A forward-looking approach to climate change and the risk of societal collapse

Steel, D., Phillips, C., Giang, A., & Mintz-Woo, K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9216-9561 (2024). A forward-looking approach to climate change and the risk of societal collapse. Futures 158 e103361. 10.1016/j.futures.2024.103361.

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This article proposes a forward-looking approach to studying societal collapse risks related to climate change. Such an approach should indicate how to study emerging collapse risks and suggest strategies for adapting to them. Our approach is based on three postulates that facilitate a forward-looking approach: (1) collapse, if it occurred, would be a lengthy process rather than an abrupt event; (2) significant collapse risks already exist in some places; and (3) diminishing returns on adaptation to intensifying climate impacts are a key driver of collapse risks. The first two postulates suggests that collapse risks can be studied in process, while the third points to strategies for adaptation pathways that avoid unsustainable diminishing returns. Applying diminishing returns to climate change adaptation, rather than sociopolitical complexity or resource extraction, is also a novel theoretical contribution to collapse literature.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptation; Climate change; Climate ethics; Complex systems; Insurance; Societal collapse
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Equity and Justice (EQU)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 13:16
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 13:16
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19563

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