What is it about?

Over the past decades, a new, sociological aspect of climate change has emerged. The very nature of sociology is to analyse relations between social elements; however, climate change sociology is lacking in the study of human relations with nonhuman elements like animals and insects. A 2020 review looks at how climate change sociology is evolving and why this is important. Earlier, climate change was thought to affect only humans and vice versa. However, this is not entirely true. Animals used in agriculture and their exploitation in other industries also contribute to climate change. Threats to their populations due to habitat loss, climate disasters, and human activity. Changing behavioural patterns in animals and insects to adapt to these threats is further proof that climate change is affected by human-animal relations.

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Why is it important?

Humans are inevitably interlinked with animals and other living beings. Our food chain and sometimes, our livelihood, depends on these links. Delicately balanced ecosystems, however, are being disrupted due to climate change. This affects both nonhumans and humans. One example is how pathogen-carrying insects (or vectors) might change their behaviour to adapt to shifting resources, which could increase the prevalence of vector-borne diseases among humans. Understanding the finer details of human-animal interactions would help us understand how to deal with climate change and better predict cli-mate change outcomes. KEY TAKEAWAY: Climate change sociology needs to evolve towards the inclusion of human-nonhuman interactions and their effects with respect to the environment, to get a better grasp on the nuances of climate change.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Where Are the Nonhuman Animals in the Sociology of Climate Change?, Society and Animals, October 2020, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15685306-bja10025.
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