, Volume 114, Issue 3-4, pp 427-440
Date: 31 Mar 2012

The appropriation of the climate change problem among road managers: fighting in the trenches of the real world

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Abstract

This paper investigates how transportation sector managers perceive and utilize climate science, and subsequently, how they appropriate the climate change problem. The analysis focuses on which devices they qualify as useful for translating between knowledge, policy and practice concluding with a discussion of what this suggests in the development of efficient climate adaptation strategies. The paper demonstrates that although transportation sector managers accept the findings of climate science knowledge presented to them, their understanding of the climate change problem and the range of qualifying anchoring devices used in the development of climate adaption strategies are differentiated according to where they are located in the institutional context. For transportation sector managers on the regional and district level, the climate problem is largely perceived through the occurrence of extreme weather rather than through climate science. However, this knowledge basis is not considered sufficient to support ‘knowing how to act’ and has resulted in waiting for the authorities to make standards and regulations that would translate climate change knowledge into methods of practice. We argue that the development of standards and regulations might be underestimated in relation to user demands in climate adaptation work that involves reconciling scientific information.