At the end of 2014, former NAPA President and long-time NAPA member Shirley Fiske concluded several years of work as chair of the AAA Task Force on Global Climate Change (2011-2014).
Shirley noted the gratification she felt when the AAA Executive Board adopted the report at its December 2014 meetings in Washington, D.C.:
“The AAA now has a report and position on climate change, commensurate with other major professional scientific organizations such as the AAAS. The major difference is that anthropology puts people and communities first rather than concentrating on primarily atmospheric results and climate modeling. Climate change is a human problem, not a natural problem. Anthropology offers integrated strategies to engage and address climate change challenges.”
NAPA has long known that it is important for anthropologists to be able to speak beyond the university, to other disciplines and other publics. The Statement on Climate Change and Humanity does that, and take the AAA a step closer into the policy debate on climate change.
The full report of the AAA Task Force, “Changing the Atmosphere, Anthropology and Climate Change” is available on the Task Force page on the AAA website, http://www.aaanet.org/cmtes/commissions/CCTF/gcctf.cfm. It documents the relevance of anthropological work to both the causes and consequences of climate change, gives selected examples of this work and relevant literature, and points to the important work that anthropologists can do on this issue in the future.
See a February 23, 2015 Anthropology News Q and A between Shirley and Judy Pajo (of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy).
See a February 9, 2015 press release about the statement.
The Task Force members came from professional and academic positions, and from interdisciplinary departments across the U.S. and Europe, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Task force members were Shirley Fiske, Susan Crate, Carole Crumley, Kathy Galvin, Heather Lazrus, George Luber, Lisa Lucero, Tony Oliver-Smith, Ben Orlove, Sarah Strauss, and Rick Wilk.