Paper

Climate Change Technologies and their Mismatches with Everyday Lives: A Feminist Political Ecology View

Bernadette P. Resurrección, Global Development Studies, Queen’s University

Panel

Modernization, Technologies, and Innovations

Abstract

In many quarters and due to the urgency of the climate and disaster crisis, science is now being touted as a benign force coming to the rescue. In an earlier era, the science-policy interface came from the need to increase food, energy, and water productivity through scientific research and technology diffusion, alongside engineering appropriate infrastructure to meet these purposes. In recent years, climate information, mapping techniques, and forecasts are deemed critical for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. All of these efforts are designed to make climate change more intelligible and manageable.

This paper responds to present challenges principally from feminist political ecology and STS perspectives that specifically aim to unpack how science “lands” in policy environments setting in motion “messy” power dynamics that are often ignored but are key to producing particular outcomes with their reality-producing effects. This discussion is not intended to undervalue the role of science or scientific inquiry, rather it aims to examine how society engages and relates with science in climate change contexts, building on the foundational premise that science is intrinsically socially created. I then argue that the interface between science and policy is not only a site of power but where hierarchized and gendered subjects emerge and are shaped.

The paper will present examples from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia) to demonstrate how adaptation (and also mitigation), as currently conceptualized and practised, are often disentangled from the everyday lives of women and men from different social groups.

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