A recent article from The New York Times describes the immediate need for climate risk awareness and how it will affect all of us, especially impoverished countries. They emphasize that climate change is not a distant problem, but something we must deal with now.

Perspectives on Politics recently published an article, “The Most Important Topic Political Scientists Are Not Studying: Adapting to Climate Change” by Debra Javeline, which discusses this issue and we have exclusive comments from the author on this topic.

Post written by Debra Javeline, based on article in Perspectives on Politics

On March 31, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report summarizing thousands of scientific publications on the impacts of climate change.  We now have more information than ever before about the havoc wreaked on the planet by climate change so far, what is in store for the future, and how (un)prepared humans are to live on our increasingly hot planet.

Little if any of this information was contributed by political scientists working in mainstream departments and publishing in mainstream journals, and the IPCC report reflects this omission.  Major questions remain about what to do, who pays, and who decides.  We need to understand how adaptations to climate change materialize: How do governments or publics come to accept the need to adapt to climate change and move from acceptance to action?  How effective are the adaptations that do materialize?

My argument is that political scientists could and should be answering these questions.  There are numerous opportunities for scholars with different specialties within political science to apply their expertise to help the world adapt to climate change in a way that is theory-driven and valued within the discipline.

You can read the entire article from Perspectives on Politics here.

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