Karl Emmanuel Dudman

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Oxford U.

Grant number

Gr. 10214

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Dudman, Karl (Oxford U.) "Listening harder to climate silence: the politics of risk and apathy in the flooded Carolinas"

Communities along the U.S’s southeast coast are increasingly exposed to disastrous flooding associated with sea level rise. Yet whilst these risks are anticipated to intensify, landscapes of public ambivalence and apathy towards the subject of climate change endure. Despite these communities’ vulnerability, global climate change politics has yet to find any meaningful ways for engaging developed world communities who do not already subscribe to a global vision of science-based action. This research challenges ideas of ‘disengagement’ as an absence of discourse, suggesting instead that climate silence belies complex and socially-loaded relationships between publics and those who speak for climate change. Looking at organisations facilitating dialogue between representatives of climate science and citizens in areas of flood-prone North and South Carolinas, this research asks how climate knowledges and political identities continue to be constructed, negotiated and transformed in spaces of encounter. Through 10 months of multi-sited fieldwork and an approach of ‘methodological symmetry’, this research asks how two community-science organisations attempt to create common ground between often conflicting ways of knowing climate. It investigate how actors attempt to steer a course between often disparate perspectives and commitments, and whether social exchange facilitates new vocabularies for talking about climate impacts.