Saturday, 18 November 2017

Guest Lecture on Climate Change

The Department of Sociology organized a talk on Climate Justice for the students of 1st and 2nd year MA Applied Sociology and for BA students perusing sociology on November 7, 2017. The talk was delivered by Prof Ellen Zimmerman a visiting Fulbright Scholar. Prof Zimmerman is Professor of Anthropology, at the Department of Sociology, Framingham State University, Massachusetts, USA. 

Since Climate Change is an issue which is currently very relevant, and discourses of sustainability are becoming very important, this talk was organized for students to understand some of the problems that are relevant to climate change. The talk was about the kind of disparities and inequalities that exist when it comes to the impact of environmental disasters such as cyclones, hurricanes etc caused due to climate change.

Prof Zimmerman spoke about climate change having a tendency to affect some sections of society more than others. She addressed various factors such as economic status, gender and race that play a major role in how an individual and groups can be affected by Climate Change. She presented examples and cases from both India as well as the USA. She talked about the disparities in the way relief was given when it came to the aid given to victims of environmental calamities. An illustrative example that she addressed looked at how underprivileged communities are often forced to live on Flood Plains making them more vulnerable to devastation. These disparities should be looked at as a violation of human rights. Through all her examples, Prof Ellen Zimmerman gave the issues of Climate a Human Rights angle.

This was a very beneficial talk for the students of sociology as it has given us a different way of looking at climate change where we look at the kind of disparities that exist when it comes to people being affected by Climate change. The idea that environmental issues can affect one section of society more than the other is very thought-provoking. As sociology students, it very important for us to be aware of such cases as tomorrow we will be part of these projects that provide relief. We must ensure that we keep an eye out for such patterns of discrimination and make sure these problems don’t repeat themselves. This talk has been an eye-opener for a lot of us students and we are sure to benefit from this session.
Report by Dheeraj

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