Journal Article

Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice

Date Published

Aug 18, 2006


Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts



Parks, B. C., & Roberts, J. T. (2006). Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice. Society & Natural Resources, 19(4), 337-355. doi:10.1080/08941920500519255


As the earth's climate begins to shift into a hotter and less predictable period, there is a basic injustice in who will suffer worst and first. Nations facing rising oceans and drought are those least responsible for the problem, and they have the least resources to cope with them. To evaluate claims of environmental injustice, we examine three cases where the first signs of climate change are being felt worst and first: murderous flooding from Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, rising sea levels swamping entire Pacific Island atoll nations, and devastation from flooding among squatter settlements in Mozambique. In each case these nations are suffering not only because of bad geography or management. Rather, because of their colonial past and current positions in the world economy, they are brutally vulnerable to forces outside their control. We conclude by offering an explanation for generalized mistrust among Southern nations vis-a-vis Northern nations and the Kyoto treaty.

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