Are cultures endangered by climate change? Yes, but…
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
Volume 3, Issue 4, pages 371–377, July/August 2012
How to Cite
Strauss, S. (2012), Are cultures endangered by climate change? Yes, but…. WIREs Clim Change, 3: 371–377. doi: 10.1002/wcc.181
- Issue published online: 11 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2012
Culture, from an anthropological perspective, encompasses all learned and shared aspects of life in human societies. Included is not only ‘high culture’—the arts and literature—but also science, technology, and more practical, everyday activities and beliefs: how to plant a potato or pray for rain, to seek good luck in battle or on exams at school. Cultures are not static; they change in response to wars, plagues, new inventions—as well as to environmental and climate variability. Here we look at some of the ‘rules’ of culture, in order to explore the extent to which climate change seriously threatens cultural diversity. The most popular examples of climate change impacts on human societies focus on remote communities in the Arctic or on tropical islands, but we need to keep in mind that the fossil fuel dependent lifeways of those of us residing in the industrialized temperate zones are perhaps even more endangered, and certainly less sustainable. WIREs Clim Change 2012 doi: 10.1002/wcc.181
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