Global Environmental Risk

By Jeanne X. Kasperson; Roger Kasperson | Go to book overview
Save to active project

5
Vulnerability to global
environmental change
Diana M. Liverman

The impacts of global change on environment and society are determined as much, if not more, by the characteristics of the ecosystems and people affected as by the magnitude of the change itself. Droughts of equal physical severity may have much less severe impacts on large, commercial, irrigated farms that can rely on insurance, good soils, and subsidized prices than on smaller, rain-fed, subsistence farms that lack institutional support. Irrigation, crop diversity, and flexible land-use and management strategies may buffer agricultural systems against climate variability. On the other hand, the systems may be more sensitive to change if economics, land tenure, and resource availability restrict options for land use, irrigation, and crop choice. Deforestation will have more severe effects in regions where slopes are steep, soils are fragile, or species are already being overhunted. Certain species, ecosystems, and cultures are dispro portion ately affected by desertification. Future generations, as well as the poor, sick, and powerless, are particularly sensitive to the widespread build-up of toxic substances in the environment.

The same environmental change will have different impacts in different places because some people and places are more vulnerable than others to environmental change. In this and subsequent chapters we argue (and illustrate) that understanding vulnerability is an important component of the risk assessment of global environmental change.

The definition of the term “vulnerable” originates in the verb “to wound,” and the term has been used in a variety of ways to characterize

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Global Environmental Risk
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 574

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?