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Environmental Values

Self-Identity and Sense of Place: Some Thoughts Regarding Climate Change Adaptation Policy Formulation

Charles N. Herrick

Environmental Values 27 (2018): 81-102. doi: 10.3197/096327118X15144698637531

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The formulation and implementation of policies addressing the need to adapt to climate change can be difficult due to the long-term, uncertain nature of localised climate change impacts and associated vulnerabilities. Difficulties are intensified because policy interventions can involve high costs, foregone opportunity and changes to people's way of life. Factors such as these can spur an uncritical, or reflexive, negativity regarding efforts to address the projected impacts of climate change. Such reflexive negativity is often trivialised in pejorative terms, such as 'Nimbyism'. However, stakeholder reluctance to accept the need for adaptation planning may be strongly influenced by self-perceptions that are resistant to change. People's sense of self and sense of place may contribute to an 'imaginative intangibility' with respect to climate adaptation, blocking thoughtful reflection and deliberation regarding alternative approaches and providing rationales for cheating the system once implemented. If acknowledged and addressed in a sensitive manner, it may be possible to manage these self-perceptions to elevate public discourse about climate change and help create situationally appropriate adaptation policy regimes.


Sense of place, sense of self, self-identity, climate change adaptation, policy instruments, policy regime

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Editorial: Faults of Our Rationality? Claudia Carter

Ecological Restoration and Place Attachment: Emplacing Non-Places?.Martin Drenthen

Environmental Injustice, Political Agency and the Challenge of Creating Healthier Communities. Megs S. Gendreau

The Virtues of Acknowledged Ecological Dependence: Sustainability, Autonomy and Human Flourishing.Mike Hannis

The Trouble with Environmental ValuesSimon P. James

The Fundamental Role of Large-Scale Trust Building in Natural Resource Management. Karni Marcus

Towards a More Grounded and Dynamic Sociology of Climate-Change Adaptation. Martin John Mulligan

Editorial: Social Ecological Transformation and the Individual. Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Assimilation, Blind Spots and Coproduced Crises. Claudia Carter

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