Related to Items’ recent series on “Just Environments,” Kasia Paprocki and her colleagues discuss how what they call critical social science can be engaged in the study of and the response to climate change. In practice, this means being attuned to the potential tensions and complementarities between social knowledge production about and social action on behalf of addressing climate change and the inequalities it can deepen or transform. Drawing on their own and others’ research, the authors call attention to the “entanglement” of environmental issues with a host of other ones, the deployment of climate-friendly language for self-interested political purposes, and the importance of context in imagining movements for climate justice.
Liz Koslov is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Her research explores the social dimensions of climate change, questions of environmental and climate justice, and how cities are adapting to effects such as extreme weather and sea level rise. She is currently writing a book under advance contract with University of Chicago Press, Retreat: Moving to Higher Ground in a Climate-Changed City, which offers an ethnographic account of community-organized retreat from the coast in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. Koslov has spoken about this research in outlets that include the New Yorker, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, and Scientific American. Her writing has appeared in Public Culture, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and Public Books, among others. Prior to joining UCLA, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the humanities at MIT. She received her PhD in media, culture, and communication from New York University. @LizKoslov.