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Climate Change and Changing Values in Norway: Are there limits to adaptation? Karen O’Brien Department of Sociology and Human Geography University of Oslo,

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Changing Values in Norway: Are there limits to adaptation? Karen O’Brien Department of Sociology and Human Geography University of Oslo,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Changing Values in Norway: Are there limits to adaptation? Karen O’Brien Department of Sociology and Human Geography University of Oslo, Norway

2 Values Something intrinsically desirable Context specific vs. universal Result from psychological needs and social interactions Related to needs, worldviews, and structures and stages of consciousness Differential Dynamic

3 Traditional structures Absolutistic values Mythic and ethnocentric worldview Conformist self-identity Rule-dominated cognition Key concerns related to climate change: loss of cultural identity or group identity Prioritized adaptations might recognize local knowledge, support traditional sectors and livelihoods, preserve cultural icons.

4 Modern structures Multiplistic values Rational, worldcentric worldview Conscientious self-identity Rational cognition Key concerns related to climate change: outcomes that affect material well-being Prioritized adaptations might emphasize technology and draw on results of cost- benefit analyses and future scenarios

5 Post-modern structures Relativistic values Pluralistic, worldcentric worldview Individualistic self-identity Meta-systemic cognition Key concerns related to climate change: ecosystem integrity, moral and ethical perspectives, social justice and equity. Prioritized adaptations might focus on the poor and marginalized, future generations, and the role of ecosystem services.

6 Values in Norway Traditional: rural areas, nature, family Modern: individualism, economic development, material wealth, technology, scientific progress Post-modern: Rejection of social hierarchies, promotion of equity across gender and class, and between rural and urban areas.

7 Snow cover changes in Norway Winter temperature increases of 2.5 – 4 o C by 2100; More winter precipitation in eastern Norway; 40% decrease in number of days with suitable skiing conditions by 2050 (compared to period)

8 Traditional values Snow cover is important to local and national identity Prioritized adaptations might preserve heritage, tradition, and identity (preservation of cultural landscapes and a sense of place) Challenge: to transform livelihoods and maintain a sense of community

9 Modern values Snow cover as a medium for winter sports (an important economic sector) Prioritized adaptations might focus on snow- making technologies, indoor snow domes, artificially cooled ski tracks Challenge: reconstruct or reinvent identity (identify new or niche markets)

10 Post-modern values Snow cover as a component of ecosystem integrity; distant impacts of climate change also a concern Prioritized adaptations might focus on adaptive management, building resilience, promoting sustainability. Challenge: promote mitigation as a form of adaptation

11 Can climate change adaptations take into account a spectrum of values that correspond to diverse human human needs and multiple persectives and worldviews?

12 Whose values count?


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