal, Spain and Morocco – and conducted interviews to different stakeholders from municipalities to central governments, from scientists to social movements to ascertain the relevance of climate policy and the importance of climate change to stakeholders involved, that is, if can see, or not, signs of this a new metanarrative on the horizon, and which one.

The process of climate change in mass media discourse using the example of Polish and English-language editions of Newsweek magazine

Karolina, Weronika Cynk

University of Rzeszow, Poland

Public discourse generally presents climate change as a serious social problem. This issue is addressed, for example, in Polish and English-language editions of the sociopolitical magazine Newsweek.

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) includes a variety of approaches, and therefore the study of media texts considered numerous variants and components of CDA. The analysis was focused on two issues. The first refers to the characteristics of the discourse, namely:

• the way in which mass media discourse constructs the perception of social reality from the perspective of climate changes taking place (Fairclough, Wodak 1997),

• the creation of a deictic centre – a community of entities united in the face of climatic hazards and detailed hazards being outside this centre (Cap 2006),

• contradictions, unclear statements and methods of persuasion used in the discourses in both editions of the magazine (Wodak 1996).

The second important issue was to analyse transformations in approaches to climatic hazards:

• discursive approach to the shift from the theoretical to practical aspects of climatic hazards (Beaugrande 1999),

• the power of time presented in the discourse from the perspective of necessary actions and future negative effects of climate change (Negt 1984),

• the way discourse produces shared views, beliefs and values being shaped in confrontation with climatic hazards (Bernecker, Dretske 2000),

• the way discursive practices used in texts on climate issues stimulate emotional responses (Hearn 1993).

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