Is it possible to understand climate change through scientific theories, data and models? Hastrup and Rubow in this important book show why the answer is a decisive ‘no’. Drawing upon a rich and diverse array of sites around the world, Living with Environmental Change: Waterworlds offers dozens of compelling portraits of what climate change means to different people living in different places. This impressive collection of short essays shows why the anthropological study of climate change is at least as important as its scientific study. Rather than something to be feared, climate change is becoming part of the way in which humans and their cultures continually respond to the future and thereby re-shape it.
–Mike Hulme, King’s College London, UK
A unique contribution to the understanding of climate change as it appears to people all over the world. Using the framework of water, landscape, technology and climate it is a bold attempt to summarise a lot of human interest, experience and theory. It should be appreciated by anyone interested in the topic and not just by specialists.
–Jonathan Paul Marshall, University Technology Sydney, Australia
The Waterworlds team has produced a book that ‘shows rather than tells’ how communities experience climate change at a local level. By highlighting narratives from different parts of the world, they illuminate the complex pressures that emerge as shifts in climate initiate changes in social and material environments, as well as the creative adaptations that people are making in confronting these challenges.
–Veronica Strang, Durham University, UK
Like a splash of cold water on the face of someone who has grown drowsy, this book awakens the reader to the urgency of water issues in every corner of our world. Like a glass of cool water on a hot dry day, it slakes the reader’s thirst for a full understanding of the issues that will permit the construction of a sustainable future.
–Ben Orlove, Columbia University, USA
Of the many ways of considering climate change, this large format and lavishly illustrated book uses the lens of anthropology: what climate change means to different people living in a diversity of sites ranging from Greenland to Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Mauritania and Peru to the Cook Islands and Kiribati.
Supported by its colourful and personal presentation, both in text and appearance, this a great contribution to easily accessible knowledge and therefore makes it a highly valuable read for all audiences. It opens avenues for further enquiry and calls for further contributions of this type on local and regional life with environmental change.
–Nikolas Sellheim, University of Lapland, Finland
Kirsten Hastrup is Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cecilie Rubow is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.