Ten theses on why we need a “Social Science Panel on Climate Change”

  • Stellan Vinthagen Sociology University West, Sweden
Keywords: climate change, critical social science, political power, capitalism, world economy, global justice, society, social strains, climate movements, panel

Abstract

This article discusses climate change from a critical social science perspective. Firstly, it is argued that climate change is not, in a fundamental sense, possible to understand from a natural science perspective, but demands an analysis of political power relations and our existing global political economy, capitalism. Therefore, climate change involves questions of global justice. Secondly, it is argued that the contemporary world economy, not only forcefully restructures climate, but also our societies, creating turbulent social strains, and therefore also an emerging global political reaction, one that is potentially giving hope for a solution, transnational justice and climate movements. However, thirdly, it is argued that these movements are not enough since they are still too ineffective to really challenge the basic injustices of global capitalism or its climate change effects. Social change is urgent, while solutions, strategies and mobilizations still seem too weak. Therefore, fourthly and lastly, we need a new kind of climate change panel, one that combines the theoretical-analytical skills of critical social scientists and the practical knowledge and organizational skills of movement intellectuals. A “Social Science Panel on Climate Change” is suggested in order to develop effective and realistic options and strategies.
How to Cite