[Iag-list] CFP: Geographies of the climate emergency

Blanche Verlie blanche.verlie at sydney.edu.au
Mon Feb 17 10:36:47 AEDT 2020

CFP: Institute of Australian Geographers Conference session on "Geographies of the climate emergency"

University of New England, Armidale, 6-9 July, 2020.

Blanche Verlie (University of Sydney), Sophie Webber (University of Sydney) and Lauren Rickards (RMIT University), as part of the Nature, Risk and Resilience Study Group.

Throughout the last few years the ‘climate emergency’ movement has grown from a small community led campaign in Melbourne to a worldwide framing sufficiently dominant for the term to be the Oxford Dictionary’s 2019 Word of the Year. Typically, the ‘climate emergency’ framing has been used by activists to call attention to the urgency of achieving rapid emissions reductions. In the 2019-20 Australian summer, however, the climate emergency has been experienced as a more specific bushfire and smoke emergency. This crisis has led to ‘states of emergency’ and ‘states of disaster’ being declared, complete with deployment of the Australian Defence Forces as well as other emergency services being pushed to the brink of their capacity. Meanwhile, prominent leaders, including the Prime Minister, suggest that adaptation and resilience are the necessary response.

In these sessions, we seek to understand the spatial and temporal rhythms of ‘climate emergencies’. Specifically, papers in this session will explore how rationalities of ‘emergency’ play out in both mitigation and adaptation, and how they might intersect. We welcome papers from Australia and beyond. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  *   Who is using the climate emergency framing and why? How does its meaning alter as it used by different groups, from higher education institutions and governments to communities and students (see Verlie 2019)?
  *   How does ‘climate emergency’ language motivate or justify climate action - or inaction - on mitigation, climate engineering or adaptation? How does it challenge or encourage the sense that it is already ‘too late’ for some things or some beings (Hulme 2020)?
  *   What forms of climate resilience – for instance, neoliberal and individualistic, or ecological and community-based - does an emergency lensencourage?
  *   What are the relations between the hierarchical nature of emergency management and the climate activism seeking climate emergency declarations?
  *   How does a sense of urgency about climate change, or particular emergencies, intersect with the slow work of climate justice? How does the climate emergency intersect with the ‘slow emergencies’ (Anderson et al. 2019) many marginalised groups have to live with on a daily basis?
  *   What does the rapid uptake of the climate emergency framework mean for critical climate adaptation scholarship (cf Webber 2016)? How does academia need to respond?


Anderson, B., K. Grove, L. Rickards and M. Kearnes (2019). "Slow emergencies: temporality and the racialised biopolitics of emergency governance." Progress in Human Geography. Online first.
Hulme, M. (2020). "Is it too late (to stop dangerous climate change)? An editorial." WIREs Climate Change11(1): e619.
Verlie, B. (2019. "Bearing worlds: Learning to live-with climate change". Environmental Education Research 25 (5): 751-766.
Webber, S. (2016). "Climate change adaptation as a growing development priority: Towards critical adaptation scholarship." Geography Compass 10(10): 401-413.

Please submit your abstract to the conference website https://www.une.edu.au/about-une/faculty-of-humanities-arts-social-sciences-and-education/hass/news-and-events/the-institute-of-australian-geographers-annual-conference-2020/registration-institute-of-australian-geographers-conference-2020 selecting the Geographies of the Climate Emergency session and also email a copy to Blanche.Verlie at sydney.edu.au

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