Research Article
No access
Published Online: 1 August 2017

Emotion, Coping, and Climate Change in Island Nations: Implications for Environmental Justice

Publication: Environmental Justice
Volume 10, Issue Number 4

Abstract

Island nations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including changes in sea level, storms, coastal erosion, and freshwater availability. The purpose of this cross-cultural study is to understand how emotional responses to climate change are inequitably distributed across people living in island nations with varying climate change vulnerability. We consider how emotional responses (particularly sadness, worry, anger, happiness, and hope) may be related to people's biophysical vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and likelihood of relocation in the face of climate change. Using data from 272 ethnographic interviews collected in local communities in Fiji, Cyprus, New Zealand, and England, we explore the emotional reactions of respondents to current and future effects of climate change. Our results demonstrate that respondents in island nations with greater biophysical vulnerability are more likely to be concerned about relocation as a result of climate change, and they are also more likely to indicate their sadness or anger. Countries with higher adaptive capacity and lower biophysical vulnerability are more likely to suggest that, though they are sad about the effects of climate change, they feel neutral about its overall effect. This research demonstrates how focusing on emotional responses within communities affected by climate change brings important and under-explored dimensions of climate-related environmental injustice into sharp relief.

Get full access to this article

View all available purchase options and get full access to this article.

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice
Volume 10Issue Number 4August 2017
Pages: 102 - 107

History

Published in print: August 2017
Published online: 1 August 2017
Published ahead of print: 6 June 2017

Permissions

Request permissions for this article.

Topics

Authors

Affiliations

Notes

Dr. Margaret V. du Bray is a postdoctoral researcher in the Sociology Department at Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho. Dr. Amber Wutich is a professor at School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Kelli L. Larson is an associate professor at the School of Geographic Sciences and Planning, and the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Dave D. White is a professor at the School of Resources and Community Development, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Alexandra Brewis is a professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Address correspondence to:Margaret V. du BrayDepartment of Sociology, Social Work, and CriminologyIdaho State University921 S. 8th Avenue, Stop 8114Pocatello, ID 83209E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Funding

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. SES-0951366, DMUU: Decision Center for a Desert City II: Urban Climate Adaptation; and Grant No. SES-1462086, DMUU: DCDC III: Transformational Solutions for Urban Water Sustainability Transitions in the Colorado River Basin. Additional support was provided by NSF grant BCS-1026865: Central-Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Citations

Export citation

Select the format you want to export the citations of this publication.

View Options

Get Access

Access content

To read the fulltext, please use one of the options below to sign in or purchase access.

Society Access

If you are a member of a society that has access to this content please log in via your society website and then return to this publication.

Restore your content access

Enter your email address to restore your content access:

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.

View options

PDF/EPUB

View PDF/ePub

Full Text

View Full Text

Media

Figures

Other

Tables

Share

Share

Copy the content Link

Share on social media

Back to Top