IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This talk will be presented online using Zoom. Registration is required before 3:00 pm on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Log in information for Zoom will be emailed to those who have registered with their registration confirmation as well as by 3:00 pm on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
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YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/QN-RV_dF4Fs
Date: Tuesday, 2 May 2023
Location: Online meeting via Zoom
Time: 7:00 pm
Robert Winthrop, PhD, Environmental Anthropologist
About the talk:
Social Dimensions of Climate Change Mitigation
The world is losing the battle against global climate change. Climate scientists, politicians, and many activists have approached climate change as an environmental problem requiring natural science solutions, where success is defined as lowered global greenhouse gas concentrations, in effect removing a pollutant from an otherwise natural system. In fact, climate change is a systemic expression of our world, a reflection of contemporary economic realities.
Despite the urgent need for technological innovation to help decarbonize the world economy, the fundamental challenge posed by climate change is not technical but social. This talk will describe the need to develop strategies for climate-positive social innovation, a search for local ways of life that are more satisfying, more supportive of well-being, and more protective of the global climate. It will also highlight the potential contribution of the social sciences – notably anthropology – in this effort.
About the speaker:
Robert Winthrop is an environmental anthropologist based in Washington, D.C., with forty years of practical experience addressing the human impacts of energy and resource extraction. He has worked as a consultant, a U.S. government social scientist, and an academic, and is currently a research professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park.His involvement with climate and environmental policy includes serving on the Department of the Interior’s Climate Change Task Force (2007), the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Social Science Coordinating Committee (2014 - 2017), the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Ecological Systems (2013 – 2016), and as the lead social scientist for the Bureau of Land Management’s coal leasing policy review (2016). Recent publications include “Explaining Differential Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Social Science Review,” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2019 (co-author); and “Culturally Reflexive Stewardship: Conserving Ways of Life,” in The Oxford Handbook of Public Heritage Theory and Practice, 2018. Winthrop is currently writing a book on strategies for social innovation to support climate change action.