A Well-Founded Fear? Tracing the Footprints of Environmentally Influenced Human Mobility

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/145714
Title:
A Well-Founded Fear? Tracing the Footprints of Environmentally Influenced Human Mobility
Author:
Moriniere, Lezlie C.
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Embargo: Release after 5/11/2011
Abstract:
Humans have fled environmental degradation for many millennia. Due partially to climate change, environments across the world have often degraded to the point that they can no longer securely sustain livelihoods. Entire communities and households have been displaced by extreme, rapid or creeping disasters; during their flight, they have left footprints across the globe that merit tracing. Sometimes this mobility is forced and at other times it is purely voluntary; for both, the mobility has roots in a changing environment. The footprint of environmentally influenced mobility (EIM) was traced through a series of three independent but related studies. The first study gained foundational perspective through an exploration of connections between climate drivers and natural and human impacts of climate change. This inquiry sought to answer the question, "How important is human mobility in the greater scheme of changing environments and changing climate?" Human mobility was one among 15 different climate drivers and impacts studied; the connections between all of them were examined to enable a quantitative comparison of system susceptibility, driving force, tight coupling and complexity. While degradation was the most complex of all natural elements, mobility surfaced as the human system element exerting the greatest forcing on other elements within the coupled system. The next study focused only on human mobility to explore how scholarly literature portrayed the two possible directions of the link between mobility and degrading environments--with a particular focus on urbanization as one manifestation of the phenomenon. Type A links, in which human mobility triggers environmental degradation, are portrayed in the literature as often as Type B links, in which degrading environments trigger human mobility. Surprisingly, science has not lent support to urbanization being a result of environmental change; plausible reasons for this are discussed. The final study canvassed expert opinion to examine why no scientific, humanitarian or governmental entity has succeeded in providing systematic support (e.g.., policy and interventions) to populations enduring environmentally influenced mobility. Four very different discourses emerged: Determined Humanists, Benevolent Pragmatists, Cynical Protectionists and Critical Realists. The complexity these discourses manifest help explain the inaction--a stalemate between actors--while confirming the inappropriateness of one-sided terminology and linear quantifications of environmentally influenced mobility. The results of these three studies demonstrate that human mobility has unequivocally destructive force that can trigger non-linear effects, potentially casting the coupled system into an unprecedented state; that the visible lack of scholarly exploration of environmentally influenced urbanization (EIU) can be partially explained by high system complexity and disciplinary research; and most important, that despite diametrically opposed viewpoints, experts unanimously agree that human mobility has strong connections to environmental change. Together, the results merge to confirm a "well-founded fear" on the part of those who dwell in degrading environments, and to highlight a pressing need to offer solutions both to those who remain in such environments as well as a name and protected status to those who flee them.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
complexity; coupled human and natural systems; disaster risk science/reduction/mgmt; discourse analysis; environmental change/degradation; human mobility / migration
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Arid Lands Resource Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Hutchinson, Charles F.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA Well-Founded Fear? Tracing the Footprints of Environmentally Influenced Human Mobilityen_US
dc.creatorMoriniere, Lezlie C.en_US
dc.contributor.authorMoriniere, Lezlie C.en_US
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseEmbargo: Release after 5/11/2011en_US
dc.description.abstractHumans have fled environmental degradation for many millennia. Due partially to climate change, environments across the world have often degraded to the point that they can no longer securely sustain livelihoods. Entire communities and households have been displaced by extreme, rapid or creeping disasters; during their flight, they have left footprints across the globe that merit tracing. Sometimes this mobility is forced and at other times it is purely voluntary; for both, the mobility has roots in a changing environment. The footprint of environmentally influenced mobility (EIM) was traced through a series of three independent but related studies. The first study gained foundational perspective through an exploration of connections between climate drivers and natural and human impacts of climate change. This inquiry sought to answer the question, "How important is human mobility in the greater scheme of changing environments and changing climate?" Human mobility was one among 15 different climate drivers and impacts studied; the connections between all of them were examined to enable a quantitative comparison of system susceptibility, driving force, tight coupling and complexity. While degradation was the most complex of all natural elements, mobility surfaced as the human system element exerting the greatest forcing on other elements within the coupled system. The next study focused only on human mobility to explore how scholarly literature portrayed the two possible directions of the link between mobility and degrading environments--with a particular focus on urbanization as one manifestation of the phenomenon. Type A links, in which human mobility triggers environmental degradation, are portrayed in the literature as often as Type B links, in which degrading environments trigger human mobility. Surprisingly, science has not lent support to urbanization being a result of environmental change; plausible reasons for this are discussed. The final study canvassed expert opinion to examine why no scientific, humanitarian or governmental entity has succeeded in providing systematic support (e.g.., policy and interventions) to populations enduring environmentally influenced mobility. Four very different discourses emerged: Determined Humanists, Benevolent Pragmatists, Cynical Protectionists and Critical Realists. The complexity these discourses manifest help explain the inaction--a stalemate between actors--while confirming the inappropriateness of one-sided terminology and linear quantifications of environmentally influenced mobility. The results of these three studies demonstrate that human mobility has unequivocally destructive force that can trigger non-linear effects, potentially casting the coupled system into an unprecedented state; that the visible lack of scholarly exploration of environmentally influenced urbanization (EIU) can be partially explained by high system complexity and disciplinary research; and most important, that despite diametrically opposed viewpoints, experts unanimously agree that human mobility has strong connections to environmental change. Together, the results merge to confirm a "well-founded fear" on the part of those who dwell in degrading environments, and to highlight a pressing need to offer solutions both to those who remain in such environments as well as a name and protected status to those who flee them.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectcomplexityen_US
dc.subjectcoupled human and natural systemsen_US
dc.subjectdisaster risk science/reduction/mgmten_US
dc.subjectdiscourse analysisen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental change/degradationen_US
dc.subjecthuman mobility / migrationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHutchinson, Charles F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarsh, Stuart E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCrimmins, Michael A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHirschboeck, Katherine K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRobbins, Paul F.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest11080-
dc.identifier.oclc659755018-
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.