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Global environmental change II: From adaptation to deliberate transformation.

O’Brien, K.


Foundational text

This progress report considers the need for developing a critical body of research on deliberate transformation as a response to global environmental change. Although there is a rapidly growing literature on adaptation to environmental change, including both incremental and transformational adaptation, this often focuses on accommodating change, rather than contesting it and creating alternatives. Given increasing calls from scientists and activists for transformative actions to avoid dangerous changes in the earth system, and the likelihood that ‘urgent’ solutions will be imposed by various interests, many new and important questions are emerging about individual and collective capacities to deliberately transform systems and structures in a manner that is both ethical and sustainable. This presents a transformative challenge to global change science itself that calls for new approaches to transdisciplinary research.

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