World Social Science Report 2013

Changing Global Environments

image of World Social Science Report 2013

Produced by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and UNESCO, and published by the OECD, the 2013 World Social Science Report represents a comprehensive overview of the field gathering the thoughts and expertise of hundreds of social scientists from around the world.

This edition focuses on the transformative role of the social sciences in confronting climate and broader processes of environmental change, and in addressing priority problems from energy and water, biodiversity and land use, to urbanisation, migration and education.

The report includes 100 articles written by 150 authors from 41 countries all over the world. Authors represent some 24 disciplines, mainly in the social sciences.

The contributions highlight the central importance of social science knowledge for environmental change research, as a means of understanding changing environments in terms of social processes and as framework for finding concrete solutions towards sustainability.



Preface – A lighter carbon footprint, a greener world

As one of the most pressing of today’s global environmental problems, climate change presents a complex and controversial challenge to industrialised and emerging economies. Climate change is a recent concern, but has become one of the most critical issues for the current generation. Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, it has evoked a strong response at both the community and governmental levels. Evidence of climate change is abundant, yet a degree of denial persists at the community and government levels, and in many countries, about its causes and consequences. Sceptics question whether climate change results primarily from human activity, believing instead that it results only from natural events independent of a human-caused carbon footprint.


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