Population and Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 255–268

Bringing Society Back into the Climate Debate


DOI: 10.1007/s11111-005-1877-6

Cite this article as:
Pielke, R.A. & Sarewitz, D. Popul Environ (2005) 26: 255. doi:10.1007/s11111-005-1877-6


Debate over climate change focuses narrowly on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A common justification for such emissions reductions is that they will lead to a reduction in the future impacts of climate on society. But research from social scientists and others who study environment–society interactions clearly indicates that the dominant factors shaping the impacts of climate on society are societal. A greater appreciation for this body of research would allow for consideration of a broader base of policy options to respond to the challenges of climate change, as well as the composition of climate research portfolios more likely to contribute useful knowledge to decision makers.


climate change policy disasters extreme events demographics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science and Technology Policy ResearchUniversity of ColoradoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Science, Policy and OutcomesArizona State UniversityUSA

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