Anthropology and Climate Change

by Yijing Zhang

Barnes (2013) strongly suggests that natural scientists cannot solve the climate issue alone even if they have understood every scientific aspect of it. Therefore, anthropologists can further enrich the study of climate change in three ways, particularly when the climate debate involves social, cultural and political topics.

The first way to improve the climate study is to apply ethnographic insights. Instead of focusing on one specific community, Barnes argues that the climate change requires a broader perspective. Extending subjects from local places to international environments, and from science departments to companies and non-profit organizations, Barnes suggests that anthropology research is able to study how pure scientific knowledge could be incorporated into policies. By studying the language used in communication and debate, anthropologists can analyze how scientific knowledge is conveyed to the public. Continue reading