New Article: ‘Adapting to climate change in South Africa: commercial farmers’ perception of and response to changing climate’

Wild, N. and Ziervogel, G. (2012). Adapting to climate change in South Africa: commercial farmers’ perception of and response to changing climate. South African Geographical Journal, 94 (2): 152-173.

Abstract: Understanding how and why farmers have responded to past climatic change is a necessary step to informing how to support current and future adaptation. This paper explores commercial farmers’ perceptions of and responses to shifting climates in the Little Brak River area along South Africa’s south coast. It aims to evaluate changes in the climate experienced in the area by comparing quantitative statistical analyses of temperature, rainfall and wind data recorded from 1967 to 2009, with qualitative historical narratives and formulated perceptions of change for the same period. This was undertaken in order to test the robustness of the narratives and to understand how farmers’ perceptions and experiences drive their climate-related decisions. Continue reading

New Article: ‘The Greening of Insurance’

Mills, E. (2012). The Greening of insurance. Science, 338 (6113): 1424-1425

Summary: Every sector of the economy telegraphs climate risks to its insurers. In turn, climate change stands as a stress test for insurance, the world’s largest industry, with U.S. $4.6 trillion in revenues, 7% of the global economy (16). Insurers publicly voiced concern about human-induced climate change four decades ago (1). I describe industry trends, activities, and promising avenues for future effort, from a synthesis of industry progress in managing climate change risk [see supplementary materials (SM)].

To download full text click here

New Book: ‘Sustainable Stellenbosch: Opening Dialogues edited by Mark Swilling, Ben Sebitosi, Ruenda Loots’

Description: Stellenbosch faces the same challenges that most South African urban areas face: rapid urbanisation, sluggish economic growth, growing inequalities, unsustainable use of natural resources, deteriorating biodiversity, social problems, unhealthy living, insecure supplies of healthy food, degrading soils, infrastructure backlogs and inadequate urban planning. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation’

Celliers, al. (2013). Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation. Marine Policy, 39: 72-86.

Abstract: Integrated coastal management (ICM) has been developing concomitantly with the realisation of the severity of the potential impacts of climate change. The discourse on climate change and adaptation has also included the awareness that adaptation must take place at all levels of government, particularly local government. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the physical, social, environmental and economic environments of coastal cities and towns, and in particular on the poor and vulnerable communities within these cities and towns. The crucial role that local government can play in climate protection and building cities’ and communities’ resilience to climate change is widely recognised at the global level. This paper explores the legal and policy connexion between ICM, local government and climate change in Mozambique and South Africa, two developing countries in Africa. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies’

Harper, S. et al. (2013). Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies. Marine Policy, 39: 56-63.

Abstract: The substantial role of women in fisheries is overlooked in management and policy. Fortunately, it is gaining recognition despite a lack of quantitative data describing the scale of participation and contribution. This work summarizes existing knowledge on women’s participation in marine fisheries globally, and estimates their contribution in the Pacific. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation’

Adger, N. et al. (2012). Changing social contract in climate-change. Nature Climate Change: 1-4. 

Abstract: Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action1, 2. We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. Continue reading

Table of Contents Alert: International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 3 (3)

See below for some articles published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 3 (3)

On the role of government in integrated disaster risk governance—Based on practices in China
Peijun Shi
Abstract: This article outlines the roles of government in ensuring integrated disaster risk governance in China. In general, government plays important political, economic, cultural, and social roles in risk governance systems that include resource assurance, technical support, and disaster risk management. Three key aspects of governance relate to those roles: (1) Overall leadership. Politically, the government has a leading role for the overall rule and system design, including legislation, decision-making processes, and policy implementation mechanisms. Economically, the government’s primary responsibility is to strengthen resource assurance, including coordinating development and disaster reduction, and providing support for disaster reduction activities. Continue reading

Table of Contents Alert: Ecological Economics Vol. 84

See below for some of the articles published in the latest volume of Ecological Economics, Special Section: The Economics of Degrowth

The economics of degrowth
Giorgos Kallis, Christian Kerschner, Joan Martinez-Alier
Abstract: Economic degrowth is ecologically desirable, and possibly inevitable; but under what conditions can it become socially sustainable? How can we have full employment and economic stability without growth? What will happen to public spending and to public debt? How would production be organised in a degrowing economy? And under what plausible socio-political conditions could such grand changes happen? Standard economic theories and models ignore these questions. For them economic growth is an axiomatic necessity. This article reviews recent contributions in the economics of degrowth and identifies research avenues for ecological economists. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Local people’s accounts of climate change: to what extent are they influenced by the media?’

Abstract: Researchers using local and indigenous people’s accounts of climate change in their scientific work often face scepticism regarding the value of such information. The critics’ argument is that since local and indigenous people are often exposed to the global discourse on climate change, their observations and information may in fact be reproductions of science popularized through communication media. There are instances in which local people’s accounts of climate change and impacts thereof may be influenced by how media frame and popularize scientific models and predictions. Continue reading

New Paper: ‘White Paper on Energy 2050: What Does It Take for Reality to Meet Aspirations?’

Description:  This white paper on energy 2050 raises 10 questions that must be addressed in the development of new energy architecture. Today there is a large disconnect between how people hope to live in 2050 and what the energy system is on track to deliver to help them get there. The white paper combines insights about potential visions for that future, with a focus on the types of solutions that are required to achieve change on the scale that is needed.

The energy 2050 paper emphasises the need to address the most relevant issues – those relating to the enjoyment of energy by people living in non OECD countries, both to fuel growth in living standards and also to ensure basic access to energy for billions of people. Solutions must be affordable and achievable in those countries.

Continue reading


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