Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures

Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures

Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures

Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures

Synopsis

Double Exposure explores the connections between two of the most transformative processes of the twenty-first century, namely global environmental change and globalization. In the book, Leichenko and O'Brien present a conceptual framework for analyzing the interactions between these two processes, and they illustrate, through case studies, how these interactions create situations of "double exposure." Drawing upon prominent recent and current environmental events - Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, recurring droughts in India, and the melting of the Arctic ice sheet - the case studies each demonstrate a different pathway of interaction between globalization and global environmental change. Through exploration of these pathways of double exposure, the book also shows how broader human security concerns including growing inequalities, growing vulnerabilities, and unsustainable rates of development are integrally connected to both processes of global change. The double exposure framework not only sheds light on the challenges raised by these two global processes, but also reveals possibilities for using the interactions to generate positive opportunities for action. The book ultimately challenges the ways that global environmental change and globalization are currently viewed and addressed, revealing new openings for creating integrated responses. By drawing attention to double exposure, the book shows how global environmental change and globalization can createnew types of synergies that enhance human security.

Excerpt

The nature of changes now occurring simultaneously in the global
environment, their magnitudes and rates, are unprecedented in
human history and probably in the history of the planet.

—W. Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet
Under Pressure

Few areas of social life escape the reach of processes of globalization.
These processes are reflected in all social domains from the cultural
through the economic, the political, the legal, the military, and the
environmental.

—David Held et al., Global Transformations: Politics, Economics
and Culture

We live in an era of profound change. The melting of permafrost and ice in the Arctic, the disappearance of mangroves and wetlands, loss of biodiversity, and reductions in levels of stratospheric ozone represent just a few of the environmental changes that pose unprecedented risks and threats to individuals and communities. At the same time, changing patterns of production, the spread of mass consumerism, commodification of water and other natural resources, and proliferation of new communication technologies are facets of a larger process of globalization that presents both substantial challenges and significant opportunities to different regions, sectors, and social groups. While each of these changes may appear to be . . .

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