Anthropology and Environment Society
Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: Due to its location, geology, topography and climate, Florida is one of the most exposed places in the world to various effects of climate change. Since most of the state’s natural hazards are climate related, their co-occurrence with climate change effects have important implications for Florida’s population and natural environment. Indeed, development policies and practices for much of the last 100 years have led to conditions of increased exposure and vulnerability of the population However, the realities of climate change should not distract from understanding the unsustainability of the basic constructs of human-environmental relations, particularly those guiding approaches to economic growth and development. The outcomes of interactions between Florida’s natural hazards and climate change effects will be profoundly influenced by the forms of social and economic organization in the state, and particularly its development model that frame the patterns of vulnerability and resilience. Thus, in the pursuit of economic growth more and more people are endangered, engendering both disasters of development and development disasters. The fact that these disasters will manifest themselves in and as events that take the form of natural processes (wind, rain, flood, drought, etc) obscures their human drivers. Understanding the vulnerabilities that convert hazards into disasters will be equally important to adapt to the shift in weather extremes that climate change portends globally. The papers in this session will document and analyze the linkages between development, natural hazards, climate change, social vulnerability and risk.