Changing Climate, Changing Worlds

Local Knowledge and the Challenges of Social and Ecological Change

  • Meredith Welch-Devine
  • Anne Sourdril
  • Brian J. Burke

Part of the Ethnobiology book series (EBL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Anne Sourdril, Emilie Andrieu, Cécile Barnaud, Louise Clochey, Marc Deconchat
    Pages 71-98
  3. Christine Raimond, Markus Bakaira, Sylvain Aoudou Doua, Eric Garine
    Pages 99-122
  4. Esther Katz, Annamária Lammel, Marie-Paule Bonnet
    Pages 123-144
  5. Victoria Reyes-García, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, David García-del-Amo, Mar Cabeza
    Pages 183-197
  6. Brian J. Burke, Meredith Welch-Devine, Stephanie Rzonca, Chad Steacy
    Pages 199-220
  7. Kathleen A. Galvin, Trevor Even, Robin S. Reid, Jesse Njoka, Joana Roque de Pinho, Philip Thornton et al.
    Pages 221-242
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 259-266

About this book


This book explores how individuals and communities perceive and understand climate change using their observations of change in the world around them. Because processes of climatic change operate at spatial and temporal scales that differ from those of everyday practice, the phenomenon can be difficult to understand. However, flora and fauna, which are important natural and cultural resources for human communities, do respond to the pressures of environmental change. Humans, in turn, observe and adapt to those responses, even when they may not understand their causes. Much of the discussion about human experiences of our changing climate centers on disasters and extreme events, but we argue that a focus on the everyday, on the microexperiences of change, has the advantage of revealing how people see, feel, and make sense of climate change in their own lives. The chapters of this book are drawn from Asia, Europe, Africa, and South and North America. They use ethnographic inquiry to understand local knowledge and perceptions of climate change and the social and ecological changes inextricably intertwined with it. Together, they illustrate the complex process of coming to know climate change, show some of the many ways that climate change and our responses to it inflict violence, and point to promising avenues for moving toward just and authentic collaborative responses.


Climate Biodiversity Culture Traditional knowledge Perceptions Amazon Cameroon Appalachia Zimbabwe Maasai

Editors and affiliations

  • Meredith Welch-Devine
    • 1
  • Anne Sourdril
    • 2
  • Brian J. Burke
    • 3
  1. 1.The Graduate SchoolUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7533 LadyssNanterreFrance
  3. 3.Department of Sustainable DevelopmentAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA

Bibliographic information